You won’t need any luck to feel Irish next weekend in Sonora.
Nor will you need a kilt to feel Scottish – although wearing one is encouraged as the 28th annual Sonora Celtic Faire returns to the Mother Lode Fairgrounds from Friday through March 9.
Celebrating the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Wales, the festival is among the largest annual events in the region, paying homage to all things Celtic with music, jousting, living history displays and performers, vendors, craftsmen, artisans, a Scottish Highland competition, food and more.
The event begins Friday with a day of events, then an evening kickoff party at 7 will feature Celtic bands and dancers at the festival’s large pub tavern.
The fun continues March 8-9 with an array of entertainment and competitions.
There will be five stages of music this year, featuring the bands Celtica, Tempest, 1916, Black Eyed Dempseys, Banshee in the Kitchen, Black Irish Band, Cooking with Turf, Stand Easy with master piper John Alan, Golden Bough and others.
Along with the entertainment from the bands, there will be Irish step dancers and Scottish highland dancers, jugglers, magicians, fire eaters and even a fire-breathing dragon.
Several competitors are scheduled to jump on horseback for the jousting events. A large armor foot combat tournament also is planned, featuring more than 30 competitors.
More than 400 costumed performers will take part in a Celtic living history area.
Scottish Highland competitions will feature stone putting, Scottish hammer toss, heavy-weight throws, a caber toss and other events. Also on hand will be Scottish bagpipers, Celtic clans and Irish dogs.
And, of course, no such celebration would be complete without traditional foods, along with plenty of whiskey – four whiskey bars are planned – and ales.
So, as the Gaelic say, sláinte!