A fantastic musical event is coming to Keene, Ontario, showcasing music with Cape Breton and Irish roots.

On Friday August 25th and Saturday August 26th, The first annual Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest will take place on Heritage Line, hosted by renowned Celtic-music couple Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. (Full disclosure: through our children, Natalie has become a new friend of mine. While you may assume music was the connection, it was actually through our firstborns’ shared interest in sewing!)

The festival aims to be an authentic experience, blending cultural experiences from Cape Breton and Ireland, as well as showcasing local fares and attractions to guests of all ages.

As a mom, I was curious to know what’s going to make this festival so family-friendly, so I went straight to the source. Here’s what Natalie had to say:

Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest will be a perfect event for families! Having six of our own children, we wanted to create an environment for them that nurtures a love for music that is anchored in tradition, culture and legacy; to give them a sense that music breeds unity, and unity between the generations, and to show how music brings joy and builds friendship. We also are realists, knowing that kids can get wiggly and squiggly and need some play time. So we have a lovely kids zone where they can play in the sand, make crafts, or kick around the soccer ball! Lots of food and fun vendors as well to keep them full! Plus, children get in free!

Three stages will be set up for the Festival, which is part of the Canada 150 Passport Program. Friday’s McCloskey mainstage lineup includes Evans and Doherty, Next Generation Leahy, Natalie MacMaster’s Cape Breton Jam Band and Rhonda Vincent, and on Saturday you can enjoy music by acts such as Evans and Doherty, The Double Cuts, Dervish and Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.



There will also be an educational aspect to the festival, with workshops geared towards teaching children and adults alike about fiddling, cultural practices, and other exciting lessons set-up to run throughout the day. The workshops will be run by Natalie and Donnell, as well as other performing acts from Cape Breton, Ireland, and all over Canada.

For all the details (including pricing and accommodation information) and to order tickets, visit their website. You can also follow Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest on Facebook.

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