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Updates, Features, & Events
Hello AmeriCeltic Reader
FLASH! At the The Celtic Heritage Celebration
, this Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th, the main music stage will be in the large, air conditioned, Mark Twain building. (See Below)
• Co-founders Tony Becker and Celia Fábos-Becker offer an update and commentary on the controversy surrounding the Annual Great Dickens Faire
. (See Below)
• Co-founder Celia Fábos-Becker offers timely advice on legal requirements and best practices for nonprofit Boards Connected to Public Events
. (See Below)
• From Friday, June 18th, 5:00 AM — July 14th, 5:00 AM & 11:00 AM PDT each morning, Clifton House, Belfast continues its series of 11 lectures on humanitarian and activist Mary Ann McCracken
to anyone, anywhere, Online via Zoom
. (See Below)
• On Friday, June 18th, 11:00 AM PDT it's Accordion Fridays
, with TOP NOTCH Celtic accordion masters streaming Online via Facebook Live
. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th, The Celtic Heritage Celebration
returns with regional bands, famous jousting and much much more happens in Angels Camp
. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 19th, 10 AM EDT (7:00 AM PDT) the first annual Cherokee/Scottish Heritage Celebration in downtown Franklin, North Carolina
. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 19th, at 11:00 AM, it's Hyde Street Pier Chantey Sing
! After years singing from the wooden decks of the historic 1886 sailing ship Balclutha at the Maritime National Historical Park, Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco, CA
, this 39 year old maritime cultural tradition rises like the Phoenix from your computer or device. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 19th, at the United Irish Cultural Center
, there will be outdoor dining from 1:00 - 10:00 PM with LIVE songs from 3:00 PM from Multiple Live Music performances
, under their 1800 sq.ft. 'Big Top', and now inside their large facility in San Francisco, CA
. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 19th, at 4:00 PM, Broceliande
will give their Joy & Gratitude Concert online via Zoom
. (See Below)
• On Sunday, June 20th at 11:00 AM, it's the
, Zoom meeting for an hour and one half with host Patrick D'Arcy
and his guest Nicolas Brown
, joining us from Ontario, Canada. (See Below)
• On Sunday, at June 20th, at 8:31 PM PDT on the West Coast of America, Midsummer Solstice Sunrise
(Litha in the Celtic calendar), will live stream live to your personal devices from Stonehenge in England
! If you have never been present at Stonehenge for sunrise on the summer solstice, this year you an be there in virtual space! (See Below)
• On Fridays, at 5:30 PM, the Cross Keys
band, Cormac Gannon, Stacy Samuels, Neil O'Neill
, sing out at the Way Station Smokehouse & Beer Garden
in Fairfax, CA
. (See Below)
• On Saturday, June 4th, at 1:00 PM, Sin Silver
, will perform piano bar show with the theme 'L.A.'. Stay safe at home, and stream it online from from 'Murray's Pub' (her recreation/piano room) in Concord, CA
. (See Below)
• On Wednesdays, well known button accordionist John Whelan
offers two free events, a 'Tune Teach' and John's 'Taking Time' Session (See Below)
Please support our sustaining Sponsors with your Celtic business!
• Co-Founder Cecilia Fábos-Becker's e-book
Ancestry & DNA: Beyond the basics
, is available for download now
! (See Below)
• The cherished San Francisco Celtic cultural institution, The Plough and the Stars
, has re-opened (softly) from Wednesday through Sunday, 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM! (See Below)
• Sláinte Pub
Jack London Square in Oakland, CA
is open Tuesday - Sunday, with a full menu of great food and drink with outdoor and limited indoor dining service and on Sundays from 4 PM to 7 PM offers traditional Irish music from their house band, Buncrana
. (See Below)
• On the first Sunday of each month, a small group of Starry Plough
regulars stream a re-newed online Irish Session
from 8:00 to 10:00 PM. (See Below)
• Multi-genre violin teacher (especially Irish Traditional Music) and performer Darcy Noonan
is available for gigs and lessons. (See Below)
• Sport your Celtic heritage! AmeriCeltic offers a colorful array of items
, each emblazoned with the AmeriCeltic logo
. (See Below)
• The Celtic Tea Shoppe
, in San Jose is your source
for Celtic and Celtic inspired carry-out fresh baked foods, confections and rare teas! (See Below)
• Live music is slowly re-emerging in California! Every Sunday, there are now LIVE Irish tunes at the Auld Dubliner in Long Beach, CA
. (See Below)
• While Lark In The Morning in Berkeley, CA
and Exploring Music
in the outer sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, CA
are closed for walk-ins, both stores are open for online sales and lessons. (See Below)
• Publican Stan Gamble has re-opened The Duke of Edinburgh Pub & Restaurant
, offering outdoor service 7 days a week from 4pm to late. (See Below)
• The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
, local Irish Pub bringing the culture of Ireland to downtown at 5th and Howard in San Francisco. (See Below)
• The Celtic Society of Monterey Bay
, has a 32 year record
of producing Celtic Concerts in various venues in and around Santa Cruz and Monterey, CA
. (See Below)
• Catherine Barry's Irish Culture Bay Area
, offers a succinct listing of Irish events around Bay Area
. (See Below)
Scan our feature articles below, or as always, you can click here to check the full listings on our website.
Get the AmeriCeltic Calendar on your mobile device
Londoners of the African Diaspora (LoAD)
Editorial: Dickens Faire Issues
Eliminating Bad Behavior and Worse at Historic/Cultural Faires
By Tony Becker and Celia Fábos-Becker - 2021-06-17
The state of California, and indeed the entire country re-opening, and soon open air historical-cultural fairies will return. For those of us who are in the habit of attending these events, the Annual
Great Dickens Christmas Faire and Victorian Holiday Party, (Dickens), held at the Cow Palace Arena & Event Center in Daly City, has been a staple of that Bay Area calendar for many decades, and with the end of COVID related restrictions in California, many had hoped it might be open this coming Fall.
Unfortunately, that may not happen, due to long simmering issues of some consequence. For Dickens, over the past year, these grew into a confrontation and a mass boycott. Here is a summary of the issues and status from one of the people involved.
In the wake of the George Floyd protests last year, Red Barn Productions, the company that produces the Dickens Fair, made a statement of support for the movement. In response, a group of black Dickens Faire performers, Londoners of the African Diaspora (LoAD), started a dialog with Dickens management, Red Barn Productions, (RBP), about creating a practical Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI) and made proposals to implement it. This process continued for almost a year, but RBP resisted most change proposals and some promises were unfulfilled. RBP offered no method of working within the system to hold it's management accountable to established norms of diversity and equity and inclusivity (DEI). After this process broke down, LoAD released a public statement of 'no confidence', detailing the treatment they had received, over the years from Red Barn Productions, and their demands that the proposed 1. ARI be implemented immediately, 2. Full-time HR and DEI professionals are hired to deal with these issues, and 3. RBP immediately restructure itself with a Board of Directors to operate with more transparency and accountability such that no one person could exercise absolute control of the RBP organization. When this ultimatum was not met, LoAD, along with a coalition of supporting advocacy groups representing other marginalized identities at Dickens, organized a boycott, and many former Dickens Fair participants agreed neither to work for nor to attend the Fair until the changes were made.
In response Red Barn has since pledged to hire HR and DEI professionals and agreed to implement almost all of LoAD's suggestions for an ARI, but they refused to do anything to create transparency and accountability for their actions within the RBP organization. Without this transparency and accountability, LoAD and those in solidarity with them feel that they cannot work with Red Barn, and so the boycott continues. More recently LoAD released a statement saying that since Red Barn will not agree to a board of directors or any other oversight or transparency, LoAD will not return. However LoAD had also published a list of minimum requirements to policies to make Dickens Fair safe for marginalized identities, and LoAD has publicly urged those boycotting Dickens Fair not to stop until those minimum requirements are met.
- Cassiane Mobley 6/15/21
It seems to us that the re-starting of such public events, after this 15 months break, is an excellent opportunity address all long standing issues of abuse and exclusion that have, over the recent past, worsened at some festivals and 'faires.' Yes, there is racism within some fairs and racism and sexism have been tolerated by some organizers, and even practiced by a few. Some have also tolerated abuse perpetrated by performers against other performers and by fair and festival attendees against other attendees and performers. This cannot continue, not after all this nation has suffered and seen in the past few years because the majority of Americans are against racism, sexism and abuse of humans by others.
The majority of Celts world-wide feel the same way. It was not that long ago (1857) when Irish were routinely transported to Australia against their will all manner of minor to major offenses including petty theft, or simply for rebelling against invading conquerors. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Cornwall and Ireland were regularly raided for white skinned captives, because they they brought high prices in Arab slave markets. Both groups have experienced economic, political and social discrimination for centuries. In our own hemisphere, some Scots were transported to the Carribian as punishment for supporting Charles II as king of Scotland in the 1650's, and some were later sold into chattel slavery.
Boards from Hell by Susan Scribner
Editorial: Boards from Hell
Time for Boards Connected to Public Events to Shape Up
By Celia Fábos-Becker - 2021-06-18
Again, as the pandemic shut downs are ending, and people are resuming planning and arranging public events which require attendees to purchase tickets, it is important to reconsider some past behaviors by some companies and non profit organizations. It is not just useful to one's continued success to generally reflect and review, but the national news reports suggest that it may soon be financially and legally vital.
This is not a new idea. In 1993, I earned a postgraduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from San Jose State University. During this coursework, I had an opportunity to meet the authors of several books on proper board behavior and governance, one of whom was Susan Scribner, who went on to a career as a well known consultant in that field. Ms. Scribner died in January, 2021, but her best known book,
Boards from Hell, is still used in some degree and certificate programs and still available on Amazon.
From about 1980 to about 2000, I served on boards and in pro bono management for more than 10 non-profit organizations, and from my experience, in non-profit organizations, there is but one thing worse than a
'Board from Hell', and that is No Board at all!!!
Most people are probably aware of the huge national deficit as a result of the tax cuts during the previous administration and the two pandemic stimulus packages of the previous and current administrations. Now the people and most members of Congress are expecting an infrastructure building package, and it appears it also will be over $1 trillion, though not spent almost all at once as the two pandemic recovery stimulus packages were. The U.S. is running about a $3 trillion a year deficit and the Republicans, and some Democrats are balking at raising taxes again. One thing they have all agreed upon is that they WILL beef up the IRS, adding staff, technologies, and funds and a mandate to go after billionaires who have paid little or no taxes, and corporations, and other entities. No more going after just the little people when the country needs hundreds of billions of dollars and trillions to pay for its neglected needs.
Mary Ann McCracken
Mary Ann 250: Series of FREE
Irish History Talks from Belfast
June 10th — July 14th, 5:00 AM & 11:00 AM PDT
(1:00 & 7:00 PM BST)
Online via Zoom
(Pacific Daylight Time)
• Thursday, June 10th, 11:00 AM - A Life in Letters (1770-1866), Cathryn McWilliams
• Friday, June 11th, 5:00 AM - A Spirit of Inquiry': A Panel Discussion
• Monday, June 14th, 11:00 AM - Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies: Linen Hall Library
• Friday, June 18th, 5:00 AM - Paper and Politics: The Joy Family Online Talk
• Wednesday, June 23rd, 11:00 AM - Framing Irish Complicity in Transatlantic Slavery
• Friday, June 25th, 5:00 AM - HERstory: The Women of Clifton House
• Tuesday, June 29th, 11:00 AM - Mary Ann McCracken and Edward Bunting Manuscripts
• Friday, July 2nd, 5:00 AM - Children and the Poor House: Our Archives Stories
• Thursday, July 8th, 11:00 AM - Who and What Did Mary Ann McCracken Fight for?
• Friday, July 9th, 5:00 AM - 'The Writing of Mary Ann McCracken's Story'
• Wednesday, July 14th, 7:00 AM - 'Bastille Day' Belfast 2021
From 10th June 2021 to the 14th July 2021, Clifton House in Belfast, along with our partners, will run a series of unique free events to celebrate the life, legacy and relevance today of Mary Ann McCracken, on what would have been her 250th birthday.
Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) was born and lived in Belfast. In life and in the recorded history that followed, she was often overshadowed by her brother, executed United Irishman Henry Joy McCracken. However recently her name and her achievements are becoming more widely known. Mary Ann was an abolitionist, social reformer and activist who fought for the rights of women and championed the disadvantaged at both home and abroad. She lived a long life that encompassed the most turbulent years of Irish history. Her radical, humanitarian zeal and generous strength of character were indefatigable, and her contribution to Belfast life is still felt and celebrated today.
To see the full list of events and to register, visit https://belfastcharitablesociety.org/mary-ann-mccracken-foundation
We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the pond to these events. If you would like any further information, please don't hesitate to contact me:
Freelance Marketing Consultant on behalf of Clifton House, Belfast
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CliftonHouseBelfast.
Renée de la Prade
Celtic Accordion World Masters in Concert
Online via Facebook Live!
Accordion Fridays is back! Come by this Friday for some wonderful free live shows!
Renée de la Prade, brings a set of stomp-and-holler tunes with her button accordion, voice, and her boots, mixing Cajun, blues, reggae, Irish, French, punk, and other flavors that taste good together for a rocking show. Hamburg, Germany. https://www.facebook.com/Accordion-Babes-128066897203923
Will Allen plays English, Scottish and Irish dance tunes on melodeon. Will's playing is very rhythmic, hypnotic and soulful. He's a member of the Ship Band; the U.K.'s Premier Ceilidh band. London, UK. https://www.facebook.com/willthesqueezer
Miss Salaneous a.k.a. Salane is an accordionist and singer from Oakland, CA with a wacky sense of humor and exuberant stage presence. Her music ranges from wild to goofy to spooky and haunting... she's going live from the Gun Street Girls page, a sure sign that we can expect some of her excellent Tom Waits covers. Oakland, CA USA https://www.facebook.com/thegunstreetgirls
All shows are LIVE, FREE, and HAVE ACCORDIONS. You know you want - some bellows-shaking cheer!
The Celtic Heritage Celebration
Saturday, June 19th — Sunday, June 20th,
Calaveras County Fairgrounds, 2465 Gunclub Rd, Angels Camp, CA
Guild & Societies
(subject to change)
The 35th Annual Celtic Heritage Celebration returns with the Largest and Biggest Celtic Event on the West Coast! Celebrating the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Isle of Mann, Galacia and Asturias
We are welcoming back the Imperial Knights Tournament of Champions!
Imperial Knights Production Company produces an exciting medieval tournament with spectacular stunts on horseback, jousting and top-of-the-line, hand-to-hand combat with a variety of medieval weapons, cheer on your favorite knight!
We pride ourselves on our sword fighting and heavy armor jousting capabilities. With practice and hard work, we get better every day. Don’t miss any of the excitement when the Imperial Knights take the field!
Here is their promotional video: 2019 Celtic Faire Promo — Joust.
For complete details, show schedule and tickets, check http://celticheritagecelebration.com.
Cherokee/Scottish Heritage Celebration
Saturday, June 19th, 10 AM EDT
Downtown Franklin, North Carolina
This is the first year of the Cherokee/Scottish Heritage Celebration hosted in downtown Franklin, North Carolina on Saturday, June 19th. The celebration was created to help the general public learn about the relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Scots, who developed western North Carolina mountains and showcasing the Scottish Tartans Museum's recently added 'Cherokee/Scottish' display. The Cherokee/Scottish Heritage Celebration will begin at 10am with the opening ceremony hosted at the Franklin Town Gazebo and the various scheduled lectures, demos and living historians actors will be throughout Main Street. One of the scheduled entertainers will be John Mohr MacKintosh Pipes & Drums, who will start off the 'Celebration' after the opening ceremony and will perform throughout the event.
The Cherokee/Scottish Heritage Celebration will take place after the annual Braveheart 5K & Rob Roy Fun Run awards ceremony, a benefit for the Scottish Tartans Museum. This is the 9th year of the 5K/Fun Run and 100% of the proceeds raised from the fundraiser will be donated to the museum to assist it with its mission. The overall winners of the 5K will be knighted with the William Wallace swords by Scottish Tartans Museum curator Daniel Williamson (AKA Sir Daniel).
For information about the Scottish Tartans Museum or the annual Braveheart 5K & Rob Roy Fun Run, please email
Dave Linn: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-421-7637
SF Virtual Chantey Sing Series
Saturday, June 19th, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PDT
Online via Zoom from SF Maritime Association
A folk music 'landmark' on the historic ships at Hyde Street Pier, this 39-year San Francisco singing tradition continues in the virtual realm, hosting singers from across the Bay Area – and the country - and now all around planet Earth!
Peter Kasin says,
Amidst all the chaos going on around us, we still have the monthly virtual chantey sing to help bring joy, calm the nerves, and help us get through these trying times. The next one is on Saturday, June 19th, Noon to 2:15 PM Pacific time, USA, around 8pm in London and 9pm in Paris.
Lead singers will receive a separate link in another email. Since the sings have gone virtual, they have gone international. We have singers from across the country, the UK, and the Czech Republic lined up to lead us in song. All but the lead singer will be muted. Enjoy singing along on the choruses to chanteys from home.
Link for signing up to lead a song: https://maritime.org/sea-chantey-sign-up/ Please use this link ONLY if you are signing up to lead a song. You will be sent a link a few days prior to log on.
For general information,. and for non-song leaders to log in on the day and time: https://givebutter.com/ChanteySing
Visit https://maritime.org/events-home/chantey-sing for details, including links to a signup sheet, info for lead singers, and some suggested virtual backgrounds. You should have a good internet connection and be ready to have fun!
- Peter Kasin
• Sign up to Lead a Song Here: https://maritime.org/sea-chantey-sign-up/
• Virtual Backgrounds required for lead singers available here: https://maritime.org/chantey-virtual-backgrounds/
• Song Leader On-boarding Instruction Here: Chantey Sing Song Leader Guide
Donations to the Association will be accepted during the event, which will be used to buy virtual technologies to broadcast more events from the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
For more details, check this Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoMaritimeNHP
Fret & Fiddle
United Irish Cultural Center
Wawona Gates 1st Anniversary!
Irish Dancing 2:00 & 3:45 PM
LIVE IRISH MUSIC from Fret & Fiddle, 4-7 PM
The Jam Boys, 7:30 PM (indoors)
Outdoor Dining and limited Indoor Dining
2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, June 19th 1:00-8:00 PM
Multiple Dance & Music performances
LIVE from 2:00 PM
Food Menu Weekend:
1. Grilled Hamburger $8
2. Grilled Cheeseburger $9
3. Special: Shepherd's Pie $11
4. Grilled Hot Dog on Bun $7
5. Irish Sausage on Roll/Grilled Onions $8
6. Ron's Grilled Cheese $6
7. Chicken Wings with choice of sauce $7
8. Special: Corned Beef Slider $10
Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Root Beer
Hot Chocolate | Lucozade
Bottled water, sparkling water
Chardonnay, Cabernet, Rose
S. Blanc, Prosecco or Champagne
Draft Guinness and 805
Bud, Bud Light
Coors, Coors Light
Sierra Nevada Hazy
Corona and Modelo
Margaritas, Mai-Tai, Hot Toddy,
Irish Coffee, Bailey's Coffee
Club Orange, Club Lemon
Club Rock Shandy
Wear mask unless eating or drinking
Maximum six per table
Respect social distance rules
On Saturday, we kick off the Summer at Wawona Gates with Multiple Dance and Music performances beginning at 2:00 PM LIVE on the #WawonaGates stage.
Despite the pandemic, the United Irish Cultural Center has successfully operated a large event facility near the Zoo in San Francisco, serving the Irish and other Cultural communities, in the Sunset District of San Francisco. Thanks to our hard working small staff and dozens of volunteers, the UICC Wawona Gates Outdoor Dining has operated a bustling outdoor dining space under a 1,800 square foot open-sided canopy since January 2021.
And now, thanks to the just announced reductions in related restrictions, the UICC is also offering limited indoor dining in their spacious Saint Patrick's Room!
UICC Facebook Page
'Irish Shoppe' Facebook Event
Broceliande Joy & Gratitude Concert
Annual Broceliande Joy & Gratitude Concert
Saturday, June 19th, 4:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Celebrate 22+ years of Brocelïanding with a joyous concert of magical Midsummer music! Dances, ballads, madrigals, and more from many times and places, live on Zoom. Tickets are $20, $40 for households of 2 or more. Buy tickets through Paypal: email@example.com or Venmo: @Margaret-Davis-19. Zoom link will be sent after payment. All $ goes to performers.
In keeping with their annual tradition, Celtic/Medieval Ensemble Broceliande will welcome in the Summer Solstice with a joyous concert of traditional and Early music of the season. Between them they play Celtic harp, cello, guitars, recorders, nyckelharpa, octave mandolin, flute, hardanger cello d'amore, and oboe. Join us for dances, carols, and ballads and traditional drinks after the show!
CLICK HERE for a video preview.
Broceliande is Margaret Davis, Kristoph Klover, and Kris Yenney,
Check out the Facebook Event
Check out their website: www.broceliande.org.
Sundays at 11:00 AM
Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club
Event Website: http://socalpipers.com/piper_sunday.html
Host Patrick D'Arcy says:
'It's every Sunday from 11:00 AM (PDT) for about 90 minutes. I try to get high profile Uilleann piper guests from Ireland and elsewhere. It's not so much a concert as it is a talk show with the guest playing a handful of tunes throughout. Drop by this Sunday to check it out. Our guest will be Nicolas Brown, joining us from Ontario, Canada.
Here is a video preview: Piper Sunday trailer with Tom Kline
- Sunday, June 20th, Nicolas Brown — Details
- Sunday, June 27th, Tim Hill — Details
From 1:30 PM on this will become our monthly So Cal Pipers Club social call
Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club Facebook Events: https://www.facebook.com/SCUPC
Soltice Sunrise at Stonehenge
Summer Solstice | Midsummer | Litha
Stonehenge Sunrise LIVE ONLINE!
Sunday, June 20th, 8:31 PM PDT
Mark your Calendar for this one! English Heritage, https://www.english-heritage.org.uk, is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places throughout England, and this year the famous summer solstice at Stonehenge will stream live on English Heritage's Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/englishheritage at sunrise on Sunday, June 20th, 8:31 PM PDT here on the West Coast of America (That is Monday morning, June 21st at 4:31 AM GMT in England.)
The in person event has been cancelled due to COVID, but knowing how important Solstice is to many, the event streaming video will be available online, for free, to watch the both Solstice sunset and sunrise.
Click Here to watch live!. More details here on the English Heritage's Facebook Page, where there will be Facebook live stream (look for the little red LIVE button).
Read more on the Stonehenge events of past years here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8335661/Stonehenge-livestream-sunrise-summer-solstice.html
Midsummer (Litha) Festival
Midsummer is one of the four solar holidays celebrated by agricultural cultures throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It is the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. Here are some brief descriptions of how some of the Celtic cultures celebrate this annual event.
Many towns and cities have 'Midsummer Carnivals' with fairs, concerts and fireworks either on or on the weekend nearest to Midsummer. In rural spots particularly the northwest, bonfires are lit on hilltops. This tradition harks back to pagan times and is now associated with "St. John's Night". After much initial upset in the west of Ireland, The Irish Environmental Protection Agency, created an exemption for the burning of bonfires outdoors during midsummer night. Traditionally the longest day of the year in Ireland falls on June 21.
Midsummer festivals are celebrated throughout Scotland, notably in the Scottish Borders where Peebles holds its Beltane Week. The Eve of St. John has special magical significance and was used by Sir Walter Scott as the title, and theme, for a pseudo-ballad poem. He invented a legend in which the lady of Smailholm Tower, near Kelso, keeps vigil by the midnight fires three nights in a row (see above) and is visited by her lover; but when her husband returns from battle, she learns he slew that lover on the first night, and she has been entertained by a very physical ghost.
In Wales it is called Gwyl Ifan, or Gwyl Ifan Ganol Haf (St John's of Midsummer) to distinguish it from Gwyl Ifan Ganol Gaeaf (St John's of Midwinter, the feast of John the Evangelist). Great agricultural fairs used to be held at this time, along with merriment, dancing, and a bonfire. With the advent of non-conformist beliefs on the Welsh socio-political culture, this (among so many other similar festivals) suffered greatly, and its observance finally died out in south-east Wales by the end of the 19th century. However, since 1977, a folk-dance revival started in Cardiff, and is held now annually on this feast day.
Some Wiccan traditions call the festival Litha
, a name occurring in Bede's The Reckoning of Time, which preserves a list of the (then-obsolete) Anglo-Saxon names for the twelve months. Ærra Liða
(first or preceding Liða
) roughly corresponds to June in the Gregorian calendar. Bede writes that "Litha means gentle or navigable, because in both these months the calm breezes are gentle and they were wont to sail upon the smooth sea".
Source - Wikipedia
Midsummer’s Eve in Ireland (21 June)
A hundred years ago, and for many centuries before, Midsummer’s Eve was celebrated throughout Ireland on the 23 June, that is, on Saint John’s Eve. The bonfire was central to the activities of Midsummer’s Eve, and those who witnessed the flames more than a lifetime ago noted that the landscape was filled with hundreds of bonfires, creating a beautiful aspect by illuminating the country as far as the eye could see. These fires were lit on elevated sites including mountain tops and hills, but also in fields, at crossroads and on the streets and in squares of towns and villages throughout the country. In Dublin bonfires were outlawed by the Lord Mayor in the 1700’s, and as a substitute, the towns’ people attached candles to trees and bushes to maintain the tradition in some form. Gradually, during the nineteenth century, coercion bills eliminated bonfires from many towns and villages across Ireland. Bonfires in previous centuries fed on materials that could easily be obtained; in some areas straw, reeds and wood were collected throughout the whole six months leading up to Midsummer’s Eve, while in other areas the bonfire was principally made of turf, with every inhabitant of the village donating their own share to feed the bonfire. Well into the last century the ancient Irish tradition of burning animal bones continued, some believe in imitation of ancient sacrifices, in certain parts of Munster and Connaught, the addition of which created crackling noises, bright stray sparks, while, at the same time, providing the origin of their very name “bone-fire”, now generally spelled and often pronounced as bonfire.
The Midsummer’s bonfire was thought to increase fertility and produce luck, while passing through the flames of the fire was also thought to provide protection from both the fairies and the evil eye. Many accounts relate how cattle were driven through the flames between two persons who each held lighted sheaf of straw or reeds, known as a “cleer”. Members of the household also jumped through the fire, as did lovers who held hands in the hope of encouraging their own fertility. In County Cavan, a century ago, it was still believed that if you ate your supper by the fire on Midsummer’s Eve you would be protected from hunger throughout the coming year, while farmers often spread a sod of turf, coal, ashes, or even holy water on their crops as a method of protection from diseases including blight on Midsummer Eve.
Games and amusements were performed by many who attended, caps were often grabbed from unsuspecting heads and thrown or, at least, pretended to be thrown in the flames by the more boisterous members of the community. Spectators at the bonfires also fashioned bundles of reeds or straw which, when lit, were waved through the air, and in some places including Belmullet in County Mayo sods of lighted turf where thrown to the sky in the belief that the air would be purified through the motion of these smouldering sods. Additionally, a lighted piece of turf or a coal was often taken from the bonfire and carried home to relight the hearth in the household, which according to many accounts, was annually quenched on Midsummer’s Eve.*
*It is worth mentioning that quenching the fire on Midsummer’s Eve was only observed in some localities, as there was a strong tradition in many parts of Ireland of keeping the hearth fire burning continuously for years, or even decades, on end.
Cormac Gannon, Stacy Samuels, Neil O'Neill
The Cross Keys
The Cross Keys
Fridays, 5:30 - 8 PM PDT
Way Station Smokehouse & Beer Garden, 2001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA
The Cross Keys are a Folk Explosion, with Cormac Gannon, Stacy Samuels, Neil O'Neill.
Looking forward to playing with my comrades!
Here is a sample video featuring Stacy Samuels: https://youtu.be/8wKMcbIzKzs
Located in beautiful Fairfax, in the heart of Marin County, the Way Station has risen from the site of a former gas station into a family-friendly beer garden and smokehouse. The Way Station team prides itself on super friendly customer-focused service.
Check waystationmarin.com or The Facebook Page or call (415) 300-3099.
Saturdays, 1:00 - 2:00 PM PDT
Online via YouTube and Facebook LIVE, from Concord, CA
Sin Silver is an Irish singer songwriter based in the Bay Area in California. To watch the show, go to Sin Silver's YouTube channel or Facebook Profile, and then look for the little red LIVE button.
Sin live-streams from 'Murray's Pub' (her recreation/piano room) every week and this week's theme is 'L.A.'. Find Sin's Live Performance by checking Sin's Facebook Profile, or go to www.livestream.com/watch and search for Sin Silver.
During the live stream, just drop your requests in the comments.
Virtual Tip Jar:
With a unique style, her 'Irish piano' and angelic voice are delighting audiences. A featured artist at Northern California's Graton Casino Resort, she brings a unique flavor to her craft. Whether she is playing her expertly crafted originals, covers with her own twist or celtic music, Sin Silver is someone that deserves to be heard live.
Check out her website here: www.sinsilverandtheavenue.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Whelan Tune Workshop & Session
Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Since March 2020, John has stepped up his online activities, and his latest project is Master Sessions with John Whelan. This edition of Whelan Master Sessions features The McCarthy Family.
On Wednesdays, John also offers a free one-hour tune teach from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM followed by John's 'Taking Time' slow session at 4:00 PM Pacific - Check them out here: http://johnwhelanmusic.com/slow-session. John sends out a tune list and Zoom link for them on Wednesday mornings. Email John at email@example.com to get on the list or for more details.
Seven-time All-Ireland Button Accordion Champion John Whelan is one of the world's best living Irish button accordion players. John was raised in the vibrant London Irish music scene of the 1970s, and learned his craft from such legends as Lucy Farr, Roger Sherlock, Paddy Taylor, Mick O Connor and his teacher Brendan Mulkaire. Along with his All-Ireland Championships, he was twice awarded musician of the year from the Irish Music Association. He has over 15 CDs and has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. John's music has been featured on such TV shows as 'Sex in the City,' 'History's Mysteries' and 'History Detective.' John performs with the John Whelan Band and has also teamed up with his old pal Brian Conway forming the group Gailfean, which also features Máirtin De Cógáin and Don Penzien have released their first new CD. For over a decade, John has performed 'Monday's with John' every Monday evening on his Facebook Profile.
Get more details on John's website: http://johnwhelanmusic.com
Break Through your Ancestry Brick Walls!
A printable e-book
by Cecilia Fábos-Becker
Ancestry & DNA
Family History Research: Beyond the Basics
There are many good basic manuals, both in print and online, that can help you get started researching your ancestors and finding lost cousins, but in over fifty years of research into our own Scots-Irish, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry, I've learned what works well and what doesn't, as well as many useful sources and links.
Now, I have written a book, Ancestry & DNA - Beyond the Basics
, to help you, and all Americans find their origins. My book will be especially useful to especially Celtic Americans doing family history research, and it is available for immediate download!
Author Celia Fábos-Becker
My Book includes:
• Introduction to Family History Documents
• What are REAL Primary Sources?
• America's Dark Age (1783 to 1850)
• Finding Family Records with online services
• Introduction to Family History DNA
• Using DNA Tests to help Find Family History
• How autosomal, MtDNA, or Y-DNA tests can help
• DNA Testing Company Reviews
• Loads of Examples
Download Ancestry & DNA - Beyond the Basics here:
Playing for the Plough Videos
Over this past few months, Autumn Rhodes
has organized a phenomenal international project,
Playing for The Plough and Stars
to support that cherished Celtic cultural institution, and now you can enjoy the dozens of resulting videos
The Plough and Stars has Re-Opened
Soft Opening Hours: Wednesday — Sunday 4 to 12 PM
The Plough and Stars Irish Pub, 116 Clement Street at 2nd Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Sean Heaney says:
We have opened as of Friday, May 14th. It is a kind of 'soft' opening. We shall see how it goes. Seating is limited to 25% indoors but we have added additional seating out front. Drop by for a pint!
The Plough and Stars Irish Pub, is known around the world for hosting incredible Irish music and pulling beautiful pints of Guinness since 1975. Since then, it has evolved to host live music every night of the week, except Monday, including all genres of music; Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Zydeco, acoustic Americana, and of course, Irish Traditional.
Over the years The Plough and the Stars in San Francisco has hosted many well-known musicians from Ireland and around the globe, but the current pandemic and related public health restrictions have put a stop to all that for over a year now. The resulting business losses threaten to put The Plough out of business permanently, but there has been a sustained community crowdfunding effort that gives hope to resist and keep this iconic Celtic business going, if the community can sustain this support long enough.
For now, there is no music, but Autumn Rhodes has organized a series of new videos from many of these musical alumni to help keep the Plough going. Just click on the links to the right, and then please show your support with a contribution here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/sfplough
Buncrana at Sláinte
Susan Spurlock, Tedd Colt, Darcy Noonan, Hector Bragado,
Michael Stack, Patricia Ross, Tim Hill, and Autumn Rhodes.
"Buncrana" @ Sláinte Pub, Oakland Sundays
Sláinte is open outside Tuesday through Sunday, 12-8 PM
Sláinte Pub, 131 Broadway, Oakland, CA
WE ARE OPEN !
Sundays, 4 PM to 7 PM
Since opening in April 2017, Sláinte has also featured some of the finest local and regional singers and musicians, in live, acoustic performance and quickly become the hot new place for Irish music in the East Bay.
Host Jackie says:
Welcome back to Sláinte Oakland! We’re here Tuesday through Sunday, noon - 10 PM and until midnight Thursday - Saturday with over 75 whiskeys, the perfect pints and a delicious new menu. Come on by. Cead Mile Failte!!!
We are overwhelmed by the support you all gave us on St Patrick's Day! After only being open for a few days before, it was super crazy and we apologize for the long wait times and thank you for your patience and advice. Hopefully we entertained you all while you were waiting. Here's a photo of just one of the wonderful things you might have missed due to the insane crowd - our brand new Irish house band Buncrana! - and they will be back this Sunday, 4 PM to 7 PM!
Thanks again-and if you missed out on St Patrick's Day, we’re back in the kitchen today for delicious Irish food, rain or shine because of our new table coverings!
The menu at Sláinte features Irish cuisine from Irish-born Executive Chef, Jackie Gallanagh, with dishes that include both imported & local ingredients and a bar menu of classic cocktails, a well-stocked selection of whisky, premium spirits, and local & imported beers.
More Details on the Sláinte Facebook Page.
Contact them at (510) 823-2644 @slainteoakland or check the website https://slainteoakland.com.
Starry Session Online
First Sunday of each month, from 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Online via YouTube for The Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
The pandemic shut down the well loved Starry Plough in Berkeley a year ago, halting the Sunday night Irish session and Monday night Irish dancing that had been hosted there for decades.
A small group of Plough regulars are convening electronically, and have begun a monthly open session online, on the first Sunday of the month, running for two hours and starting at 8:00 PM. It kicked off on Easter Sunday, as that holiday has always been a time for new beginnings--particularly in Ireland.
The online Starry Session is live-streamed on YouTube allowing other people listen, play, sing or dance along. It works like this: individuals among a pre-selected group of musicians will be called upon to lead a dance tune or song in rotation. Everyone else is on mute; they can follow the music at home with their own instruments or voices or whatever. It's not as magical as being able to hear each other, but it can still be surprisingly therapeutic.
You can tune in on THIS YouTube channel:
Other ringleaders of this effort are Don Clark, Sean Wahl, Michele Delattre and Shay Black, so you might see communications from any of them as this process goes forward.
Available for Performances or Lessons
Darcy Noonan is an accomplished violinist based in the Bay Area. Following her heart, she has studied and performed a variety of musical genres including classical, ragtime, mariachi, Greek, and (closest to her heart) Irish traditional music. In fact practically the second after graduating from High School she was off to Ireland to study with her idols for a few years.
Darcy has played with numberous bands and orchestras, including Jammy Dodgers, Violins of Hope, Noonan, Howard, and Straw, The Get Happy String Band, Disciples of Markos, Tipsy House and Mariachi Femenil Orgullo Mexicano.
Darcy is now back in the Bay Area, and Darcy is accepting students as an expert fiddler and Suzuki certified teacher with years of experience performing and teaching.
If you are interested in booking Darcy for a gig or for violin lessons, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at darcynoonanviolin.com
AmeriCeltic Logo Items
→ AmeriCeltic Logo Gifts! ←
Shirt, Hat, Mug, Apron or Patch
5 FULLY EMBROIDERED - MADE IN USA
Celebrate your rich AmeriCeltic history and heritage in style and class and support AmeriCeltic by sporting a shirt, hat, mug, apron or patch, all except the mug, embroidered in full color with the AmeriCeltic logo! And don't forget to give one to yourself!
Click Here for the full line-up of AmeriCeltic Logo items.
The AmeriCeltic logo, styled like a coat of arms, commemorates your MIXED, Scots, Irish, Welsh Celtic American heritage! Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the thirteen colonies of mostly Scots, Scots-Irish, Irish and Welsh who joined with many others from many other countries, and together fought tyranny to assert our Independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Click for more information about the AmeriCeltic Logo design
The Celtic Tea Shoppe
Home of Artisan Candies
4432 Pearl Avenue, San Jose CA | 408-267-7090
The Celtic Tea Shoppe offers a great selection of Celtic and Celtic inspired foods, including:
• Meat Pies
• Sausage Rolls
• Liquor Cakes
• Irish Soda Bread
• Salted Caramels
• Gift Boxes
• Premium Loose-leaf Teas
Everything is handmade at our shoppe in San José, CA and curbside pickup service and shipping are available.
To check The Celtic Tea Shoppe Facebook Page, Click Here
Call us directly at 408-267-7090 or check our website www.celticteashoppe.com for all our other baked goods and confections. To order, contact Kristen Scott with a call to 408-267-7090, or an email to sales@artisancandies
Auld Dubliner Session Resumes!
Rotating Hosts / Live Irish Tunes
The Auld Dubliner, 71 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA
The Auld Dubliner is a classic, convivial Irish haunt with across-the-pond grub, live music & a full bar turning out pints.
On Sunday's, The Auld Dubliner hosts a classic Irish tune and song session:
1st Sunday: Melanie Nolley and co-host
2nd Sunday: Michael Eskin & John O'Hara
3rd Sunday: Patrick D'Arcy & Kira Ott
4th Sunday: Patti Amelotte and co-host
th Sunday: Tim Taylor and co-host
New Store in San Francisco
Lark In The Morning Stores in Berkeley and San Francisco
Tuesday - Saturday, noon - 6 PM
Sundays, noon - 5:00 PM
Lark In The Morning, 830 Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA
and Exploring Music, 814 Clement Street, Inner Richmond of San Francisco
OPEN for your ONLINE BUSINESS!
"Our Berkeley location, 830 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA, is open for online lessons and instrument sales and Exploring Music, 814 Clement Street in San Francisco, CA, is open and actively seeking new online students. Lark Berkeley is offering free lessons with the purchase of a ukulele or guitar!"
Thorn Land and Eric Azumi
Lark in the Morning has been a folk musician's favorite since 1974 and has musical instruments and instructional material from all over the world.
Shop online at https://larkinthemorning.com, call us at 707-964-5569, or check out our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/LarkInAM.
Duke of Edinburgh Pub & Restaurant
Across from Apple Park
The Duke of Edinburgh Pub & Restaurant
Open 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM every day of the year
10801 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA
Many of you have heard the rumors about the The Duke of Edinburgh Pub & Restaurant.
The Duke is, and will remain, THE only Authentic, (and we do mean AUTHENTIC!), British Pub in the Bay Area, located across the street from Apple Headquarters on Wolfe Road in Cupertino.
The atmosphere at the 'The Duke', is the same as you would find in any pub in the British Isles, full of friendly patrons who come in to socialize, play darts, have a pint or two, and eat a meal. If you are looking for a comfortable elegance, pints of beer and authentic food, in an authentic English Pub, there is no a better choice in the Bay Area. The Duke offers a large number of beers on draft and by the bottle. Almost anything English, Scottish or Irish is available. Murphy's Irish Stout brewed in Cork, Ireland and Scotch Eggs is always a good choice.
The servers are excellent and very knowledgeable about the beer and food menu. The menu is expansive and worth exploring. The dark pubsy feel with old regulars in their respective, but not crowded corners around lunch hour in Cupertino, is a great boon.
You can't find more 'authentic' atmosphere, because the entire building was built in jolly old England, then disassembled, shipped and reassembled on site in Cupertino. With the red velvet seating and wall paper and ornate, dim lighting, you are transported to London as soon as you enter the etched glass door.
More info. on The Duke Facebook Page, website www.theduke.com or call 408-446-3853.
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
198 5th St, San Francisco
Reopening July 6th!
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant, is a bustling SoMa spot with Irish pub grub & beers on tap plus sports on the satellite TV.
Reopening Day has arrived and we are so excited to see life back in our city. We however have to wait a little longer with the construction going on around our building. We are focusing on a July 6th opening and will update you all as we get closer. We can't wait to be back in action. Better days are ahead. Cheers to you all
This local Irish Pub brings the culture of Ireland to San Francisco, offering a full bar, Happy Hour specials, and a full Irish restaurant menu, including favorites like fish and chips which goes with any style of sport, music or fun.
'I am in the city every 2-3 months and The Chieftain is an absolutely integral part of every trip. Mark runs an amazing, authentic Irish pub. Major plus, the only place I know of in northern California to get Kilkenny!!'
'Walked in, Saturday night about 7pm and there was a table right inside the door. We had a shepherds pie and an Irish stew. The shepherds pie was actually made with lamb! The live music was great entertainment too!'
For a video of some the Chieftain's food menu, Click Here.
The Chieftain hosts live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Click Here for the current schedule! The live Irish traditional music and song session every Sunday evening is always great Craic! Here is a sample Irish Session from 2009: Live Irish Session at the Chieftain.
For the latest happenings, check the Chieftain facebook Page, or call 415-625-0436, or email Mark Nagle at email@example.com or check www.thechieftain.com.
Wanna help, comment or get published?
We publish articles or comments that relate to our Mission (see below), to our thousands of Celtic concordant readers. If you have one, email us: Tony and Celia Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to display the combined AmeriCeltic Calendar
, covering the Northern California Coast and Bay Area, and the Celtic Events Calendar
, from Chuck Jamison, covering the Central Valley.
To submit an event for listing in our Calendars
, email your Celtic event info., including Who, What, Where, Why & Description to us.
Coastal Celtic events - Email AmeriCeltic
. Central Valley events - Email Chuck Jamison
.Click Here to use the online form.
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AmeriCeltic is a user supported, non-profit service organization. Our Mission is to restore awareness, celebrate and preserve the culture and history of Celtic Americans by promoting live Celtic music, festivals, history & ancestry as well as report and comment on related current events. To help fund our efforts, click here or click on the Donate Button on our AmeriCeltic Website www.americeltic.net.