The Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering was canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns but the Bitterroot Celtic Society has online entertainment planned for the week of August 10-16.
Bitterroot Celtic Society President Cheryl Tenold said the society is disappointed about having to cancel the event and has decided provide online entertainment this year.
“It’s just a taste, not everything, but we wanted to be able to give something back to the people who have been loyal to us for the last 10 years,” Tenold said. “This is our gift to them. We wanted to give them something spirited and Celtic. We are having an online Celtic Week.”
Entertainers will be sending performance videos for BCS to upload on to their website. Viewers can watch, for free, The Harp Twins, Swagger, House of Hamill, piping, dancing, herd dog demonstrations, educational information and clans.
“Possibly the athletics, but that is still up in the air because it takes a lot to get that equipment together,” Tenold said. “Hopefully, we’ll have snippets of everything to represent competitions that would normally happen at our games.”
The videos of entertainment can be reached through their website, on YouTube and Facebook and new videos will be added every day.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, the Bitterroot Celtic Society will have “Flowers of the Forest” a remembrance ceremony live on Facebook to honor anyone who passed away in the last year.
Rob Lynn from the Celtic Dragons of Missoula will be playing the pipes “Flowers of the Forest” and “Amazing Grace” at the Daly Mansion while the names of those submitted by people through BCS Facebook page are read.
“So, if anyone would like to submit a name of someone who has passed away in the last year, that they would like honored, they can do that,” Tenold said. “Most people don’t know about the song “Flowers of the Forest” because it is only played at funerals or to honor the dead. It is a very special song.”
After the remembrance, will be the live raffle drawing held live on Facebook at 4 p.m. Sunday, August 16. In place of the Scotch tasting part of the BCS event, everyone over age 21 can purchase a raffle ticket to win a bottle of Scotch. This year, it is Rosebank 21-year old Lowland, single Malt whisky with a current market value between $800 and $1,200.
Tickets cost $10 each or three for $25.
“That raffle still has to go forward because we’re not allowed to change it,” Tenold said.
Tickets can be purchased through an in-person transaction by Friday, August 14, at Westslope Distillery, Hidden Legend Winery or by calling 406-274-8886.
“That is pretty much our only fundraiser this year because the Ravalli County Fair was canceled and we usually sell gyros,” Tenold said.
Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering was canceled for 2020 due to coronavirus concerns.
“Everyone is sad, and it was a difficult decision to come to,” Tenold said. “But our volunteer pool is older and we aren’t going to put people at risk to put on this event. We know that it brings in money to the community but I’m also sure everyone understands. It is too big to organize with the threat of not having volunteers.”
Last year was the 10th anniversary of the Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering with 4,500 people in attendance, lasting two and a half days.
“We had really unique things happening just to celebrate our 10th,” Tenold said. “I’m really glad we got to do that before all this hit. We got to go big. Everyone is excited for next year.”
Enjoy the free Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering’s Celtic Week this year. Donations are welcome and the videos can be viewed through the BCS society website at bcgg.org.
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