The ultimate Celtic Party

On March 11-17, many of the greatest Celtic musicians, artists and poets from Ireland, Spain, and the U.S. will converge on the wonderfully romantic city of St. Augustine, Florida, for the Celtic Music and Arts Festival. The week-long festival will arguably be the finest international collaboration of Celtic music and art ever seen in the United States. Following exciting weekend concerts, day-long festivities will continue throughout the week.

Celtic masters will present traditional pub music sessions, contemporary and classical musical performances, workshops, dancing, storytelling, good humor, and lots of good food – all of which will culminate with the ultimate Celtic Party -- St. Patrick's Day. The celebration will include a St. Patrick's Day Parade beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12.

St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, was founded by don Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565. Appropriately, the festival headliner is Hevia -- from Aviles, the hometown of the city's founder and the heart of Celtic Spain. The band Hevia is a Spanish Celtic phenomenon. Jose Angel Hevia has become an international sensation, revolutionizing popular music with his midi bagpipe and selling 2.5 million albums worldwide.

The festival will also feature Ireland's own Four Men & A Dog, Benny O'Carroll's Traditional All Ireland Band, Dublin City Ramblers, Timmy "The Brit" McCarthy, Sean Murphy and Patrick Coldrick. Outstanding American Celtic entertainers from New York and Florida will also perform.

These include Black 47, Derek Coghlan, Michael Funge, 7 Nations, Rathkeltair and The Wobbly Toms.

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To purchase tickets or to view a complete schedule of performers, visit www.romanzafl.org.

Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville on Florida's Historic Coast, St. Augustine offers authentic Old World charm, Spanish Renaissance architecture, 42 miles of beaches, world-renowned hotels, charming bed and breakfast inns, fine dining, and history on every street corner. The city features 60 attractions, 34 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and America's first National Monument -- the Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish fortress that has guarded St. Augustine and Matanzas Bay since 1672.

For details on lodging, dining, attractions and more on Florida's Historic Coast, visit www.floridashistoriccoast.com.

The driving distance from Atlanta to St. Augustine, Florida is 386 miles.

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

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