Delfino Vineyards had its eighth Celtic Festival on Saturday night with wine, food, local vendors and hours of Celtic music with Celtic instruments in Celtic garb — tartan kilts included.

Jim Delfino said the Celtic Festival is one of the biggest events at the vineyard, so big he was struggling to get people parked.

“We’ve never had this many people (at this event),” Delfino said.

What started as a small group of musicians playing Celtic music at the vineyard in 2009 has evolved into bringing nine-member band, Rovers and Dragons together, with international instrumentalists Kevin Carr and Morgan O’Shaunnessey to perform at the pond’s edge in front of at least 100 people with raffles, Smokey G’s BBQ, and a new addition of several local vendors.

“It’s like a jam session of Celtic music,” Delfino said. “What makes it better is folks come with bagpipes and a nyckelharpa. The instrumentation is very authentic.”

Last year, owners Jim and Terri Delfino cancelled the event because of extreme heat, smoke and Terri Delfino’s surgery scheduled for the same weekend. Terri Delfino said they were excited to bring it back this year and anticipated it being bigger than ever.

“Every year we add a little bit to make it the grand festival we want it to be,” Terri Delfino said. “We have Celtic fare with fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. This year we’re adding several vendors.”

Both Terri and Jim Delfino attributed the success to the existing community excitement around Celtic culture from people like Stanley Roberts from Tiller who has Welsh heritage.

“What’s not to like about it?” Roberts asked. “Maybe it’s in me blood. I love fiddle music. When you blend it in with these other ancient instruments, it’s so fitting and it stirs me.”

Roberts started attending Celtic festivals when he and his wife Carol Cheatham, who has Irish heritage, decided they wanted to have a Celtic wedding. They attend Celtic festivals all over, have friends performing, and even showed up wearing their kilts and tartan wraps.

“It’s been a method for us to enjoy what we already enjoy, but we’ve also made a lot of really cool friends,” Cheatham said. “That’s the true value of it.”

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Janelle Polcyn is the business reporter at the News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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