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Welcome to Berea, Kentucky

and to our 14th Celtic Fest and Gathering.  

August 17-18-19-20, 2023

Sune Frederiksen, Coordinator

Folk Circle Association

859-248-0690 - sune . ky at

"I love your festival, all the people there, and the gentle, loving spirit of the event".

Francis Cunningham, Nashville, TN. 06/25/21.

"Always a lovely, low key event".

Kathy Tully Schneider, Cincinnati, OH 04/06/22.

"So stoked".

Mark Rosenthal, Louisville, KY 08/02/22.

"What a special gathering .... "

Karl Wohlwend, Columbus, OH 8/24/22

Contributions may be sent to:

Berea Celtic Fest, PO Box 817, Berea, KY 40403.

BECOME a Berea Celtic Festival FACEBOOK FRIEND.

1000+ members. It's worth it. 

 ​2022 Program 

Thursday, August 18 

Honeysuckle Dining at Churchill

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Opening night of the 13th Berea Celtic Fest featuring regional and local musicians, readers and singers.  Including Randy Clepper and John Sherman, The Missing Goats, Kelly Caldwell, John Skelton, A.J. and Liza.

Host: Chip Bailey. 

Sound: Kelly Caldwell, Howard Carlberg.

Co-partner: Dee West, Honeysuckle. 

Admission: Donations.    Food and cash bar.     Doors will open at 5:00 PM. 

Friday, August 19

Kentucky Artisan Center

1:00 - 2:00 PM: The Missing Goats.

Russel Acton Folk Center, 212 Jefferson Street

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM: Concert - Excellent Celtic music from Ohio, Kentucky, N. Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi.  

Admission: FREE.   Donations accepted. 

Doors will open at 6:00 PM. 

Sound: Jeremy Wade.

10:00 PM - midnight: Session for musicians. 

Saturday, August 20

Berea Farmers Market, 428 Chestnut St.

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Session hosted by Turlach Boylan and Eddie Jones. Donations.

Corner of Hwy 25 S and Chestnut St. 

Kentucky Artisan Center

1:00 - 2 :00 PM: Mrs Doyle  (Jannell, Cathy and Mark) of Louisville.  

Boone Tavern  Event Center, 100 Main Street

1:00 - 1:45 PM: "Modern Traditional Celtic Music" - Dogwood Road (Karl/Tyler).

1:50 - 2:20 PM: "Love, Laughter and Lament Irish songs" - Kathy Tully Schneider .

2:30 - 3:15 PM:  "Bagpipes"- John Skelton. 

3:25 - 4:10 PM: "Renaissance Celtic Music" - Na Skylark (Lorinda, Cathy, Jannelle).

4:15 - 5:00 PM: "Song Circle" - Mark Rosenthal - songs and bouzouki tunes of Ireland. 

Tickets $5 and up.

Madison Co. Public Library, Berea branch

2:00 PM: Family friendly presentation of instruments from the Celtic tradition - Rebecca Baumbach and Skip Cleavinger. Free.

Union Church community room. 

1:30 - 3:00 PM: Bodhran workshop hosted by Jeremy Wade.

3:30 - 4:45 PM: Irish step dancing hosted by Amelia Gardiner.

Donations, please.

5:45 - 7:00 PM: Free supper for volunteers and musicians.

Boone Tavern Garden, Sessions

12:00 - 1:00 PM:   Randy Clepper and John Sherman.

1:00  -  2:00 PM:   Jeni Balcom and Friends.

2:00  -  3:00 PM:   Bella Issakova and Russell Hopper.

3:00  -  3:50 PM:   Dogwood Road.

3:50  -  4:30 PM:   Turlach Boylan and Eddie Edwards. 

Boone Tavern patio

4:30 - 5:30 PM: Nashville gang leads the session.

Union Church Lawn

7:00 - 7:30 PM: Na Skylark

Boone Tavern Event Center, 100 Main Street

7:30 - 9:45 PM: Gala Concert

featuring Skip Cleavinger/Rebecca Baumbach, Dogwood Road, Jeni Balcom/Justin Bridges, Randy Clepper/John Sherman, Turlach Boylan/Eddie Jones, Bella Issakova, John Skelton, Mrs Doyle, Jeremy Wade, Kathy Tully Schneider, McTeggart Irish Dancers, and more.  

Sound support: Jason Herrera.

Admission: $20, students $5. Kids under twelve free.

10:00 PM - 2:00 AM: Honeysuckle Restaurant, Churchill.

Session for musicians, roadies and volunteers only. 

For the Saturday workshops and presentations, we would like the audiences to donate on a sliding scale from $3 and up. 

Sunday, August 21

Union Church

10:30 AM: Celtic/Irish inspired service w/Jeni Balcom on Irish harp.

Hotel Boone Tavern

12:15 PM: Jeni Balcom on Irish harp at the Boone Tavern brunch.

Kentucky Artisan Center 

1:00 - 2:00 PM: Clepper/Sherman.

Hotel Boone Tavern

7:00 PM - 8:45 PM: A Celtic evening: Irish Beef Stew and Celtic music, Clepper and Sherman. Dinner begins at 5:30 PM. $50.

Concert tickets will be sold separately at the door. Reservations, call Boone Tavern at 859-985-3700 or use EventBrite.


Health information: 

The Folk Circle Association encourages everyone to use common sense, if you want to participate in Berea Celtic Fest and Gathering.

If you are sick or feeling sick, please do not attend our events. Especially, if your sickness can be carried over from one person to another. Use mask in doubt.

Personally, I've had my second booster shot, but it is not mandatory to have been vaccinated. 

Remember that we need to take care of one another in one way or another. 

​Sune Frederiksen

Hotel Boone Tavern

Group Code: 232324 in Group ID.

Double/double $95.00 + tax. Standard 12 Queen $109.00 + tax, Standard King $119.00 + tax.

Prices do NOT include breakfast. Phone: 859-985-3700.

Holiday Inn Express

219 Paint Lick Road (I-75, Exit 76)

Phone: 859-985-5500.

Includes nice breakfast and indoor pool.

No agreement has been reached this year,

Quality Inn

365 Peggy Flats Road, Berea. Exit 77. 

Phone: 859-986-9627

$72.00 per night + tax. 2-bed room. 

Includes comp. breakfast and indoor pool.

Code: Berea Celtic Fest

Red Roof Inn

196 Prince Royal Drive.  Exit 76.

Phone: 859-985-8000. 

1-2 persons in each room: $69.00 + tax.

Group code: Sune special rate.

 Outdoor pool,

Pet friendly ($10 per pet per night).




Other motels, B&Bs available as well. Contact Berea Tourism.

Beanie Odell and

Vincent Fogerty,

have moved to Ireland . Both have participated in previous Berea events several times with great success and enthusiasm. 

Together they are the Red Wellies.

Not only is Berea known as the "Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky", but this quaint little town located right on I-75 where the Bluegrass meets the Appalachian is like a bee hive filled with dance and live music with the beautiful Berea College campus right in the center of town.

Berea is the hometown of The McLain Family Band, balladeer Robert Tincher, Christmas Country Dance School, Hands Four Spring Dance Weekend, several arts and crafts events, dulcimer maker Warren A. May, and a bunch of wonderful musicians such as Donna and Lewis Lamb, Al and Alice White, Kelly Caldwell, AJ and Liza DiSavino, The New Coon Creek Girls, J.P. Pennington of Exile, and Randall Conn and his bluegrass friends. Even the Judds and folk queen Jean Richie lived here. Beverly Buchanan graduated from Berea College.

The famous Renfro Valley and The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame are located only 15 miles from Berea in Rockcastle Co.

We are very content with our 2022 Celtic gathering, which was filled with good solid educational components, great quality music and dance from the Isles across the pond. The area around Berea was mainly settled by the Scots and Irish, so we feel a strong connection.

Let the chemistry work!

In recent decades our region has attracted dozens of quality musicians - both native-Irish and American-born - who have dedicated themselves towards developing an approach to "Celtic" music that might be described as "pure drop". The musicians developed the skills - within their heart and hands - that allow them to readily assimilate their playing into more established musical circles, such as those found in Chicago, St. Louis and in several cities in the East. Vibrant "pure drop" teaching traditions have sprung up in nearby Cincinnati, Asheville, Knoxville and more recently Kansas City.

The Berea Celtic Festival brings together some of the primary carriers of this emerging regionwide scene and presents the music via informal, accessible, collaborative workshops and sessions. In many cases the music will be complimented by skilled dance enthusiasts thus completing the energetic circle that is ceol agus rince - i.e. the music and the dance.

No such scene would be complete unless ample opportunity was granted to various ballad traditions that have sprung from The Isles - be assured that you will find ample opportunity to both singing and to listen throughout the festival weekend.

Please join and aid us continue a going-forward tradition by supporting this annual 

Berea Celtic Fest and Gathering.

See list of partners on the last page.

Justin Bridges and Jeremy Wade aka Set Course, known all over the Ohio Valley region for their traditional Irish music and support of the Celtic tradition. Really appreciate their continuous support of the gathering in Berea. Come enjoy the bodhran, fiddle and nyckelharpa. 

Tim Benson from Rochester, NY brought much quality and enthusiasm to Berea Center for the Arts at the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 gatherings. So did Cathy Wilde from Louisville. 

Irish harpist Jeni Balcom of Cincinnati John Skelton of Mercer Co. on flute, and Larry Green of Bardstown on fiddle.

Jeni has graciously participated many times. She is the recipient of the 2019 Musicians Award.

Turlach Boylan, Kansas City, KS/N. Ireland, Four Leaf Peat, Knoxville, TN. Eddie Jones, Kansas, Skip Cleavinger and Rebecca Baumbach, Bowling Green, KY, Jeremy Wade, Lexington, KY, Jil Chambless and Dan Vogt, Tuscaloosa, AL, Don Penzien, Raleigh, NC, Davey Mathias and Andi Hearn, Columbia, SC, Russell Hopper, Greenville, NC, and Herb Williams, Norris, TN, Frances Cunningham, Nashville, TN, Doug Mast, Cincinnati, OH.

List of partners

on the last page.

Rus​sel Acton Folk Center on Jefferson Street. This lovely log building is inspired by a Danish village community center and built in 1984. 

This is also the home of

The Folk Circle Association of Berea.


Hotel Boone Tavern at College Square is a Berea Flagship owned by

 Berea College.

Many of our musicians and friends stay

here during the Berea Celtic Festival.

John Skelton, originally from London, UK now Mercer Co., KY has over the years thrilled the audience in Berea with his top-notch bagpipe and flute presentations and exciting stage appearances.  

Four Leaf Peat of Knoxville, TN

provides great reels and jigs. 

Tune Junkie Celtic Weekend in Oak Ridge is coordinated by Chad Beauchaine  and Jason Herrera.

The Music Makers, Inc. is an instrument store and recording studio located on N. Broadway in Old Town, Berea. Also known for small concerts and music lessons.

Owners are Randall Conn and Danny Barnes, both sought-after bluegrass musicians, with numerous appearences at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Renfro Valley and WoodSongs. Great soundmen as well.

Phone: 986-3616. See MySpace.

Festival coordinator:

Sune Frederiksen

The Folk Circle Association of Berea

Artistic and sound advisors:

Various musicians, Chip Bailey, Jeremy Wade, Jason Herrera, Howard Carlberg, Kelly Caldwell.

Community partners:

Berea Tourism,  Folk Circle Association and  Madison County Public Libraries.


Sune Frederiksen, Chip Bailey, Laura Bost, John Coyne, Howard Carlberg, Peggy Coyne, Kelly Caldwell, Jeremy Wade.

Website, photos and text:

Sune Frederiksen

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