A very different kind of Halloween weekend is coming up at the end of next month in Newport, prompted by a group that intends to put a little “Celtic” in everything we do. This time the Newport Celtic Festival is putting on a “Kick Up Your Heels” Ceili gathering on the Friday before Halloween. It’s being held at the South Beach Community Center at 3024 SE Ferry Slip Road. The fun and dancing begins at 7pm and is expected to go on for quite a while.
It’s a celebration of the Celtic New Year at their Halloween Ceili, complete with Irish folk music, dancing and dance instruction at this family friendly event.
In a bit of background provided by the festival, “In Ireland, céilí dances are a popular form of folk dancing with groups of dancers moving from one set of partners to the next as the dance progresses. The “Walls of Limerick”, “Siege of Ennis”, and “Haymaker’s Jig”, all examples of this style of dance, will be included in the céilí evening.
“These progressive céilí dances are some of the easiest for first-time dancers to learn,” says Susan Spencer, owner of Bridie’s Irish Faire and coordinator of the Céilí-by-the-Sea and the festival’s dance stage. “The first half-hour of the céilí will be a complimentary dance lesson, and if you can count to three and seven, you can dance at this céilí! You don’t need a partner or experience – just wear comfortable shoes (leather soles are best) and arrive ready to learn the simple steps and enjoy the fun!”