- November 4, 2016

Can You Handle These Feats of Strength at Austin Celtic Festival?


You’ve probably seen on television or on YouTube clips of giant men in kilts hurling tree trunks across a field. How would you like to see that in person? Well, at Austin Celtic Festival you can see this and much more as you celebrate the food, music, and traditions of Scotland and Ireland.

That event where guys hurl tree trunks is called the caber toss. While it may look like the contestants throw for distance, they actually throw for accuracy. The objective is to toss the pole end-over-end so that it lands with the smaller end pointing directly away from the contestant. Who knew!?

Here’s an example from two years ago at Austin Celtic Festival:

The caber toss and other athletic endeavors are part of the Highland Games that generally take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoon of the festival. Feats of focused strength are the common thread through the events.

Similar to the shot put event that we know from the Olympics is the braemar stone event, where participants hurl a 20-26 pound stone (13-18 pound for women) for distance.

And there’s a lot more to do!

What would an Austin festival be without live music? Musicians and dancers are slated to perform traditional Celtic songs and dances. Plus, you can attend workshops where you can learn some of the musical techniques on instruments such as guitar, banjo, and fiddle. And you can learn some of the steps in Irish and Scottish dancing.

Also be sure to get your fill of traditional Celtic foods. You can take your tastebuds across The Pond without ever leaving Austin.

Tickets are only available online, so snatch them up well in advance of the festival which takes place on November 5th and 6th. The festival takes place each day from noon to 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 11 a.m.

This is Austin Celtic Festival’s 20th year, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on this year’s celebration. The festival will take place at Fiesta Gardens on the north shore of Lady Bird Lake, east of I-35.