Ceremonies at the Festival

Celebrating Australian Celts and their contributions to our nation

The Australian Standing Stones Management Board (ASSMB) organises and facilitates several hallmark ceremonies held at the festival and in Glen Innes, helping make the festival a unique celebration of Australian Celts and their contributions to our nation.

You can visit the ASSMB marquee on Saturday and Sunday near East Stone to say hello, ask a question, or find out about their role.

Festival Program Highlights

Check the program for confirmed timings and locations of the below.

Friday 3 May in Town Square, Glen Innes

Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony marks the official opening of the 2024 Australian Celtic Festival acknowledging Ireland and the Isle of Man and includes the lighting of the Friendship of the Flame, which symbolises the rekindling of old and new acquaintances in the Glen Innes Highlands. International performers, Gerry O’Connor from Ireland and Elizabeth Davidson-Blythe & Daniel Quayle from the Isle of Man will be a feature.

Saturday 4 May at The Australian Standing Stones

Dawn Flag Raising
The Lone Piper amongst the Stones begins the day with the evocative call of the pipes. Celtic Circle Dance will join the piper in their interpretation of Manx folklore – Hunt the Wren. The piper will lead all to Tynwald Hill for the Dawn Flag Raising. Celtic Nations representatives will raise their respective flags lead by Consul General for Ireland in Sydney, Rosie Keane.

Celtic Family Wall Ceremony 
The Celtic Family Wall is home to many stones from around the Celtic world and acknowledges new and ancient Clan lands in addition to Celtic family connections throughout Australia and overseas. In 2024, 4 plaques and stones will be unveiled with donors present.

Your Celtic family heritage can be included in the Celtic Family Wall display. Visit the Australian Standing Stones Management Board marquee near East Stone to find out more and pick up an application form. This is your way to be a part of the Australian Standing Stones commemoration of Celtic Heritage. 

Rock of Remembrance Ceremony
This ceremony acknowledges those who have passed who contributed significantly to the Australian Standing Stones project in the late 1980s and the growth and ongoing support of the Australian Celtic Festival. In 2024, 2 plaques will be unveiled.

Guardians’ Ceremony 
At the time of the inauguration of the Stones in 1992, a select group of people were appointed as Guardians’ of the Australian Standing Stones to ensure the preservation of the ongoing integrity of the Stones and the protocols around Australia’s National Monument to Celtic heritage.

Sunday 5 May at The Australian Standing Stones

Celtic Nations Ceremonies
Conducted by the communities, societies, and clans, which include:

  • Welsh Ceremony
  • Irish Ceremony
  • Manx & Breton
  • Cornish Ceremony
  • Scottish Ceremony

Kirkin’ of the Tartan
This ceremony provides an opportunity for anyone present to place their tartan on the official table for it to be acknowledged and given a Celtic blessing. Information is given about specific tartans including the beautiful Glen Innes tartan and those of Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Closing Ceremony
The formal conclusion of the 2024 Australian Celtic Festival. After the ceremonial lowering of the flags, the flags of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales will be presented to the Mayor who will pass them on to representatives of those nations acknowledging the featured nations of the 2025 festival.

Check out what else is happening at the festival

Check out what else is happening around town

Whilst the main festival event is held over two days at the Australian Standing Stones National Celtic Monument, additional festival fringe events are held at other locations around Glen Innes Highlands, many of which are free!

Local businesses also organise and host their own events, contributing to the festival atmosphere around town for our locals and visitors.

Find out more via the links below!