One of my favorite weekends every year is the first one of November – the weekend when the Austin Celtic Music Festival happens.
Every year it has been amazing.
Naturally, this gives me excellent fodder for a top 10 list.
Top 10 Reasons to Find Your Inner Scotsman at a Celtic Music Festival
10. Perfect place to practice parking skills: Thousands of people show up at a place with almost no parking. You suddenly wish you’d mastered parallel parking and receive a crash course.
9. The view is fabulous: The Austin Celtic Music Festival overlooks a lake. Simply sitting on the banks, as music wafts from one of the stages, wraps you in a peace you rarely achieve at home.
8. Countless booths for shopping: Nowhere else can you find exquisite jewelry, haggis, and a plethora of kilts to choose from.
7. It is neigh impossible to find a band that “sucks”: Seriously, if you like celtic music, every single band and artist is entertaining to watch. Some are so incredible you wonder why they aren’t playing giant concert halls.
6. The food: It’s not just about eating, it’s an education. It is the only place you can get a rib steak sandwich from Scottish cows (that live in Kansas no less), funnel cakes, turkey legs, haggis, bangers and mash, fish and chips, and other suspicious fare you have to ask, “Uh, what exactly is that?” before you order.
5. Extra calorie burning: Even if you eat junk and sit on a chair for the shows, you will burn more calories than normal. This is because it is impossible to sit still while the music is playing. Chances are you must tap your foot, sway, clap, or in my case, get up and pretend you know how to do Irish dancing.
4. Plenty of pints to buy: Yes, they serve alcohol. Just in case you require a wee dram (or five) to shed the inhibitions so you can dance or hit on the hottie in the kilt.
3. Accents I could listen to all day: Some are Scottish. Many are Irish. I don’t care. Simply listening to the artists tell the tale of their tune is entertainment.
2. The most concentrated collection of kilts outside of Scotland plus a few more exotic outfits: I had no idea so many people in Austin owned a kilt. Why don’t women’s skirts have accessories like the kilt for carrying things?
But it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the “battlefield” and re-enactments showing off weapons of ancient times, you can find Vikings roaming around…
1. It is a day to just be me: For the second year in a row I went alone. No friends. No family. Just me.
Do I wish I could have shared this experience with my family?
Do I regret going alone?
I needed the time to rejuvenate.
The first few years, CG attended. He isn’t a “huge” fan of Celtic music so the next year I went with a friend and had a great time.
We even took He-Who-Would-Become-The-Tackler one year.
After returning on a wave of reels and jigs, I planned to convince my husband to attend with the kids on day two.
Humidity and cranky children from Daylight Savings Time ending turned the tide and we didn’t go.
Instead I taught my children to play “Duck, Duck, Goose” and Lil Diva learned “Simon Says”. Sort of.
She found both games hilarious. So did my son.
I cannot regret that.
If the weather cooperates, I hope to do both days next year: one for me, one for the family.
Because these top ten things happen each year, rain or shine.
Do you have an event you like to go to alone?