Heritage runs deep for the Ferguson family.
Strongly connected to their clan history and lineage with father, William “Buckey” Ferguson, and sons, Timothy and David Ferguson have spent their free time participating in Celtic and Scottish Festivals across the entire East Coast. We’re happy to announce that their proud heritage has led to the creation of Randolph County’s newest annual festival—the West Virginia Wild and Wonderful Celtic Festival and Highland Games.
Timothy Ferguson, President of the West Virginia Wild and Wonderful Celtic Festival sat down with us to discuss what’s to come with this exciting, cultural festival. We can assure you, this jam-packed day will be one you don’t want to miss!
Elkins-Randolph County Tourism: Can you give us some background on the WV Wild and Wonderful Celtic Festival and Highland Games? When and where does the Festival take place?
Timothy: The Festival will take place on June 17th at Camp Pioneer, in Beverly, West Virginia. There will be many activities going on, but the bulk of the schedule will be from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm.
✔️ The Highland Games and the 5K race kick off at 8am (if you haven’t registered for the 5K, make sure you arrive before 8am to do so).
✔️ The Clan Village opens up at 9:00 am and most vendors will be open and ready to welcome attendees.
Elkins-Randolph County Tourism: What inspired the Festival and why is Randolph County the perfect place for it?
Timothy: When attending Bridgeport, West Virginia’s Scottish Festival and Celtic Gathering in 2013, we noticed the Ferguson clan wasn’t represented— we were definitely disappointed, yet determined to represent and share the Ferguson Clan history. The next year, Ferguson had a clan tent and so began our tradition of representing the Ferguson clan at festivals all over the East Coast, from New York to North Carolina.
When Bridgeport announced the end of their annual festival, we (my father, brother and I) wanted to make sure West Virginia had a similar event for people to learn more about Celtic and Scottish history, and celebrate the unique culture and heritage.
We began working on this year’s Festival well over a year ago, and we selected Camp Pioneer because of the amenities and lodging options. They’ve been inviting hosts and are excited to bring this event to the region.
Randolph County is the perfect region for this Festival and the amount of Celtic heritage has a bigger footprint in West Virginia than people think—Beverly, Elkins, and Helvetia included. There is a large percentage of Irish and Scottish descendants in this state and what they don’t know is that their ancestors helped build highways and tunneled for coal, introducing West Virginia to the coal industry. West Virginia, especially the Mountain Highlands, had many similarities to their homeland, which made this an attractive place to settle.
Elkins-Randolph County Tourism: What can festival goers expect throughout the day? What activities will take place?
Timothy: There will be something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be the nationally sanctioned Highland Games with professional athletes, a very rare adaptive class for handicapped athletes along with an amateur class for our locals to participate, the largest Clan Village ever assembled in West Virginia, Celtic crafts, authentic food and beer garden, sheep herding demonstrations, bagpipes, live music and storytelling, and even Highland Cattle!
• Clan Village – Visit each tent to learn about clan history, heritage, and lineage. Each clan has subject matter experts who have studied the clan’s heritage and ancestors— You can learn more about the smaller sects of clans as well. So far we have 18 clan tents for festival goers to explore and learn more about clan history and their own heritage.
• Celtic Food & Beverages – Savor authentic favorites including Shepherds Pie, Bangers and Mash, Scotch Eggs, and Turkey Legs. And a Celtic Festival wouldn’t be complete without a Beer Garden—Enjoy your favorite Irish and Scottish beers and refreshments.
• Traditional Music & Dance – We’re excited to have 4 pipe and drum bands, including the West Virginia Highlanders from Davis and Elkins College. These bands will be scattered throughout the festival so everyone will be able to hear traditional music during the day. In addition, six bands will play a variety of rock and folk tunes, along with storytellers. Also from Davis and Elkins College will be the Highland Dancers, and we will have Irish Dancing and Appalachian Clogging for spectators.
• Highland Games – Take in this high-caliber nationally sanctioned Games with a professional and amateur class, with events including the Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, Hammer Throw, and more!
• Authentic Celtic Merchandisers – Purchase a traditional tartan or kilt, arts, crafts, and jewelry, forged weapons such as swords, knives, and shields, and even kids’ toys including foam swords.
• Kids Activities – We will have the world’s fastest cartoonist offering free drawings, arts and crafts, face painting, and popular games like Catch a Nessie, a $100 4-Leaf Clover Hunt, and a tug of war competition— Kids vs the Highland Games professional athletes.
• Kilted 5K Race – This will take place on the property at Camp Pioneer around the Festival grounds. If you run in costume or a kilt, you’ll get a discount!
• Cultural Demonstrations – Watch sheepherding demonstrations with Scottish collies, blacksmithing demos, and get up close and meet Highland cattle and sheep!
• Parade of the Clans– Parade of the Clans is a traditional occurrence where each clan is announced before the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and will include a salute and tribute to our troops and heroes.
An important reminder for festival goers! Everyone is encouraged to show up in Scottish/Celtic/British garb. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes!
Elkins-Randolph County Tourism: How much are tickets and how are they purchased?
Timothy: You can purchase tickets in advance for $10—this is a $5 discount for those buying early.
These are festival day prices at the gate:
➡️ $15 at the gate for Adults
➡️ $10 for Seniors and Children 10 and under, and First Responders, Military with id
➡️ FREE for children under 3
➡️ Large family and group passes available
➡️ FREE for any First Responders on duty in uniform
Elkins-Randolph County Tourism: We’re so excited to attend this year’s festival! What is your vision for the future of the West Virginia Wild and Wonderful Celtic Festival and Highland Games?
Timothy: Each year we hope to get bigger and better, with well-known bands, and more activities for participants to enjoy. This Festival is a vision of my father, William Buckey Ferguson, and we want to make this a unique and eye-opening experience for everyone who comes out for the day. In the future, we’d like to make this a 2-day festival and keep growing.
We’re excited to see a flurry of tartan plaids, the Highlands Games competition, delicious food and drink offerings, lively music and traditional dance, and the clamor of bagpipe bands come to our West Virginia mountains.
So put on your kilt and stay for the day—or make it a weekend getaway.
Randolph County has plenty of other activities to take in before or after the Celtic Festival. Need a place to stay? Festival goers can receive special rates and discounts at these participating hotels:
✔️ Hampton Inn Elkins
✔️ Iron Road Inn in Elkins
Randolph County has a variety of secluded cabins, downtown homes, and historic hotels to stay the night. Browse our unique accommodations now!
Connect with the West Virginia Wild and Wonderful Celtic Festival and Highland Games on Facebook or check out their website.