A 2-Mile Kilt Run will kickoff the 2017 New Jersey Kilt Fest this Saturday.

Kilt Fest NJ, a unique Irish-Scottish-Celtic festival, will kick off with a 2-Mile Kilt Run at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Mercer County Park.

All runners must wear a kilt to participate in the race. However, those wearing pants will be permitted to watch as well as attend the rest of the all day festival and concert.

Kilt Fest is a Celtic Smashup of food, beer and music. There will also be distinctive attractions like a reenacted medieval battle between two armies. Kilt Fest will also feature The American Highlander Highland Games where kilted athletes will compete in various feats of strength culminating in the caber toss where athletes attempt to lift and flip over a 20’ long large log end to end.

Guinness Stout, Rinn Duin Brewing, The Dubliner on the Delaware Pub and Investors Bank will be sponsoring this day of Gaelic culture, the largest festival of its kind in Central New Jersey.

This gathering of clans and Americans of Irish, Scottish, Celtic and Gaelic ancestry along with their friends and families will feature six different Celtic bands on the main stage as well as a children’s entertainer, Richard Stillman who will be playing the pipes, telling stories, and teaching kids about their heritage. Bagpipers will be performing throughout the day as well. The band line-up includes The Druids, a band from Ireland that specializes in traditional and rebel songs, The Skels, Galway Guild, The Birmingham Six and Sean McNally.

In the afternoon, appropriately attired men and women can take part in our Bonnie Legs Kilt Contest. Contestants will be judged by a learned panel of highland experts and rated for their appearance and energy while wearing their kilts. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each category.

Attendees of Kilt Fest can quench their thirst with Guinness or with various local, Celtic craft beers including offerings from Rinn Duin Brewing in Toms River. For hungry Celts and Gaels, various Scottish and Irish delicacies will be available such as haggis, meat pies, fish and chips, Irish stew and scones as well as more traditional American foods such as burgers, dogs, cheese steaks and barbecue.

There is no dress code at Kilt Fest. Pants and Kilts are equally welcome. Tickets are $20 at the gate but are available at a discount online at kiltfestnj.com. Members of the military, police, fire fighters, first responders, teachers, AOH and LAOH members and others receive half price discount admission. Children under 18 pay $5. Parking in Mercer County Park is free.