About the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland
The Celtic Society of Southern Maryland started in 1976 as an information sharing organization and expanded in 1979 to a formal organization with officers and structure in order to produce the Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland. The original purpose of the society was, “the preservation and celebration of the Celtic heritage of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England”. It was in 1986 that the Society was incorporated in Maryland, and in 1987 it was accepted as a 501(C) (3) non-profit educational corporation.
The mission statement of the Society has been further refined throughout the years as follows:
“…to educate the general public through our celebrations and coordinating service, the Highland Games and Celtic Festival, music, dance, dress, heraldry, genealogy, and history as we celebrate the cultural heritage of the seven Celtic Nations: Ireland; Scotland; Wales; Isle of Man; Brittany; Cornwall; and Galicia/Asturias.”
Over the years the Society has organized, presented, or co-sponsored a large number of events whose purposes mirrored our own. Over a quarter of a century of concerts, lectures, and dances have been part of the contribution of members of the Society. The Society has donated books to the Southern Maryland Library system, provided scholarship money to students with an interest in Celtic dance, music, or culture, has sponsored teaching workshops, and provided cultural resources and storytellers both in and out of the school systems. Likewise, the Society regularly supports the History Fairs at the local and state level. The Society also initiated recreational fencing programs in two counties and supported the Calvert High School Pipe Band, one of only two high school pipe bands in Maryland.
The Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland is by far the most visible educational effort of the Celtic Society, bringing together over 12,000 people annually for an entire day of music, dance, living history, demonstrations of crafts, storytelling and learning sharing.
Celtic culture is now being passed on as those who started the Society and the Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland provide guidance and encouragement to the next two generations of our membership. This membership enthusiastically steps forth to take up the banner to ensure such events remain a permanent fixture in the future of our growing community.
The Celtic Society of Southern Maryland is non-political, and holds no ethnic or other similar requirements. Society events are held at locations that afford access to all individuals.