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Columbia Business Monthly

Festival To Benefit River Alliance

Mar 13, 2018 09:19AM ● By Kathleen Maris
The Tartan Day South Celtic Festival, March 22-25, 2018, announces its 8th annual installment. Benefitting the River Alliance, the event will be in four cities with four different events in four days, all without leaving the greater Columbia region. The main event is the day-long “Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival” at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce on Sat., March 24.

This celebration drew more than 10,500 patrons from 25 states in 2017. The festival is produced with and will benefit the nonprofit River Alliance, raising funds to increase accessibility to the rivers that are some of the greatest natural resources in the Midlands of South Carolina.

One of the new attractions for 2018 is a rescued bald eagle, Osceola, who will be on display at two of the events in Cayce and Lexington.

Tartan Day South will kick off Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia at the British Bulldog Pub with the opening night party. On Friday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m., the festival will present “Celtic Commotion” in Lexington at the Icehouse Amphitheater on Main Street. This will be an evening of great live music and exhibitions including Lady Liberty’s debut. Saturday, March 24 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. will be the main event: the “Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival” at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce. The festival will wrap up at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater on March 25 at 11:00 a.m. with the annual “Kirkin’ of the Tartans on the River” service.

The Highland Games date back more than 1,000 years in Scotland and are the anchor of the main event on Saturday, March 24, which will occupy the entire historic speedway footprint. The games will be accompanied by a range of activities.

“There is a little something for every member of the family. We have added fun presentations to our Heritage Tent about the popular TV show ‘Outlander’ and Scottish history,” says John Banks, festival co-coordinator. “We want to make sure that there is always something new to see at Tartan Day South.”

“We are very excited to share portions of the Tartan Day South festival in so many areas. Our visiting patrons will be able to see many parts of the area we call home,” states Banks. “The Midlands area is a great place to live, and the River Alliance keeps improving the accessibility to our awesome natural resources.”

Ticket information, schedules, and all details are available at