The 2016 Celtic Spring Festival


A Celtic band performs at Wendler Middle school on Saturday, March 26th.

James Herndon, Reporter

The 2016 Celtic festival took place at Wendler Middle School on March 26th, 2016. The spring festival is a combination of workshops, classes, lectures, and seminars put on by the Celtic community of Alaska. Most classes and workshops have a theme towards the folklore or history of the Celtic nations. The culture is significant to the festival, not vice versa. The festival is a way of educating people about some of the different beliefs, practices, and history. The festival consists of vendors selling jewelry, homemade salsa, honey, clothing, and accessories. There are music performances, classes, and make and take classes for everyone to enjoy and learn something new.

The Celtic community is an energetic group of people that are either in Scottish and/or Irish clubs here in Alaska. Their goal is to celebrate their shared heritage and pass on the current information and happenings in the community. The Celtic community has been in Alaska since 1998. They were registered as a non-profit organization in 2004.

Lisa Cress has been with the community and has been attending the festivals ever since it started here. She has Irish ancestors and she’s also a citizen is Ireland as well as a citizen in the United States. She teaches a class on building fairy houses and that is her favorite part of the whole festival. Building fairy houses is just a fun activity for kids to celebrate the festival. She enjoys helping children or anyone who is willing to make a fairy house. “I have been building fairy houses ever since I were a child,” Cress says. Even though that is her favorite part of the festival, there are other plenty things to do. “There is kind of something for everybody. There is make and take craft classes like mine. There are educational lectures about the history of Ireland’s rebellion. Juggling classes and just all different types of things for people to enjoy,” Cress says.

Dylan Jijon is a student who is researching the festival and came to learn something new. He enjoys the festival because to him it’s something different. “Something cool I learned was The Coat of Arms.” It is a hedric design that goes on a shield. He knows nothing about the culture but he’s looking into it more and is definitely going next year because he thought, “it was cool.”

A newcomer, Michelle Cuaresma, enjoyed herself at the Celtic festival. “I’m usually hanging at home with family, playing outside, and watching movies,” Cuaresma explains what she usually does on a Saturday. Although, it was still a fun and new experience for her. She discovered that Alaska has a Celtic community. “There are classes and workshops for anybody, depending on what they’re interested in. It’s a fun small community event that you don’t have to be Irish or Scotch to attend or enjoy,” explained Cuaresma. Anyone that is looking for something new, Cuaresma highly recommends people to come enjoy the festival if they’re looking for something new.