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Celtic Classic draws big Bethlehem crowd

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 29 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 01 2012 04:51:19 AM CDT

Celtic Fest

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

It's the time of year when the Old World meets the New World. Sunday evening, the annual Celtic Classic wrapped up in Bethlehem. This is the festival's 25th year.

"Usually we come down for the music and the food and the games," said Patti Barry of Bethlehem.

Along with drum and bagpipe competitions, the Celtic Classic features a caber toss and other traditional highland games.

Ernie Stavrovsky even wore a kilt.

"Just for fun," he said, admitting he is not, in fact, Scottish.

According to the non-profit Celtic Cultural Alliance, which puts on the festival, it typically brings in more than 260,000 visitors over its three-day run. Many of those visitors have been coming for years.

"Yeah, it's been years," said Pete Larkin of Milford, Pa. "Six, seven years."

Larkin and his friend Jonah make the trip from Pike Co. each year. Part of the reason? It's free.

"We've done other Irish events, and they're $20 to get in or whatever," Jonah said.

For others, the Celtic Classic is a family friendlier alternative to other festivals.

"You don't get some of the rowdiness," said Stavrovsky. "Yes, there's beer served here and everything else, but you know what? You don't have the craziness."