Celts Returning to Newport!
Info provided by Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games
Celtic Heritage Alliance volunteers are busily putting the final touches on planning for the 2012 Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games. The affordable family (and dog) friendly festival celebrates the wonderfully diverse cultures of the seven Celtic Nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.
The 2011 Festival & Highland Games from as far away as Idaho and Pennsylvania with approximately 60% of attendees coming from outside Lincoln County. An estimated 4,500 enjoyed cultural immersion through offerings of live Celtic music, dance, and traditional athletics.
With the festival established as a first-class fixture on coastal calendars and a new “not to be missed” stop on the North West Celtic circuit, Newport will hail the return of the Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games June 8, 9 & 10th . Patrons will have a chance to meet representatives of Scottish and Irish Clans and Celtic societies offering free information and family histories. A maze of colorful market vendors will offer authentic Celtic food, drink, arts, crafts, and other articles deeply rooted in these rich cultures.
“We want to provide Festival attendees with an accurate representation of the cultures of the seven Celtic nations not only from a historical perspective, but to demonstrate how traditional Celtic arts have progressed to today’s modern culture,” said Executive Director Belinda Goody. With an emphasis on the performing arts, entertainment will range from traditional bagpipe and drum corps, to Irish Step and Sean No’s dancing, to the music of Brittany, Scottish country dancing, to Celtic tribal rock. “The traditional songs, dance, and art forms of the Celts include timeless stories handed down through generations which could be lost without these types of events.” Goody added, “It’s not just about Danny Boy or traditional pub songs. Celtic performance art is alive and well in many different forms.”
Many fun events are planned during the week leading up to the Festival at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. One event which proved very popular last year is the Irish Céilí community dance. “Long before the advent of ‘Facebook’, these dances facilitated social networking for people who came from surrounding villages to connect. Traditionally, these dances were a method of storytelling through music and movement. The best part is that anyone can join in the fun!” said Entertainment Chair Susan Spencer. “We had such a great response to last year’s Céilí that we decided to host additional dances throughout the year and this year’s Céilí is free.”
2012 Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games activities include:
1 • Irish Céilí (‘kay-lee’ or community dance party)
2 • Scottish Highland Games featuring special Newport challenges
3 • Live Bagpipe and Drum corps performances
4 • Live Celtic entertainment in music and dance
5 • Highland Cattle on display
6 • Authentic Celtic arts and crafts, food, and beverage vendors
7 • The Kilted Kilometer Fun Run and Calling of the Clans Bonfire at Nye Beach
8 • Single Malt Whisky Seminar
9 • Haggis Eating Competition
10 • Patron participation events (Manx Tug-o-War, Welsh Skillet Toss, and “Bonnie Knees” contests)
11 • Heritage displays featuring local history and clans who provide family histories and information
12 • Children’s events include face painting, storytelling, crafts, and a mini Highland Games
Those wishing to attend the Festival or volunteer to help are encouraged to go to newportcelticfestival.com, or join the Festival’s “Fan Clan” on Facebook.