Youngsters will enjoy “Lords & Ladies of Wee Folks Island” at this year’s Saline Celtic Festival, July 14 in Mill Pond Park.
“This is my eleventh year running Wee Folks, and keeping things interesting for those who return year after year,” says organizer Katherine Downie. “Wee Folks is such a great creative outlet for my always active imagination, and I try to make it a fun and magical experience for all our Wee Folks—and those who, like me, are Wee Folks at heart.”
Children can paint royal crests on shields, coordinate swords with Royal House colors, and carry their swords with a braid-your-own-belt project. Crowns will complete the royal outfits.
Princess Merida will share stories and send wee royals on a Will-o-the-Wisp treasure hunt, and a mermaid will be keeping cool by the river.
“Wee Folks Island is always a great place to cool off,” Downie says. “Not only do we have the river right there to dip your royal feet in, but we’ll have hand fans as prizes and to decorate!
Ducky Races will be held in the Saline River, with royal-themed prizes. Miniature Celts can design Blarney Stones and attempt to “Defeat the Dragon,” and there will be several carnival games.
“This year the Wee Golf Course will be re-purposed into a new game/competition to get more kids involved and test our finest Lords & Ladies skills of accuracy,” Downie says.
Youngsters can help Downie and her team to design the Royal Kingdom; the finished piece will hang on the wall of the sponsor, Play & Learn Children’s Place.
The Royal Wee Folks Parade will be held at 4:30 p.m., with a bagpiper, Princess Merida and the Royal Court. Royal Courtiers will be chosen by random drawing at 4:15, Wee Folks ages 12 and under are eligible to enter, but must be present for the drawing and parade. “The winners, a Queen, King, Princess, and Prince, will receive crowns and capes and be taught how to do a royal wave for the parade,” Downie says.
“There are always more surprises in store, so be sure to come between noon and 5 on July 14 to be a part of our royal fun,” she adds. “And if anyone is interested in helping on the Island, we are always in need of royal volunteers.”
Friday, July 13: CrossBow and Brother Crowe will perform at Pub Night in Mill Pond Park that also features Ring of Steel; Limerick Contest; Mr. Pretty Legs competition; and workshops. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and fun runs to 11:30 p.m. Admission $5, under 13 free.
Saturday, July 14: Gates at Mill Pond Park open 10 a.m., opening ceremonies 11 a.m.
Performers include the Corktown Popes, Steel City Rovers, Brother Crowe, CrossBow, Finvarra’s Wren, Peat in the Creel, Roane, and Saline Fiddlers, and many more.
Jousting, historical reenactments, Highland dance competitions, Millie the Mill Pond Monster, Wee Folks Island, The Kilted Magician, sheep herding, Highland Athletics, pipe bands, textile arts, merchant village, and a Craft Beer Festival
Tickets at the gate: $15/adults; $10/ages 65 and up; $5/ages 13-17; free/ages 12 and under, and active military. Advance tickets at salineceltic.org: $10/ adults; group of 10/$80. Pre-event tickets $10 at Saline City Hall week of the festival.
Free parking with shuttles. No pets allowed.