Faire brings Celtic flair

archive_import /



Wenches, fairies, leprechauns and knights added even more color to the bright green hills of Frogtown over the weekend.

A welcome change from years past, the 18th annual Calaveras Celtic Faire at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds featured warm weather and sent more people in search of pints of Guinness than shots of whiskey.

But the half-hour-long lines died down as soon as bands, including Scottish headliner Wolfstone, took the stage.

The group's energetic performance featuring guitars, a fiddle, bagpipes and drums drew dancers to the front of the stage and left those still in the stands clapping to the beat.

The bright sunshine and festivities drew more than 20,000 people.

Many were Celtic Faire regulars, dressed in traditional kilts and flowing dresses.

Shawn Allyn, Chris Reguilon, Sally Rivers and Daniel Elm all part of The Guild of Santa Maria drove from the Bay Area to play an ambassadorial group from the Medici Court in Florence. Representing a Jesuit priest, entertainer, household steward and vintner, the four along with other players in the almost-40-member group relaxed yesterday afternoon after enjoying a traditional medieval feast and educating guests on European history.

But other out-of-towners were still bustling around as a pink sunset settled over the green hills.

Costumer Vickie Dibble from Ventura helped Camarillo artist Sylvia Cochrane peddle mystic gossamer wings. The duo answered questions from little girls who dreamed of becoming fairies and young brides wanting fairy-like flower girls.

Dibble a quality assurance technical editor for the U.S. Navy during the week said she started helping Cochrane eight years ago with the handmade creations. Cochrane started selling the gauzy wares at Grateful Dead concerts 16 years ago, and now markets them at fairs and festivals.

"It's for childrens' dreams, to take flight," Dibble said, whose stand offers dragon wings for boys, and fairy wings, knotted skirts, magic wands and hair ribbons for girls.

The Celtic festival also drew thousands just out for a family day.

The Walker family, from Hayward, said they came to escape the city. Each one raved about the cuisine, music and how friendly everyone seemed.

"Sarah had a great time explaining to someone what a car was," said Deana Walker, of her 9-year-old daughter's meeting with a Medieval actor.

"They couldn't get the gas thing," Deana said. "They were thinking other than petroleum."

But Saturday evening, as the main stage quieted down and tourists retreated, some of those actors remained in costume. Drum circles sent rhythms star-ward and fire throwers showed off their skills late into the night.

Contact Genevieve Bookwalter at gbookwalter@uniondemocrat.com .

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Wednesday May 4, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Body found near Pinecrest


Unidentified human remains were found Thursday in the Pinecrest area. At 5:55 ... more

Agencies eye upgrade for 1970s-era software


Tuolumne County has changed quite a bit since the 1970s, but its ... more

Spring in the Sierras: Dangerous and beautiful


Joseph McHardy ran up the sloping ramp Friday at the top of ... more

A flight to remember


Dozens of pilots from throughout California and surrounding states descended on Columbia ... more

Cal Fire confirms PG&E caused Butte Fire


Bill and Aileen Charamuga said in September they believed they knew exactly ... more