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The 8th Annual Sparta Celtic Festival 

August 11-12 at Rogers Park in Sparta

Are you looking for some fun, family entertainment? Interested in good food and good brews? Love Irish and Scottish music, dance and history? Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to run a 5K in a kilt? The 8th annual Sparta Celtic Festival has a little something for everyone!

The 2017 festival kicks off Friday, August 11, at Rogers Park, 75 N. Union in Sparta, and runs from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and reopens Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The festival continues to exceed growth expectations, and this year they added the nationally known touring act “The Moxie Strings,” to their full entertainment lineup, and added a new “Snap Fitness, 5K KILTED Fun Run & Walk” this year.

Friday night’s Festival Preview opens at 5 p.m. with access to the new “Splash Pad” at Rogers Park and the festival grounds, which includes a beverage tent, food vendors, Celtic shops and even a 1500’s Mercenaries Historic Encampment.

Entertainment on The Kent Equipment Main Stage begins with the area’s favorite Irish Group, “The Conklin Ceili Band,” at 6PM, followed by local Irish Dancers from Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin, and finishing up with an energetic performance at 7:45 from The Moxie Strings. The group has recently appeared at the Meijer Gardens Amphitheater and been seen at Festivals all over America.

On Saturday, the fun begins early with the “Inaugural, Snap Fitness, 5K KILTED Fun Run & Walk.” Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Main Stage with kilted participants getting $5 off their entry fee! Also returning to the Festival this year is a Rugby Tournament at Balyeat Field and the very popular Highland Games on the Festival grounds.

A full day of Celtic entertainment on four separate stages begins at 11:00 a.m. with Irish Dancers (one of 6 different dance groups on Saturday,) and ends with two incredible Rock style acts later in the evening. Local favorites “Hazard” will be performing on the ChoiceOne Bank Street Stage beginning around 8 p.m., and Detroit’s “Stone Clover,” the Midwest’s hottest Irish rock show, closes out the night on the main stage beginning at 8:30 p.m. In between, there will be 12 other musical acts, a Giant Leprechaun emcee, two “Kilted Magician Shows,” a bagpipe band, a tribute to a Fallen Soldier, a wandering Scottish Clown, and “Celtic Kilroy,” the living statue! All of this, for free!

The Sparta Celtic Festival remains one of the largest “free entry” Cultural festivals in Michigan thanks to the generous support of many great sponsors and with the help of a small army of volunteers. Besides the music and dance acts on stage, there will be a new Cultural Tent on the grounds, Irish Language Lessons, Irish Set and Ceili Dance Instructions, traditional Irish Music Sessions, Clan tents, a “Mercenaries of the 1500’s” encampment, and children’s activities with a Celtic twist.

Celtic gifts, food and drink are all available on both Friday and Saturday, as well as a craft fair on Saturday only. New to our “Cellar Brewing Co. Beverage Tent,” and especially with the kids in mind, are “Craft Soft Drinks” from Detroit City Soda” on tap. Also back at the festival are “The Whiskey Guys,” with samplings of both Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky.

So, the Sparta Celtic Festival continues to grow, continues to be free to enter, and remains very family Friendly.

What’s not to love about that? Even if you are not Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or any of the other four Celtic Nations, there is something you should enjoy about a free day of great cultural entertainment at a beautiful park in downtown Sparta, Michigan! See the complete entertainment schedule below.

AUGUST 11 & 12



Rogers Park, Sparta MI

Family Friendly


2017 Entertainment Schedule

Friday, August 11 & Saturday, August 12

Friday – August 11 – Gates Open 5PM

Kent Equipment Main Stage:

6:00PM Conklin Ceiu Band

7:00PM Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

7:45 PM The Moxie Strings

Cellar Brewing Beverage Tent Serving Until 9:30PM

Saturday – August 12 – Gates Open 10:30AM

Kent Equipment Main Stage:

11:30AM Mona Shores Fiddlers

1:15PM Uneven Ground Trad. Celtic Band

3:00PM Toby Bresnahan

4:30PM Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums

5:00PM *Fallen Soldier Memorial*

5:15PM The Moxie Strings

7:00PM Blarney Castle

8:30PM Stone Clover

Alpine Auto care dance Stage:

11:00AM Hubbardston Irish Dancers

12:30PM McClintic Highland Dancers

2:15PM Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

3:45PM Shannon Irish Dancers Academy & Co.

6:30PM Motor City Irish Dancers

8:00PM Ardan Academy of Irish Dance

Freeland Chiropractic civic center Stage:

11:00AM west michigan gaeltacht, irish language demo

Noon hugh irwin, the kilted magician

1:15pm hubbardston irish dancers

2:15PM McClintic Highland Dancers

3:00PM west michigan gaeltacht, irish language demo

4:00PM Motor City Irish Dancers

5:00pm hugh irwin, the kilted magician

6:45pm irish set & ceiu dance instruction & participation

8:00pm traditional irish music sessions

ChoiceOne bank Street Stage:

noon Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

1:00pm tom cotter

2:15pm Shannon Irish Dancers Academy & Co.

3:15pm lee mulder

4:30pm *to be announced

5:15pm leprecons

6:30pm ardan academy of irish dance

7:15pm cider the hard way

8:00pm hazard

Cellar Brewing Beverage Tent Serving Until 10:30PM

Performance times and stages subject to change


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Woman attacked in Sparta park

The Sparta Police Department is investigating an assault at Roger’s Park last  Friday.

According to Sparta Chief Andrew Milanowski, a woman was walking through the park in the wee hours of the morning, when she was approached from behind by three Hispanic males. The woman was able to fight off her attackers and give police a description of at least two of them.

One is reportedly short and stocky, about 5-feet 4-inches, 160 pounds; and the other is about the same height, but slender in build.

Both were wearing soccer-type shirts, one solid purple, and the other possibly black with green stripes. One was wearing a “Texas” type hat, and one of them had a scar on the right side of his face.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sparta Police Department at 887-8716 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or toll-free at 1-866-774-2345.

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Art in the park in Sparta

Fine art juried show—call for entries

The Regional Arts Guild in Sparta welcomes your participation in our annual Art in the Park during the new Harvest on the Ridge Festival. The show will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Rogers Park, on Saturday, September 26.

Although juried, first year kick-off offers highly reduced booth rates with no jury fee.

A circular drive throughout the park encourages easy set-ups and teardowns. Good food, clean restrooms and trash facilities will be easily accessible.

Please join us in making this long-awaited event a reality in Sparta.

Visit http://spartachamber.com/2009/02/26/harvest-on-the-ridge-art-in-the-park/ for application and more information.
Questions? Please contact Toni Payne at (616) 887-2190 or Tom Scott at (616) 678-4322.

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