GRASS VALLEY – Gather the clan and clutch your caber, the 19th annual KVMR Celtic Festival will delight crowds Friday through Sunday at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a picturesque setting on 100 acres amidst giant ponderosa pines.
The fairgrounds are transformed into a Celtic village, with eight stages and performance areas. The main stage will showcase some of the world’s best known Celtic performers, including Galician piper Carlos Nunez, Irish squeeze box master Sharon Shannon, Irish sister quartet Screaming Orphans, Boston fiddler Hanneke Cassel, Irish singer/songwriters Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, Celtic rockers Daimh, California duo Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald and Sacramento’s own One Eyed Reilly, among others.
Shopping and dining options are many, with more than 50 vendors and a traditional Irish pub for those who might work up a thirst. Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and storytellers will roam the fairgrounds
Friday evening features a free Youth Arts Program, which allows youths 10-18 the opportunity to participate in workshops with performers. A Celliah, a Celtic party with music, dancing and revelry, will unfold under the stars. The arts program is from 4 to 7 p.m., and the Celliah starts at 7:30 p.m.
The festival continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley. Tickets are $12 to $50, with camping and RV hookups available. On Sunday morning, seniors are admitted at 9 a.m. for complimentary coffee, scones and preferred seating.
The festival is a major fund-riaser for Communty Radio KVMR (89.5 FM and 105.1 FM in the Truckee-Tahoe area). KVMR invites folks to “Come for the Music, and Stay for the Magic.”
Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend. History buffs can explore several encampments of “guilds,” who recreate points and places in time. The Celtic animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.
Amateur and professional athletes will test their skill and strength in Scottish Games. Caber tossing, anyone? Meanwhile, children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story telling and romping on straw bales.
For more information, phone (530) 265-9073 or logon to www.kvmrcelticfestival.org.