HOLLAND — The first-ever Waterfront Celtic Festival and Highland Games went off without a hitch last weekend, drawing hundreds to Riverview Park in downtown Holland.
Organizers promised a weekend of entertainment, athletic competition and toe-tapping Celtic tunes on the edge of the Macatawa River — and they delivered.
The festival was co-founded last year by a pair of Holland residents, Craig Rich and Peter Grimm. Rich was an elected official on Holland City Council for almost 30 years, and Grimm is actively involved in Holland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Rich, who has some Irish and Scottish heritage and a longtime passion for Celtic culture, said the festival is for everyone.
“In Holland, we all celebrate everybody’s heritage and everybody’s culture,” he said. “I’ve been going to the Cinco de Mayo celebration for 40 some odd years, and I’ve been a participant in Tulip Time since I was very, very young.
“There’s a lot of non-Dutch people who participate in Tulip Time and there’s a lot of non-Hispanic people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo, so I think anybody can come and celebrate an Irish-Scottish festival without being Irish or Scottish. It’s one more awesome, fun thing that makes Holland an amazing place to live.”
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Organizers celebrated the successful event on Facebook.
“Our first annual Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival and Highland Games was a huge success by every measurement,” the festival posted online. “We learned a lot, and can’t wait to debrief and begin planning for 2023.”

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