Middle Tennesseans have the opportunity to celebrate the vivid culture of the Celtic people at the third annual Middle Tennessee Highland Games and Celtic Festival on Sat., Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. The family-friendly event features a variety of athletic games, craft vendors and performances, all honoring the Celtic heritage with the theme “Year of the Athlete.” The festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. with the Scottish Heavy Athletic Clinic.

Some highlights for the festival include:

Family Fun – The kids’ zone where children can experience the “Year of the Athlete” first hand at miniature athletics, such as their own age appropriate caber toss and other sports

-A Celtic centered craft area (make your own sporran) and Celtic themed photo spots

-A Passport program where each child receives a passport and travels the Celtic clans receiving stamps or stickers while engaging with the clans and their history.

Demonstrations- Watch the weavers or the sheep dogs in action.

The 2017 Middle Tennessee Highland Games return to the Hermitage on Sept. 9. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE HIGHLAND GAMES

 Entertainment – Stages that feature music and dance with young performers

-Highland dancers from ages 4 and up with free mini instruction for those inclined

-Various music bands performing traditional and modern Celtic music including Fiddle Frenzy composed completely of young fiddlers.

-Bands for Mom and Dad include Nosey Flynn, Barrenhart, Nashville Celts, Secret Commonwealth, Colin Grant Adams and The Get Reels.

Vendors – Dozens of art, food and beer vendors will be on-site for guests to enjoy including booths geared toward children’s interests.

Culture – Explore your Celtic background or history while learning about different family clans’ heritage.

Athletics – Male and female athletes will compete in the stone put, caber toss, sheaf toss and hammer throw. Braidy Miller, world record holder for the caber toss and local middle school teacher, will provide demonstrations.

The 2017 theme for the Celtic Festival is “Year of the Athlete.” PHOTO COURTESY OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE HIGHLAND GAMES

 Ticketing information:

-Pre-purchased tickets to the games begin at $13 for adults and $5 for children and active or retired military personnel. For a small additional fee, guests may add The Hermitage to their ticket to visit the Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm exhibit.

-Day-of tickets to the Games are $15 for adults and $7 for children and active or retired military.

-Tickets to the Scottish Heavy Athletic Clinic on Friday, Sept. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. will include training and safety techniques. Beginners and experienced athletes are welcome to attend. These tickets are available from the Middle Tennessee Highland Games website.

-Visitors to the games and festival may bring lawn chairs to enjoy a fun-filled day of music and culture.

-Dogs on leashes are also welcome.

A portion of all ticket proceeds for this event will benefit Operation Restored Warrior, a not-for-profit organization that helps soldiers re-enter life after returning home from combat.