17th annual KVMR Celtic Festival & Marketplace is September 27-29

The 17th annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic with world-class musicians, dance, pageantry, living history, falconry, athletics, storytelling, jam sessions and shopping.

The outdoor event takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 27, 28 & 29 in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a bucolic setting on 100 acres among giant ponderosa pines . There are eight stages and performance areas. Our main stage hosts many of the best Celtic musicians on the world stage.

The 2013 main-stage headliners include the award-winning Scottish band Mánran, returning favorite Cathie Ryan, legendary Irish piper Paddy Keenan, top Irish performers Bua, festival veterans Molly’s Revenge, fiddler Deby Benton Grosjean, from Portland the Colleen Raney Band and Celtic rockers Ninteen Sixteen.

As late summer begins to cool, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a Celtic village where world-famous Celtic musicians perform, shopping and dining opportunities abound and O’Dea’s Irish Pub celebrates the change of season. Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and storytellers roam the fairgrounds.

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in with jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend. Revelers make music into the night in the campgrounds complete with tall trees and a lake.

History buffs explore encampments of “Guilds” who re-create points and places in time. Royalty and their subjects demonstrate how peasants and gentry lived in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Exciting and educational, the Celtic Animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.

Amateur and professional athletes test their strength and skill in Scottish Games. Children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story telling, and romping in a straw bale castle. Seniors are admitted an hour before the event opens on Sunday and treated to scones and tea. The festival is disabled accessible.

Camping and RV hookups are available on-site.

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FREE YOUTH ARTS PROGRAM – Friday, September 27 from 4:00 to 7:00PM
The Celtic Festival’s Friday Youth Arts Program has grown to be a wonderful afternoon of music, magic, dance and arts instruction for aspiring artists. Participants, ages 10-18, learn from world-class artists and festival headliners. Youth participants in the program can take 1-3 consecutive workshops of their choice.

The FREE program includes workshops and a discounted youth day pass for attendees.

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FRIDAY NIGHT CEILIDH – Friday, September 27 from 7:30PM
This year the KVMR Celtic Festival will get a running start on Friday night with our first-ever Friday Night Ceilidh – an evening of Celtic music and dance featuring Reel of Seven and internationally acclaimed dance caller Linda Henderson.

Reel of Seven is considered one of the country’s premier Celtic dance bands featuring Andy Imbrie on piano, fiddler Deby Benton Grosjean, cellist Renata Bratt, with percussionist Gary Campus keeping the beat. They’ve released two CDs and have collectively performed throughout USA and abroad.

There’ll be line, circle, and couple dancing for all ages and abilities. No need to come with a partner – it’s a great way to socialize and meet friends.

The Friday Night Ceilidh will be held at the Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds with indoor space for dancing, an outdoor deck with food and a full service pub, and beautiful garden space for relaxing and enjoying the evening.

-Peter Wilson for the Festival
(photos: John Taber)

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