Volunteers are needed to ‘tame’ Millie the Millpond Monster at this year’s Saline Celtic Festival, July 13-14 in Mill Pond Park.
The marvelous mechanical creation, the brainchild of local engineer Jim Peters, has been entertaining festival crowds for 13 years. In recent years, she added two ‘offspring,’ a teenage monster called Patrick, and baby Moira. This year, Millie will be joined by her ‘significant other,’ Angus.
Peters and his small team of volunteers set Millie and her family up in the Saline River, and haul on the ropes that bring the monsters rising from the depths and snorting smoke at delighted crowds. Additional strong volunteers (adults only) would be very welcome to help out on Saturday.
If you’d rather assist with munchkins than monsters, Wee Folks Island welcomes help with the miniature Celts and their activities that run all afternoon Saturday.
There are many other areas where volunteers are needed, for three-hour shifts—and not only do volunteers have a lot of fun, they also get free admission to the festival.
For more information, email [email protected].
Fast facts on the Festival
Celtic events kick off Thursday, July 12, with a free CrossBow concert co-sponsored by the Saline Celtic Festival, part of the Saline Main Street Summer Music Series, 7 to 9 p.m., downtown Saline.
CrossBow and Brother Crowe will perform Friday, July 13 at Pub Night in Mill Pond Park, that also features a Fire Performance by Ring of Steel; Limerick Contest; Mr. Pretty Legs competition; workshops for tin whistle, fiddle, bodhran, step dance, and Contra dance; a Celtic “jam session” and a Ceili; and a sneak preview of several Saturday events. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the fun runs to 11:30 p.m. Admission is $5, and includes the workshops.
Gates at Mill Pond Park open at 10 a.m. Saturday, with opening ceremonies and a massed band performance at 11 a.m. Festivities run until 11:30 p.m.
Saturday’s performers include Corktown Popes, CrossBow, Steel City Rovers, Brother Crowe, Finvarra’s Wren, Peat in the Creel, Roane, Saline Fiddlers, Celtic Jam, Nutshell Trio, Ann Arbor Morris Dance, Irish Dance Company of Lansing, Motor City Irish Dancers, Ann Arbor Celtic Harpers, Dancin’ Feet, CommonWealth Dance, Damsha Uisce Ban Mor, and Tartan & Thistle Dance.
New this year—the festival is hosting a Michigan Craft Beer Festival, noon to 6 p.m., with 20 breweries.
Gaestata (new this year), Ring of Steel, Ann Arbor Sword Club, the Barony of Cynnabar/Society for Creative Anachronism and the Michigan chapter of the Noble Company and Order of Saint Maurice will provide historical reenactments, sword play, fencing and more, while knights on horseback will display jousting skills.
Contestants in Ancient Athletics will compete in Heavy and Light Weight for distance; Weight Over Bar; Sheaf Toss; Caber Toss; and Braemar and Open Stone.
Other activities include: “The Kilted Magician,” sheep herding, Highland Athletics, pipe bands, Highland dance competitions, textile arts, merchant village, and a variety of food and drink including a large selection of beer.
Tickets at the gate on Saturday are $15/adults; $10/ages 65 and up; $5/ages 13-17; free/ages 12 and under, and active military. Advance tickets at salineceltic.org are $10/ adults; group of 10/$80. Sales close at 12 p.m. Friday. Tickets purchased online will be held at the festival gate at “Will Call.” Pre-event tickets are also available for $10 at Saline City Hall the week of the festival.
No pets are allowed on the festival grounds.
Parking is at Heritage and Woodland Meadows schools on Woodland Drive; free shuttle buses will run between the parking area and the festival site Friday evening and Saturday. The last shuttle leaves Mill Pond Park at midnight.
For complete information visit www.salineceltic.org.