The fifth annual Celtic Festival, now going under the name Midsummer Faire and Celtic Celebration, will be held at The Farm on Saint Mathias (7579 St. Mathias Road, Brainerd MN 56401) on Saturday July 27, from 11 am – 6 pm.
The Farm on Saint Mathias is once again proud to be partnering with Finnegans—not only to bring you a great Celtic celebration—but also to support the Emergency Foodshelf Network’s Harvest for the Hungry program. Buy beer from the Finnegan’s truck at the festival and all proceeds will be donated to the Harvest for the Hungry. Finnegans is “turning beer into food.” Read more about Finnegans and their commitment to eliminate hunger.
Live entertainment on the Main Stage by The Fauxtatoes, the Gunn Slingers, and Todd Menton—all emceed by Welsh storyteller John Dingley. Special cultural area guests this year are Erin Hart, author of archaeological crime novels set in the mysterious bogs of Ireland, speaking about her latest novel, THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, and TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Composer of the Year 2012 Paddy O’Brien, who will be speaking about his amazing Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection, and his recent memoir, THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH, and chatting casually with festival-goers in the Farm Market building.
Traditional Celtic craft demonstrations of sheep shearing, fiber spinning, dying and weaving. Demonstrations by stonecutters, blacksmiths, metalsmiths, fiber spinners and the Blue Ox Brewers Society. Try Irish ceili dancing—or just dance! Activities for children including games, facepainting, and balloon twisting. Don’t forget to visit the Alpacas of Whistling Wind Farm.
Featuring vendors selling Celtic clothing, soaps, music, and craft items. Vendors include: From the Ground Up Pottery, Fiber Creations by Tammy Severtson, Handcrafted soaps by Backwoods Bathing, Celtic Cottage, Reclaimation furniture, The Center for Irish Music and more. Food by our friends at Prairie Bay!
New theatrical event! The Weir, a five-person, an atmospheric one-act play which takes place in an Irish pub, presented by students from Central Lakes College. PG13. Seating is limited and located in the new farm building. Wine and food will be served by Prairie Bay.
Our special guests are award winning crime novelist Erin Hart and her husband 2012 TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Composer of the Year, Paddy O’Brien. Both Paddy and Erin are respositories of fascinating information, history, and stories which they will share with you. Find them speaking, reading, playing, and chatting in the Farm Market.
Hear Award Winning Author Erin Hart at 11:30am and 2:30pm
Erin Hart writes a series of archaeological crime novels set in the mysterious boglands of Ireland. After graduating with a theater degree from Saint Olaf College, she earned an M.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and worked as an arts administrator, journalist, and theater critic. A lifelong interest in Irish traditional music also led her to co-found Minnesota’s Irish Music & Dance Association.
Erin’s debut novel, Haunted Ground, introduced readers to pathologist Nora Gavin and archaeologist Cormac Maguire. In addition to winning the Friends of American Writers award and Romantic Times Best First Mystery, the book was shortlisted for Anthony and Agatha awards, and was named by Book-Of-The-Month Club and ALA Booklist as one of the best crime novels of 2003. Lake of Sorrows, the second novel in the series, was recognized as a Minnesota Book Award finalist in 2004. False Mermaid, third in the series, was published in March 2010. In addition to being published all over the English-speaking world, Erin’s work has beentranslated into German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, and Japanese.
She lives in Saint Paul with her husband, Irish button accordion player Paddy O’Brien, with whom she frequently visits Ireland, carrying out essential research in bogs and cow pastures and castles and pubs.
See Legendary Accordion Player Paddy O’Brien at 1:00 and 4:00pm
A product of County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland, Paddy O’Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition’s most important repositories; in a musical career that spans nearly forty years, he has collected more than 3,000 compositions—jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, and marches, including many rare and unusual tunes. His mastery of the two-row button accordion was also acknowledged through prestigious awards: he was named Oireachtas champion four times, and All-Ireland senior accordion champion in 1975. In Ireland, he played and recorded with the famed Castle Ceili Band and Ceoltoiri Laighean.
In 1978, Paddy began playing regularly in the United States, in Washington D.C., Saint Louis, Saint Paul, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and many places between. He has been featured on three recordings with Shanachie Records since 1978, and in 1988 released his first solo album, “Stranger at the Gate,” on the Green Linnet label. Paddy has taught at the prestigious Willie Clancy Summer School held in Milltown Malbay, County Clare, and has served as a master artist in the Minnesota State Arts Board Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program.
In 1994, Paddy received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to record and document 500 reels and jigs from his vast repertoire of traditional tunes. The result of that effort, The Paddy OBrien Tune Collection: A Personal Treasury of Irish Traditional Music, Volume One, was released in 1995 and has received accolades from players of Irish music around the world. In 2011, Paddy released Volume Two of his ground-breaking work, containing another 500 tunes. He is now at work on a third volume, with the generous support of the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Irish Music & Dance Association.
In 2012, the Irish language television network TG4 honored Paddy with its Gradam Ceoil Traditional Composer of the Year Award. This prestigious award (commonly referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of Irish music) recognizes a lifetime of achievement.
Paddy currently plays and tours internationally as a solo artist, and with a seven-piece traditional music chamber orchestra called O’Rourke’s Feast.