Celtic clans and fans heed call to Berry

BERRY will come alive to the sound of bagpipes and drums this Saturday as the annual Berry Celtic Festival is staged.

BEAT: Drum Major Mick Jenner warms up the Shoalhaven City Pipes and Drums before leading the Berry Celtic Festival street parade in 2013.

BEAT: Drum Major Mick Jenner warms up the Shoalhaven City Pipes and Drums before leading the Berry Celtic Festival street parade in 2013.

The eighth annual festival will start with the traditional grand street parade from 9.30am.

With distinctive colourful kilts and bagpipes playing, the parade will start near Apex Park north of the town, travel south along Princes Highway through Berry and down Alexandra Street before finishing at the Berry Showground.

The parade will mean a short disruption to traffic through Berry’s main street.

The various Celtic clans taking part in the festival will join the pipe bands in the parade, along with Scottish terrier dogs, vintage cars and hot rods and for the first time a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will take part in the parade.

Festival assistant co-ordinator Col Hanbridge said a full day of activities, including musical items, Celtic fiddlers, highland dancing and singing, stalls and the Tartan Warriors, were planned for the showground.

“The Tartan Warriors are always crowd favourites as they compete against each other to determine the strongest man of the festival,” he said.

Along with lifting the Stones of Manhood, competitors will also attempt to toss the caber.

“The Stones of Manhood range in weight from 100 kilograms up to 165kgs, are laid about five metres apart, lightest to heaviest, with each competitor having to lift all five stones onto wooden barrels,” Mr Hanbridge said.

As well as a fund-raising event of the Rotary Club of Berry, other organisations such as the Zonta Club of Berry, Berry Showground Trust, Berry Chamber of Commerce and Shoalhaven City Council are also supporting this year’s festival.

Money raised from the event will go towards activities of Shoalhaven CanAssist, Berry’s Paradise Farm, Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) and other Rotary projects.

Entry is $10 for adults, $5 for children or $20 a family. 

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