NY Celtic Festival

It’s about that time of the year when my friends and I start throwing out plans for summer trips.  Now, not all of these come to fruitation, but you want to get ideas out, see who’s in, consult everyone’s schedules, etc, before anything concrete happens (and before everyone’s plate fills up).

Now, I realize I’ve been on extreme Irish overload, but my buddy just sent out a group FB message throwing out the idea of the Hunter Mountain Celtic Festival. Side Note: If you don’t use these to plan trips, start, they’re a great way to communicate with a large group, and everything you send back and forth (ideas, links especially links) is stored in typing on your Facebook account.

The festival is held in Hunter Mountain, NY on the weekend of August 18th and 19th.  The website promises to have Irish music, vendors, and “plenty of beverages.”   I wasn’t sure how I felt about this, as I feel I’ve seen/checked out plenty of info on subpar Celtic Festivals, so I did some personal research.

To start off, they have some legitimate musical talent.  Black 47 has a decent following and paved the way for the likes of DKM and Flogging Molly.  I don’t know alot about Shillelagh Law (check out the amazing version of “Wagon Wheel” that plays when you load their webpage), but their song “Christmas in New York,” is one of those Irish Christmas songs, in the same vein as “Fairy Tale of New York,” that I could listen to all year long.  Note: I’m actually listening to covers they play on Youtube as I re-edit this post, and they’re really winning me over.

What looks awesome, and what I’m sure sets this festival apart from other Irish festivals is the “Bagpipe March” that occurs on Sunday.  All the bagpipers present assemble and march down one of the ski slopes.  It sounds like an awesome visual but I’m sure can be quite polarizing for those of you who over indulged the night before.

I’m not sure that I’ll be making it to the Celtic festival for a few reasons.  That’s very close to the start of the new school year, and I’m not sure I’ll want to be away at that time, and as far as upstate New York is concerned, I have osme other trips I’ve been playing around with.

I was at Hunter Mountain a year ago for a winter-fun trip where we ziplined.  I have to admit, while I had fun, I wasn’t blown away.  The mountain is nicely put together,but my major complaint was that there’s not a  ton to do around Hunter Mountain besides the resort.  It doesn’t have a ski town, and you’re guaranteed to have to drive to find bars (which I’m sure you’ll want to migrate to) after the festival is done.

That being said, it’s a gorgeous area (at least in the winter) and an easy drive.  The other factor that would make me forgo this trip would be a summer trek to Lake Placid.

Lake Placid did blow me away and I’d love to go up there for some hiking, water sports, and rock climbing this summer.  The town of Lake Placid is compactly ensconsed on the western shore of Mirror Lake.  Restaraunts, bars, “nightclubs”, former Olympic sites, and adventure centers are all within walking distance, and Lake Placid has the added bonuses of convenient day trips to both Burlington VT, and Montreal: places I’ve wanted to check out.  I’m going to stop gushing about Lake Placid now as this is a Hunter Mountain post.  I’ll get to my LP dream itinerary post later this week (or next week).

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