This year will mark the first appearance of the “Celtic Alliance” re-enactors and accompanying “Brethren of the Blades” fighters at the Saline Celtic Festival, set for July 12 and 13 in Mill Pond Park.
“We’re very excited to be a part of it,” says Treasa Klöth, who spearheads the Celtic Alliance. “We’re excited to bring our knowledge of history and share it with guests attending the festival.
“As far as we know, we’re the only full contact, live steel Celtic combat team in the United States. When our fighters, Brethren of the Blades, go into the ring, they’re not pulling their hits, nor are their fights rehearsed, they’re truly fighting to win. So, unlike some other combat teams, what they do is real and dangerous. We stress this to our viewers, that these are trained professional fighters.
“The group, in its entirety, has lots of different experience that has led us to become who we are,” Klöth adds. “We’re under Magick Moon Entertainment, under which we do different types of reenactment. When we’re not doing Celtic reenactment, you can find us doing Viking reenactments as the Harrow Vikings.”
The group, that also demonstrates knife and ax throwing, has a full working "12th century" encampment, including tents, kitchen, armory, a blacksmith and many props. Re-enactors offer demonstrations throughout the day, explaining what Celtic people ate, how they lived and their lifestyles: clothing, tools, what clans were, and how clans came about.
A writer for many years, Klöth has always had a passion for writing and telling stories. After receiving her degree in History, Communication, and Cultural Studies from Western Michigan University in 2015, she started her own publishing company Magick Moon Ink, to not only publish her own novels but also to help others reach their dream of publishing as well.
In 2017, Klöth published her first novel, “The Immortal MacKinnons Kandra,” which has turned into her main series. To date, she has three of the Immortal MacKinnon novels out and a fourth due out later this year, as well as a wine to go with the novels. “This series started while I was doing genealogy on my family and discovered I’m a MacKinnon descendant,” she says
Later in 2017, Klöth had an idea to write a series featuring Vikings; and she and friends formed a small group of Viking re-enactors.
“We’ve now become the largest re-enactment group that we know of in Michigan, with two teachers, and a person with a master’s degree in history, combat fighters, crafters, and people who just love reenacting and history,” she says. “Some people have a decade or more of re-enactment history, others are just getting started. So, we’re a diverse group of people, writers, history majors, fighters, history lovers, teachers, wood workers, and even computer professionals. But the one thing we have in common, is that we all love history and sharing our passion with the public.
“Though we all love being Vikings, many of us have Celtic roots and love Celtic history. We decided to create the Celtic Alliance, since many of us have Scottish and Irish roots, we decided to form another group. In our group we have represented the MacKinnons, Maynards, Davidsons, O’Conners, Burkes, and more.”
Several other re-enactment groups will entertain festivalgoers, including Ring of Steel, Ann Arbor Sword Club, Society for Creative Anachronism/Barony of Cynnabar, jousters, and more.
This year’s music line-up includes The Kreellers, Brother Crowe, Crossbow, The Codgers, Thunderwüde, Black Murray, House of Hamill, Paddy’s Cure, The Barley Saints, Nessa, Saline Fiddlers, and Chelsea House Orchestra; as well as pipe bands, ancient athletics, jousting, dance troupes, Highland dance competition, music and dance workshops, textiles and weavers, Wee Folks Island, Millie the Mill Pond Monster, and much more.
The festival kicks off at 5 p.m., on Friday, July 12; gates open at 5 p.m., and the cost is $5 at the gate. The all-day festival follows on Saturday, July 13. Saturday tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate; $10 for ages 65 and up; $5 ages 12-17; active military and under 12, free.
For complete information visit www.salineceltic.org.