Monday, March 31, 2014


The South Coast Celtic Fest offers you hands-on instruction in musical instruments, Celtic crafts, language, singing, genealogy, dancing, and so much more. Held at the SWOCC Hales Center on Saturday, May 3, 2014, the Celtic Fest is a daylong celebration of music and culture from the Celtic nations. This year, the festival boasts 24 workshops at an affordable $15 all-workshop adult ticket price. Thanks to a generous grant from Coos County Cultural Coalition, all-workshop passes for kids 12 and under are discounted to only $5 each.

Craft workshops include Gail Elber’s “Carve a Welsh Love Spoon”. Learn the meaning of symbols on love spoons and carve your own simple love spoon to take home. Kids will enjoy Charlotte Pierce’s workshop “Make a Leprechaun Box”, where they will use flashy materials to attract their own sprightly elf (parents will also receive their own special instructions – all material included). Participants in the “Making a Celtic Knot Journal” will discover how Celtic knots are drawn and will leave with their own knot-embossed journal.

If you like Celtic music,  build your skills with hands-on instruction. Ric Morrisonn will lead a workshop on how to play the bodhran, the Irish drum. Nick Metcalf, local whistle manufacturer, will cover the basics of how to play the Irish whistle including breath control, finger exercises, and ornamentation used in Irish music. Other music workshops include Dissecting the Concertina, Maypole Dancing, A Tour of Obscure Bagpipes & Regional Styles of Bagpipe Music, Pub Song sing-along, Ceili Dancing, and “Let’s Waulk the Tweed!”, lead by evening concert performers Nancy Johnson and Kitchen Ceilidh. Traditionally, simple and rhythmic “waulking songs” were sung by Scottish women as they beat newly woven tweed cloth on a table to soften it, a process called fulling or waulking. In this workshop, you can join in the work and singing, or just listen and watch. Participants in music workshops are encouraged to bring instruments and welcome to bring a recording device.

Culture workshops include “Introduction to Irish”, where Mary Grace Brogdon urges the festival goer to learn a little of the tongue our great grandmothers spoke and information on how to learn more. Howard Crombie’s Basic Genealogy workshop will cover starting your research, including records, repositories, and the Genealogical Proof Standard. Frank Murphy will present information about the history, culture and construction of a curragh, a traditional boat from Ireland. Frank will bring a curragh to display that was built recently at the Coos Bay Boat Building Center.

There will also be plenty of storytelling workshops where you’ll hear stories of growing up in Ireland and Scotland, as well as ancient tales of fairy folk.

Other festival activities include two stages of free entertainment from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. An all-comers session will run from 4:00 to 6:30, which OCCI will serve up a Celtic-themed dinner starting at 5:00 pm. The buffet is $7 at the door.

An evening concert will begin at 7:00 pm with a grand entry from the Oregon Coast Pipes & Drums Band. Then taking the stage will be Kitchen Ceilidh, a women’s a cappella group singing traditional and current songs in Scottish Gaelic, as well as sharing Scots Gaelic Cultural traditions. The headliner is Molly’s Revenge, a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle, with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Evening concert tickets are $20.

Tickets are available at Off the Record at 2227B Newmark North Bend, Books by the Bay at 1875 Sherman in North Bend, the Coos Bay Visitors’ Center on Hwy 101 in Coos Bay, or at Bandon Mercantile at 535 S. 2nd Street in Bandon.

The festival is generously sponsored by the following local businesses and organizations: Sol Coast Companies, Gold Coast Security, E.L. Edwards Realty, O’Bryan Advanced Dentistry, Edward Jones of Coos Bay & North Bend, Hough, MacAdam & Wartnik, Farr’s True Value Hardware, Kerbo Engineering, Oregon Garden Art, MacDuff Design, Coos County Cultural Coalition, The Mill Casino, and the Coastal Celtic Society. For additional information, contact Stacy Rose 541.808.1002

Thanks very much,

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