RADFORD – The Radford Highlanders Festival is coming to Radford Saturday, Oct. 8, bringing Scottish games, live music, sheepherding, and, of course, a wide array of food and product vendors to the campus of Radford University.
The festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is a partnership between Radford University and the City of Radford and has grown tremendously over the years.
“The festival began in the mid-1990s with an approximate crowd of 3,000,” according to Radford University. “Over the past 25 years, the festival has more than tripled in size and now attracts an estimated crowd of 10,000 people. Whether a family’s background is of Scots-Irish origin or of other descent, the day always brings with it an air of excitement and anticipation.”
Two bands will be featured on the festival’s main stage on Moffett Lawn: SYR (pronounced sire), a Celtic Folk Rock band from Columbia, S.C., and Kinnfolk, a duo that “weaves bouzouki, bodhran, and smooth vocal harmonies in their Celtic folk music from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” according to the band’s website. Panjammers, an award-winning steel drum orchestra based in Blacksburg, will perform at the festival’s Clock Tower stage.
Taking inspiration from Celtic history, stories and myth, SYR creates powerful songs with themes of battle, love and victory, celebrating the rich heritage of the Celtic Nations in a contemporary style with broad audience appeal,” the band website reads. “SYR’s reputation for a high-energy performance has made them a popular attraction for many Celtic festivals and events, building a following across the US and internationally.”
The schedule for the day is:
9 a.m. – Heavyweight Games Begin
10:30 a.m. – Massed Band Performance and Clan March
11 a.m. – SYR
Noon – Kinnfolk
1 p.m. – SYR
2 p.m. – Kinnfolk
3 p.m. – SYR
11:30 a.m. – Panjammers
The festival is open to the general public with free admission.