BY JEFF BAHR
7:44 PM AKDT, September 12, 2012
The Northeast South Dakota Celtic Faire and Games is kind of like the 12 days of Christmas, all rolled up into one weekend.
You get to see pipers piping, ladies dancing and lords a leaping, if you can call a large man wearing a skirt a lord or, in this case, a laird.
This is the fifth year of the Celtic Faire and Games, which run Friday and Saturday at the Brown County Fairgrounds. To celebrate the annivesary, organizers have brought in the Wild Colonial Bhoys, a Celtic rock band from St. Paul, Minn.
The event hasn't had a concert-style band before, says Robin O’Neill, vice president of the Celtic Faire and Games. In the past, the Celtic Faire has had only smaller jam-session type shows.
The Wild Colonial Bhoys will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday. O’Neill says the boys will play contemporary Irish rock. After that show, a band called The Long Nines will perform in the pub.
The weekend will also include young ladies wearing velvet jackets and matching kilt hose, a soda bread contest and such foods as bangers and mash.
Back for the fifth straight year are Minnesota's Guthrie Highland Dancers, who will perform the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance and various reels and jigs. The dancers are affiliated with the Guthrie School of Dance, which has classes in Rochester, Minn., and St. Paul.
Also back will be the Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers from St. Paul, who were at the first Celtic Faire and Games. The name of the group is Gaelic for “dance of the heart.”
The Twin Cities Metro Pipe Band is back for the second year in a row. The group is primarily a competition band that attends Highland games and parades in the summer months.
Appearing at the Aberdeen event for the first time is Two Tap Trio. The woman in the group, Norah Rendell, was named "Live Ireland's Singer of the Year" by Irish-American music critic and radio presenter Bill Margeson. She was also labeled the 2011 “Young Tradition Bearer” by the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival. Rendell is joined in the Twin Cities-based trio by guitarist Brian Miller and fiddler Nathan Gourley. The music is “underpinned by intricate guitar and bouzouki backing,” says the Celtic Faire website.
The ARCC Cloggers from the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center also will perform.
This will be the second year for the soda bread contest, which has three categories: traditional white Irish soda bread, traditional brown Irish soda bread and glorified Irish soda bread.
Among the event's most interesting activities are the Scottish Heavy Games, which includes the Caber toss. That's the one, O’Neill says, that looks like a guy throwing a telephone pole. Other heavy-duty events are the hammer throw, the stone put, the sheaf toss, weight for distance and weight for height. Posters for the Celtic Faire and Games encourage people to “find your inner Scotsman.“
The Highland Games competition begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the east side of the Holum Expo Building.
Among the food vendors will be Fathead Brennan’s Pie Shop, back for the fourth year. One of his more popular delicacies is the meat pie.
Saturday's schedule includes a parade of Celtic pets at 12:30 p.m. Among the dogs welcome are golden and labrador retrivers, Cairn terriers, border collies, Irish wolfhounds, Welsh Corgis, Scottish terriers and West Highland white terriers.
The people who put on the Celtic Faire and Games are a determined bunch. They had no doubt at the beginning that they'd still be around five years later, O’Neill says.
“We get a little bigger each year,” she says.
Admission is $6 for those 13 and older, $3 for those 5 to 12 and free for kids younger than 5.
“This is a really great family event because of what we offer, but also because of the price to get in,” O’Neill said.
Volunteers are needed. To contribute your time, call Becky at 605-380-6123.
Joe Kelly Stage
(main stage inside the main expo building)
10 a.m., Opening ceremonies
10:30-11 a.m., Guthrie Highland Dancers.
11:15-11:45 a.m., Twin Cities Metro Pipe Band.
Noon-12:30 p.m., Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers.
12:45-1:45 p.m., Two Tap Trio (family event)
2-2:30 p.m., ARCC Cloggers.
2:45 – 3:15 p.m., Guthrie Highland Dancers.
3:30-4 p.m., Two Tap Trio.
4:15-4:45 p.m., Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers.
5-5:30 p.m., Twin Cities Metro Pipe Band.
6-8 p.m., Wild Colonial Bhoys.
Tom Kelly Stage
(Secondary stage in the west section of the Expo building)
10:30-11 a.m., Genealogy talk.
11:15-11:45 a.m., Irish step dance with Rince na Chroi dancers
12:45-1:45 p.m., Pat and chat with the Celtic breed dog owners
2-2:30 p.m., Highland Dance with the Guthrie Highland dancers
2:45 – 3:15 p.m., Genealogy talk.
3:30-4 p.m., Irish step dance with Rince na Chroi dancers.
5-5:30 p.m., Highland Dance with the Guthrie Highland dancers.
Joe Kelly Stage
11 a.m., Doors open.
11:15 a.m., Welcome.
11:30 a.m.-noon, Guthrie Highland Dancers.
12:15-12:45 p.m., Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers
1-1:30 p.m., Two Tap Trio.
1:45-2:15 p.m., ARCC Cloggers.
2:30-3 p.m., Twin Cities Metro Pipe Band.
Tom Kelly Stage
11:30 a.m.-noon, Irish step dance with the Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers.
12:15-12:45 p.m., Highland Dance with the Guthrie Highland Dancers.
1:45- 2:15 p.m., Genealogy talk.
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