by Rodger Hara By now the summer festival season is almost over from the first ones in Utah to the Long”s Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, for many years the usual season-ending traditional festival in Colorado. The City of Edgewater and the Edgewater Arts Project are changing that by sponsoring the first annual Celtic Harvest Festival Edgewater that will be the last traditional festival of the season on September 18th and 19th. Celebrating the autumn season and Colorado”s Celtic community, the Festival will be held in Citizen”s Park at 22nd and Benton and admission and parking will be free. Featuring a farmer”s market, pipers, Highland and Irish dancing, a grand list of local bands, food, the Renaissance Scots, Flyball Dog Races and fermented spirits, the Festival will provide a fun time for the whole family Fresh vegetables harvested from local farms will be offered at the farmer”s market along with freshly-baked soda bread from the Irish Bread Company and other delectable food offerings. Artwork by local artists like the wood turnings and portraits of Colin Cunningham, glass art from Michael and Susan Penfold”s Woodland Glass Arts Studio and craftwork from the shops of Colorado craftspersons such as Greeley”s Whistle and Drum will also be available. In addition, Celtic merchandise will be available from local merchants including The Celtic Broker, The Emporium, Gilded Dragon Gifts and BTS Chocolate Honey. Pipers and Highland dancers from the award-winning Colorado Youth Pipe Band will be featured throughout the day on the dance stage along with dancers from the Heritage Irish Youth Dancers. Colcannon and The Indulgers headline the local bands that will be appearing on the Main Stage both days. Other bands include Stone Walls, Orion”s Bow, Skean Dubh, C”ol C”ili, Gobs O”Phun, Indigent Row and Empty Pockets. The Renaissance Scots Living History Association (better known as the RenScots) are a group of re-enactors whose goal is to recreate the look, feel, sound (and according to their website, occasionally the odor) of the Scottish Highlands in the time before the Battle of Culloden in 1740. Their “Living History” presentation of swordfighting, weaving and black-smithing by members in full costume adds a unique experience for Festival attendees. And the Flyball Dog Races have to be seen to be believed (and enjoyed!). Dogs of all sizes “fly” down parallel courses, jump over hurdles (the height of which is determined by the shortest of the 4 dogs on each team), trigger the release of a tennis ball from a box then race back down the course over the hurdles to their trainers. (The box is reloaded with a new tennis ball for each dog.) The start/finish line has an infrared light that is triggered by each dog passing through it and the winner of a race is the team that finishes first without error (or the fewer errors). Flyball Dog Racing is an international sport (who knew?) with tournaments across North America all year. The races are great, noisy family fun. Volunteer opportunities to help make the Festival a success remain available. Information about the Festival, the bands and other groups appearing and a volunteer registration form can be found at www.celticharvestfestivaledgewater.com

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