Questions You Have Asked - or would like to

Each year we get asked many questions about the festival do's and don'ts, from guests, musicians, vendors and even our own volunteers and managers. This year we have added this page of frequently asked questions, or more importantly, frequently given answers, to help everyone.

Who produces the festival?

This Cowtown Celtic Festival is produced by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, a 501(c)3 Corporation based in Dallas, TX. Membership in the SCMA is open to anyone and full details can be found on the SCMA web site. Special note: SCMA members get discounts to all events, including the world famous NTIF, so why not become a member?

When was the festival started?

This is the first year of the Cowtown Celtic Festival. However the North Texas Irish Festival started life on March 5, 1983, at Nick Farrelly's Lounge on Oak Lawn (now Pappadeaux Seafood).

The SCMA was incorporated in 1984.

Do I need to bring my own lawn chair?

There is plenty of seating available at all stages - up to 750 at the larger stages. Around the food courts there are both tables and chairs for visitors to use.

What hours are you open?

The festival will be open during the following hours: (Changed slightly)

     Saturday from  10:30 am till 10:00 pm
     Sunday from 11:30 am till 7:00 pm

Can I bring my dog to the festival?

Sorry, the Will Rogers complex is not suitable for dogs.

Correction - dogs are permitted. This was a misunderstanding with the facilities management. Dogs will be allowed in the buildings as long as they are always on a leash and their owners clean up after them. Sorry for the confusion.

Can I wear my kilt?

Well, without it you may embarrass the ladies! Yes, you may wear your kilt, your renaissance garb, your ethnic costume or whatever else you wish. In fact we encourage you to get into the spirit of the event. We do ask, however, that you dress tastefully and not "expose" more than you need to. Gentlemen in kilts especially, watch for those strong October winds!

Knives and guns

Knives and guns will NOT be permitted inside the festival grounds. This includes swords and long knives worn as part of the ethnic dress. A small Sgian Dhub is acceptable. (If you don't know what that is you shouldn't have one!) All dress weapons must be "peace tied". Knives and swords may be purchased at certain authorized booths under the strict conditions posted at the booth.

Can I bring my own food?

Sorry, no. Since we charge a small fortune to our food vendors for allowing them to serve a wide variety of excellent food and wide selection of beverages throughout the festival, we do ask you not to bring your own food in. Prices are reasonable, considering the taxes and fees that we have to pay, and the variety is exceptional. Due to TABC regulations alcohol may never be brought into or taken out of the festival. We reserve the right to inspect all coolers and other carriers.

Is the festival handicap accessible?

Yes. There are small ramps at many locations to assist you getting up the curb, plus we have additional gates where our security staff can assist. Once inside the grounds almost everything is on one flat surface.

Can I buy tickets online?

Yes. Tickets are now on sale on this web site. Just one click away.

Do you take credit cards?

The SCMA accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover only, for admission to the festival and for purchases made at the Performer Products and SCMA booths. Many of the vendors take various credit cards, but check with them first to avoid being disappointed.

Can I get cash at the festival?

Yes. We have a number of well stocked ATMs at the festival.

Is there close-in parking?

There is ample parking at Will Rogers, and most is fairly close to the festival site. There is a small fee for parking, which is regulated by the CIty of Fort Worth. The SCMA has no control over and receives no income from this fee. There are handicap spaces - ask the parking staff for directions.

What if it rains?

The festival is 90% under cover, and in heated buildings, so the show will go on. If the weather is very uncooperative, certain activities or vendors will be relocated inside the buildings.

Can I take photographs?

Photographs may be taken for personal use only. You may certainly take all the photos you want of the family drinking a Guinness and eating an Irish Stew on the lawns. You may also take photos of the vendors and other activities as long as you obtain permission. You may take a limited number of photos of the musicians as long as you remain away from the stage and do not use flash. If they ask you to stop, please do so. Access to the backstage areas is strictly prohibited.

The making of any kind of audio recording of any of the entertainers is strictly prohibited, and is a violation of the performing rights owned by the musicians and the SCMA.

How do you pronounce Celtic?

When referring to the seven nations, their culture or their music, the word Celtic is pronounced with a hard "C", like Keltic. Only the sports teams, including Glasgow's famous Celtic soccer team, are pronounced with the soft "C", like Seltic.

What are the Celtic Nations?

The seven Celtic nations are at the extreme reaches of the original Roman Empire. They are the regions of Europe that were left unconquered by the Romans during the first Century, due mainly to the fierce resistance put up by the Celts and the relatively inhospitable lands that they occupied. The seven nations are Ireland; Scotland; Wales; the Isle of Man (a small island between England and Ireland); Cornwall (a county in the extreme west of England); Brittany (Peninsula in Northwest  France) and Galicia (a region of northern Spain).

What other festivals might I enjoy?

The SCMA is a member of the International Association of Irish Festival Producers. Members include Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Dublin (Ohio), Kansas City, Long Island, and Cleveland. All of these festivals are worth attending and enjoying a short weekend getaway.

Closer at hand we are good friends of the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games, the Austin Celtic Festival the Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival and the CeltFest Mississippi.

Links to all of these, and other events can be found on our SCMA links page.