Kilt O' The Falls 2017

Kilt up! June 10th, 2017, will see the return of the Kilt O' the Falls Celtic Festival. Last year's inaugural festival saw success with over 800 attendees and $500 raised for the Scottish Rite Language Program. This year's festival at Giant Springs Heritage Park hopes to surpass those numbers by welcoming faces new and old. Among the new are musical guests Montana Shamrockers, Queen Mab, and Joe Ryan. Thorns Among Roses will be returning to play again this year.

Also returning is the Montana Scottish American Athletic Association (MSAAA), with co-founder Garrett Middleton once again running the Highland Games. Like last year's Black Sheep games, all are welcome to register and learn, but this year's events are Sanctioned, meaning members of the MSAAA will have their scores count toward their national ranking. Middleton himself will be competing in the Lightweight National Championships this year, where the top three contestants will be invited to the 2017 World Highland Game Championships where last year, he placed third.

Middleton won't be the only one returning who has traveled out of country for his Scottish craft. Jesse Callender, founder of the Montana Pipers Society, has competed in the USA, Canada, and Scotland. The Grade 1 piper passes on his piping knowledge every Thursday at the Scottish Rite Language Center and founded the Montana Bagpipers Society, which returns this year to run the bagpipe competition at the Kilt O' the Falls Festival.

There will be two goodbyes this year, as the Honored Clan, Clan Gregor, sees the retirement of Clan Representatives Gus and Janet Gustuson. The Gustusons have spent years sharing the history of the clan, from Rob Roy to the brutal history behind the long list of surnames Gregors hid behind. They pass the reins to Tim and Pamella Stoddard, adding two more to the list of Great Falls natives that will be in attendance representing their clans, which will include Davidson, Campbell, MacKenzie, Cian, Gordon, and Henderson.

So whether you're old or new, come out and watch the cabers fly while the bagpipes call from 9-5:30. Admission is $5, but bring a little extra for vendors of food, drink, and souvenirs. Parking is available on the right side of the street and in the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, where the Great Falls Historic Trolley will be waiting to ferry attendees to the site. The years event is made possible by donations from Great Falls Tourism Board, Lithia Great Falls, Napa, Cherry Creek Radio, Pepsi Great Falls, Super 1, and City Brew, but it won't be a success without you.


Burn's Night Returns

Kilt o’ the Falls Celtic Society will host a celebration of Scottish culture with the return of Burn’s Night. The second annual event will be held at the Celtic Cowboy (116 1st Ave S ) Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at 7:00 pm.  The dinner features Haggis, bagpipes and poetry. Tickets are $25. Purchase tickets here.

The meal features a choice of, Haggis, Chili and Sandwich bar, Bangers, as well as various sides. A no host bar is available as well as a silent auction. Proceeds from the event support the 2017 Kilt o’ the Falls Celtic Festival.

Burn’s nights have been held worldwide since 1801. The celebrations began as a memorial to Scottish poet Robert Burns. The 2016 Burns night was a standing room only event.  

The group held a highly successful festival and highland games in August. More than 800 People attended the inaugural event. The society recently made a $500 donation to Great Falls Scottish Rite from funds raised at the festival. The festival will return June 10th, 2017.

For additional information, visit or contact Nikolas Asmussen at or by phone at (406) 564-6005


Celtic heritage day coming to Great Falls. (Press release)

Kilt o’ the Falls event is the first of its kind in Great Falls featuring kilts, bagpipes and Highland Games. 

GREAT FALLS, Mont. ­ Three local residents are spearheading a celtic heritage celebration in Great Falls this summer. Organizers Tim Stoddard, Paul Skinner and Nancy Knapp decided to bring a festival to Great Falls after participating in several similar events in other cities.

“We felt there was a need to have a festival in Great Falls,” said Stoddard. “It is a central location and Montana has many people with Scottish or Irish heritage.”

The Kilt o’ the Falls Celtic Festival will be held Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Scottish Rite grounds (1304 13th Street South) in Great Falls. The free, one­ day event will celebrate the culture of the Celtic nations with highland games and other heritage displays.

The festival will feature a “black sheep” (unsanctioned) highland games including the caber toss, stone put, Scottish hammer throw, and sheaf toss. Additional entertainment will be announced at a later date.

The group held a traditional Burns night dinner Jan. 23th featuring traditional music and food. Approximately 200 people attended the event, raising more than $700 to support the festival. Individuals interested in vending or volunteering should visit for more information. The deadline to signup is July 16.

For additional information, contact Nikolas Asmussen at or by phone at (406) 564­6005

Download press release as a PDF.

Download high res promotional photos: Photo 1 - Photo 2 - Photo index with captions