About Tartan Day South

Tartan Day South honors the Celtic culture and heritage in South Carolina’s Midlands region. The traditions of the United Kingdom – Ireland, Scotland and England are showcased. The main event is in Cayce at the Historic Columbia Speedway on Saturday. Other free and paid events are held in West Columbia, Cayce and  Lexington. All ages are welcome.
Guests are invited to listen to Celtic music, drum and pipe bands, watch traditional dancing, observe athletes compete in Highland Game events, walk among prized British auto at the car show, discover the various clans and societies, be amazed as dogs herd sheep, birds of prayer or the adventurers can try their hand at ax throwing. An array of food is available onsite. A marketplace showcasing Celtic fabrics, jewelry, ironware and foods.
The event is held to benefit the nonprofit River Alliance, which strives to connect people to our rivers – Broad, Saluda and Congaree – while protecting these bodies of water.

Tartan Day South was conceived by John Banks with the Historic Columbia Speedway and is co-produced by John Banks and Donovan Murray of Celtic Force Enterprises. On behalf of the producers, the owners of Historic Columbia Speedway, The River Alliance and our partners and sponsors, we welcome you to Tartan Day South.

John Banks, left and Donovan Murray
Our Partners

There are no more important members of the Tartan Day South team than our sponsors and municipal partners. Their generous contributions in many ways have made the event into what it is today. While you are at the event and out in the community, please take a moment to thank them for their support.

Guinness and Southern Wine & Spirits of Columbia
10 Year Sponsor

The original partner from day one, Guinness and Southern Wine & Spirits have been great partners with Tartan Day South. Their commitiment when no one else believed has been paramount in the success of this event!

The River Alliance

Just over a decade ago, the Midlands’ Broad, Saluda and Congaree Rivers were an unknown resource. Today, they are the signature of the region and an expanding part of the daily life of the community.

The Three Rivers Greenway was named in the America’s Great Outdoor Initiative 50-state report outlining the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the natural world. The Three Rivers Greenway, one of two projects in the state of South Carolina that are included in the final report, represents what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor recreation jobs across the country.

The River Alliance is the nonprofit organization that makes it all possible. Representing the five local governments of Columbia, West Columbia, Cayce, Lexington and Richland County, The River Alliance’s mission is to connect people to the rivers, making them accessible, yet protected.

Through the work of The River Alliance and its many partners, the rivers have become a stimulus for economic development, an attraction for regional tourism and an opportunity for local residents to enjoy the history, culture and natural surroundings of the Riverbank Region’s three rivers.

Whether you are visiting, strolling along the Greenway, or wanting more information on our other projects, we hope you enjoy what our three cities have to offer. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.

Order of the Flaming Caber

Order of the Flaming Caber originated at Tartan Day South and recognizes those special individuals that have contributed to the promotion of Celtic heritage locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. They have shared their time and energy to help promote and produce Tartan Day South. Through their talents and support, these individuals have helped to establish a strong Celtic presence in the greater Columbia area, and beyond, through service, education and entertainment.

Symbolically the caber represents the strength of the Celtic Nations and the flame represents those that keep the memory of their heritage burning for future generations.

We will honor members of the Order of the Flaming Caber Friday night as part of the Celtic Commotion activities by lighting and tossing a flaming caber (weather permitting). We will induct new member(s) into the Order of the Flaming Caber on Saturday during our opening ceremonies.


Donovan Murray
Tartan Day Co-Founder
1957 - 2022


John Banks with honoree
Scott Wilhide and his wife Beth
Indispensable TDS Volunteer


William McCullough Jr
Palmetto Scottish Country Dancers
Has provided our Wee Games since our begninning


Dr. Bruce Durier
Scottish Genealogists
(pictured with wife, Carolyn)


Edward & Sigrid Judice
of Clan MacIntosh
First Clan to participate at Tartan Day South


Lanny Skinner
Original Member of TDS Team


Paul Gleeson
Council General of Ireland


Charlie Allan
CEO-Clanranald Trust for Scotland


Original Members of
Seven Nations

Celtic Rock Group
Struby | Kirk | Neil | Nick


Elise Parton
Mayor-Cayce, SC

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