Getting in a Celtic Mood

Every now and again, it’s nice to take a break from the usual kitchen conversations and share a bit of my private life. Hubby, Kiddo and I are a very close – as families should be. Oh, we have our moments but make no mistake about it – there’s a lot of love even in the most heated of moments. As a family, we like to try new adventures – and if the adventure turns out to be a real hoot, it becomes part of our family tradition. Kiddo once said if you don’t have something to look forward to, then you will end up with nothing to look back on later in life.

A few years back, Hubby was surfing the net; looking for something for us to do as a family – an outing or fair or something. That’s when he stumbled across the largest Celtic Fair west of the Mississippi. Just how large the fairs are east of the Mississippi, I could not say.

We said “What the heck, let’s go”. So we packed up the car (snacks for the road – it’s a 90 mile drive) and headed off to Sonora’s Fair Grounds, not knowing what to expect. Parking was a nightmare – the line to get in was long. Oh, but it was so worthwhile. Jousting competitions, a fire-breathing dragon, Celtic vendors galore. All sorts of yummy things to eat (got my lamb fix on – since I’m the only one in the family who will eat lamb, it was a real treat). Jugglers, wandering minstrels, belly dancers – a little something for everyone. Pirates and Roman Soldiers. We even learned about the history of the Emerald Isle that we hadn’t known before. (Love learning new things).

Best of all were the bands. There are several indoor stages with Irish Rock Bands. Yeah, you heard me right – rock bands.  Think AC/DC ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top’ and you’ll get the idea. We had a ball. People were dancing  anywhere they could find to kick off their shoes, let their hair down and just go wild.

That was three years ago. We soaked in as much as possible. The Celtic Fair is now a March Must Family Tradition – and for good reason . . . this year we’re going strictly for the music, having seen everything else a few times already. Oh, and the food – gotta have my lamb. And maybe the jousting. Okay, mainly the music, and the food. . .

The sights to see, the music to hear, the shouts and the cheers. Root for the Heroes and Boos to the Villains with their hearts as black as night. Royal courts mingle in the streets as peasants bow. Story tellers perched on bales of hay weave their colorful yarns. Peddler set up shops in large tents to sell their wares – mugs for the Ale, bags and boggles for the ladies and hand-carved toys to delight the little ones. Food on sticks roasted over a fiery pit and pints of beer galore.

The horses in the jousting competition are all rescued animals. And a finer gathering of steeds you’re not likely see. These animals carry themselves well, heads held high with a sense of pride and purpose. They are more than trained “show horses” – they are ambassadors. When the hat is passed to collect donations to rescue other animals, the crowds always respond well.

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