Samhain Celtic New Year Festival returns Saturday

Salem’s annual Samhain Celtic New Year Festival is returning in-person Saturday after two years of celebrating virtually.

The festival is slated for Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. S.E., according to a press release.

Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter in Gaelic culture. It traditionally takes place on Nov. 1. 

Festivities include live music and dancing, with Portland-based Irish band Biddy on the Bench headlining. The band will also be teaching workshops on uilleann pipes, Irish fiddle and shanty singing. 

Vendors will be selling Celtic food and wares. Family activities include crafts, storytelling and kid-sized highland games.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 12. 

Salem nonprofit Céilí of the Valley Society organizes the festival. Additional information about the event is available online.

Attendees perform Ceili dancing at the 2018 Samhain Festival (Samhain Celtic New Year Festival)

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.