When Marcus and Margaret Daly created the Riverside estate with the Daly Mansion as centerpiece, they probably didn't think that an annual Celtic Games and Gathering would be part of the activities under the trees. I'd think that they probably would've been proud of it. Marcus, with his deep Irish roots, surely would've been part of the ceremonies.

Again this year, the Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering takes over the Daly Mansion grounds Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and August 19. Ken Shultz said that those attending should park at Hamilton High School's parking lot and get a free five-minute ride on the buses that will be going back and forth between and the mansion and the high school both days. The Highland dance competition begins Saturday at about 9:30 a.m. and the Grand Entry of clans, bands and athletes will be at 1 p.m. with opening ceremonies, introduction of clans, invocation and the welcoming address. Throughout the day Saturday, the SAAA-sanctioned games will be conducted, including the caber toss and more. Music by the Harp Twins, Top House, the Celtic Martins, Brother Angus and more. Saturday evening's Ceilidh (a traditional social gathering in the dance tent) starts at 7 p.m.

Sunday, junior and children's athletic events start around 10 a.m. Also, there will be herding demonstrations. Some special fun competitions are planned - bonnie knees, beards and braids, skillet toss and tug o'war. Sunday's Grand Parade will be at 1 p.m. and athletic demonstrations throughout the day. Gates will close at 4:45 p.m.

The weekend festival features many different foods. My favorite is the authentic Butte pasties served by the Daly Mansion volunteers on the mansion porch. By the way, guided tours of the mansion are happening both days of the festival. All sorts of information is online at the Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering website.