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June 6, 2006 > Ardenwood Celtic Festival

Ardenwood Celtic Festival

by Janet Grant

On Saturday, June 10, Celtic chiefs of old are proclaiming, "C'ead mile failte," the traditional Irish Gaelic greeting, "A hundred thousand welcomes." The eighth annual Celtic Festival returns to Ardenwood Historic Farms. All can be Celts for a day, traveling back to a bold and ancient world of myth and magic.

Visitors to the fields of Ardenwood can watch and learn about the Celtic civilization whose peoples dominated Europe from Spain to Hungary for 2,000 years until about 200 A.D. This was a civilization of fierce warriors, talented smiths, master artists, and intrepid explorers. These Indo-European people were bound together by common speech, customs, and religion and were the first in Europe to introduce both iron and horses to central Europe. The scourge of the Romans, Celts acquired the name "Galli" or "Gaul," meaning "barbarian." These barbarians sacked Rome and invaded Greece but eventually submitted to Roman rule. Encroaching Germanic and Asian dominance further scattered the Celts to the northern coast of France and the British Isles.

The Celtic legacy lives on today in the Gaelic language, with variants still existing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Called "Keltoi" "Hidden People" by the Greeks, this amazing band of tribes and clans managed not only to retain their cultural uniqueness but provided the basis for a politically and socially advanced civilization. Indeed, some would say that during the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries, it was the Celtic-Irish who saved civilization itself.

For those bold enough to join the mighty warriors and spirited women of the barbarian clans, come and be transported. Hear the haunting skirl of bagpipes, listen to epic tales of heroes and visit the famed Roman IX Legion. Whatever your clan or loyalty, stop by and have a slice of haggis with Mary Queen of Scots, or watch a little swordplay among enemies. You may even run into a fierce, fire-breathing dragon!

Come to a mystical and ancient world and join in a glorious day of Celtic music and living history. There will be dancing, pipe bands, belly dancers, historic re-enactments and a host of children's activities. Enjoy ethnic foods and shop for Celtic goods. Many are the pleasures and great is the learning you will find among the mighty Celts, where to their guests, it is always "A hundred thousand welcomes!"

8th Ardenwood Celtic Festival
Saturday, June 10
10 a.m. to 5.p.m
Ardenwood Farms
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
General admission: $10.00, Seniors 65+ $7.00
Children 4-12 $5.00, Under 4 free
www.ebparks.org., www.ardenwood-celtic-festival.com

 
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