WINCHESTER – Old Town Winchester’s third annual St. Paddy’s Celtic Fest will be held on the downtown walking mall Saturday to celebrate the community’s Irish and Scottish cultural roots.

Downtown manager Jennifer Bell said the festival was created to encourage year-round attendance on the mall, something they’re striving to promote through yearly events.

“Old Town businesses really wanted to see something in the off-season that would support and draw attention to the mall. But most importantly, we love having these types of events, as they bring the community together.”

The festival kicks off at noon Saturday with “Capital Celtic” performing at Bright Box Theater. Bell said there will be plenty of Irish and Scottish music as well as Irish dancing.

Other musical performances include “Lilt,” an Irish duo band that will perform at The George Washington Hotel Half Note Lounge at 2 p.m., “Emily Martin and Friends” at Brewbakers Restaurant at 3 p.m. and “Merlin’s Beard Band” at Winchester Brew Works at 5 p.m.

Activities include the Armstrong Irish Dance Studio performance at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., the Winchester SPCA Celtic games and a photo booth full of props. Irish dancers, balloon artists, and bagpipers will also be visiting many of the Old Town shops and restaurants throughout the festival.

A portion of food and beverage sales at participating venues will be donated to the event’s nonprofit partner, the Winchester SPCA.

Magic Lantern and the Handley Library are co-sponsoring a noon showing of the 2007 film, “Once,” a romantic Irish musical.

New to this year’s event, festivalgoers will be able to participate in a free scavenger hunt using their smartphones through the Old Town Winchester Traipse app. Clues will be posted both inside and outside of businesses.

“The top 50 participants to complete the hunt will receive a free Old Town tote bag,” Bell said. “Plus, they’ll be entered into a raffle for a gift certificate.”

Bell also added that at 11:30 a.m. students from John Kerr Elementary will be on the walking mall performing songs from their upcoming performance of “Music Man.”

If You Go

Cost: Free. Weather permitting, some activities may be moved inside.

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