JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — For 32 years, the Upper East Tennessee Celtic Festival has honored the Celtic heritage that many people in this area celebrate.
It also offers a way for those to explore their roots.
Ryan Sye of Appalachian Highland Celts says the Celtic Festival at Tipton Haynes Historical Site has grown each year.
“We had to close the website and not allow anyone else to sign up. We just ran out of spots,” Sye said. “I think we got about 40 vendors this year and we have 13 clans represented this year. So we’re breaking records every day.”
The festival displays the old Celtic way of life. There are traditional Celtic games like ax throwing, feats of strength, and combat sports to bring the Celtic spirit to life.
But what sets this festival apart is the ability of people to trace their ancestors to certain clans. A full library provides a resource to trace families back to Ireland or Scotland.
“That’s what we value ourselves on, being able to trace those roots,” Sye said. “We value people coming down and being able to find that link. Because with the tartan museum, it’s fun to look. They have so many books and references, they can trace you all the way back to your clan.”
A place that lets visitors go back in time and discover their roots, and the heritage of so many in our region.