|Every year during Flagstaff’s monsoon season the Celtic festival magically appears. I say magically because as I drive home the previous night in the pelting rain, all I pass by is a few seedlings of vehicles scattered about our local park. As my family and I walk a mere two miles down the hill the next morning, we are met by a bloomin explosion of tents, colorful flags, and a sea of cars.Entering the Celtic intertwining vines is like stepping back in time. The foggy monsoons add to the potion of intrigue. Tents proudly displaying their clans name while quizzical commoners peer through family trees to see if they indeed belong to such rich heritage,(and if so,what color kilt they should purchase at the neighboring tent).
There are larger tents that house the “big attractions” such as authors of Gaelic fantasy, reading about dragons and Strapping brave warriors. Speaking of Strapping and brave. . .
THE WICKED TINKERS were performing!
My favorite Celtic band (sorry Flogging Molly’s, your a close second) I personally thought they were better in person. A true Celtic Tribal Explosion! The hauntingly aggressive Australian didgeridoo and the Bronze age Irish horn combined well with the variety of tribal drums. The piercing sounds of the bagpipes are said to be able to reach the gods. I’m not sure about that far, but I actually felt transported back to when battle cries filled the air and strange creatures roamed the night. With an almost rock-and-roll energy mixed with the insistent grooves of their Scottish ancestors it gives you a bewildering connection to a long ago forgotten primal emotion. . . courage.
This was only a third of what was displayed in the vast field. There were young maidens traditionally dressed accompanied with flowers in their hair competing in Irish jigs. Local bagpipers, and hundreds maybe thousands of kilts, muscles, and weaponry. And this was not limited to to mighty Scotsmen either. The games where they throw big heavy things went on continuously through out the day. We sat in awe as very muscular woman threw telephone poles (what I later found out were called cabers) end over end for points. Then there where of course the food stands of fish and chips, grilled bangers, and meat pies. All in all it was a great day where I really felt I walked among a magical time in history that was planted in a weekend for the twenty-first century.