WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Definitely not your average Halloween weekend in Newport!

Celtic Ceili Dancing
Photos Courtesy Pete McKeeman, click to enlarge

Provided by City Center Newport

A very different kind of Halloween weekend is coming up in Newport this year. The organizers of the Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games are holding a traditional Irish community dance to celebrate the Celtic New Year.

The “Céilí-by-the-Sea” will feature live Irish music, dancing and instruction in a family friendly event on October 29, the Saturday before Halloween. The dance is being held at the South Beach Community Center at 3024 SE Ferry Slip Road (across from Aquarium Village.) The fun begins at 7 pm with a short lesson by internationally known Irish dance instructor Maldon Meehan. Then the live music begins with Meehan ‘calling’ or guiding the dancers through the steps. Admission for the evening is $10 per person at the door with free admission for kids 10 and under.

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. “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. “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! The first of November is historically celebrated as the end of summer in the seven Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Isle of Man, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. After the crops have been harvested, a “Samhain” festival is held to celebrate both the bountiful harvest and the coming of the new year.

This is the first in a series of Celtic heritage events produced by the new non-profit Celtic Heritage Alliance, Inc. (“CHA”). The same team of volunteer organizers from the Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games formalized the group last summer to better manage the festival, extend the outreach effort year round and insure the authenticity of the Celtic culture presented to the community. The group is comprised entirely of local volunteers and business owners whose common bond is a desire to share their Celtic heritage. The CHA is already hard at work on the second annual Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games set to return to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds June 8-9-10, 2012.

The mission of the Celtic Heritage Alliance is to promote Celtic heritage through the development of cultural events, activities, and educational programs encouraging people to connect with Celtic culture. The group is currently seeking volunteers to join the CHA team, along with sponsors, donors, vendors, performers and others seeking to associate themselves with these community events. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the web site for details on how they can become involved in these exciting projects.

For more information, visit www.newportcelticfestival.com, Facebook, Twitter, info@newportcelticfestival.com or call the general info line at 541-574-6530.

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