The St. Andrews Society of Aiken will observe the Celtic holiday of Là Bealltainn with its first annual Tartan Céilidh on April 27.
The ceilidh will feature a traditional Scottish dinner and country dancing as well two bands, Tuatha Dea from Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Dé Céadaoin from Augusta, Ga., as well as dinner and Scottish country dancing, led by Bill McCullough of Columbia, S.C.
Tuatha Dea is a high-energy progressive Celtic/bluegrass fusion band punctuated by pure Appalachian-Gypsy rock. The band meshes the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland with its own brand of mainstream rock, Appalachian blues, and mountain drumming. This family band has been referred to as the “Eclectic steampunk Partridge Family in kilts and corsets.”
Dé Céadaoin is their opposite in just about every way. The band performs traditional Celtic music, and the older the better. Members range from 20-something to 60-something, and their day jobs range from physicians to college professors to Naval petty officers.
“We’re excited to host traditional activities and entertainment that celebrate one of the most important days on the Celtic calendar,” said SASA President Randy Dedrickson. “It coincides exactly with our mission to be the premiere Celtic heritage organization in the CSRA.”
Là Bealltainn, a traditional festival held every May 1, celebrates the mid-point between spring and summer. It is one of four seasonal holidays the ancient Celts used to mark the passing of the year, according to Debbie van Tuyll, a SASA board member.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with a dinner of shepherd’s pie and other Scottish delicacies and continues with an hour of Scottish country/céilidh dancing. Bill McCullough will teach and lead several Scottish dances before the headliner band, Tuatha Dea, performs at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 for dinner and entertainment or $15 for just the entertainment portion of the evening. Tickets can be purchased via the link on the Tartan Céilidh Facebook event page.