Is That a Shillelagh in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

This weekend Sunday we ventured over to my old stomping grounds, the Pocono’s. There was a Celtic Festival on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but as you guessed it; I worked Friday and Saturday. Which is practically unheard of in retail. If they had it their way, they would have me work on Sunday as well (and I did, for many weeks), but I changed my availability a couple weeks ago. My Sunday’s are completely available and I get to spend a little more time with the husband. I like the sound of that and you should too!

This was the 8th annual Celtic Festival held at Shawnee. I went to the Celtic Festival during one of their very FIRST festivals. My how things have changed. There are a lot more vendors, more food, more crowds, and better entertainment. They had petting farms (totally went there), leprechauns on stilts (boasting the claim “tallest leprechaun in the world”), bagpipes, sheep herding, demonstrations, and so much more. 

After arriving we heard bagpipes playing in the courtyard and then somehow gravitated towards the petting farm. We had no intention of actually stopping by to see them while we were there, but somehow we were being pulled in by the welcoming signs. “These animals have teeth. Do not stick your hands in their mouths.” Aw shucks, how did you know that’s why I came?

Let’s just test our luck shall we?

We browsed through the vendors to see what they were selling. I obviously need to know what I’ll be missing out on purchasing before I go home amiright? After all, they MAY have something I want err. need…

Spoken like a true shop-a-holic.

We also got to walk through where all of the food vendors were and smelll all of the smells of the fair food and Irish foods. I mentally tasted everything single amazing and disgusting scent in the air to remind myself of what I am missing out on. 

Chicken finger basket anyone? The willpower it took to turn that basket of clucks down. 

Ever since I went gluten free (still working on the dairy/casein free bit) almost four weeks ago for my underactive thyroid, I try to encourage people to eat double and think of me during that second helping. I remind them that they are doing the right thing by eating a little extra just for me. Those extra calories though, they can just keep them because I’m not interested in that nonsense.

We arrived at the main tent just in time to see a band called Burning Bridget Cleary. Google that. I dare you. Up will pop up a wiki page about Bridget Cleary. It’s a pretty ridiculous to say the very least. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.

They were pretty good and what you would typically expect from an Irish themed band. While they may have thought they were the main event at the tent, they were definitely proven wrong.  On the dance floor in front of them a little boy, around 2 years old was getting really into their music. And by getting into their music, what I really mean is spinning in circles and then randomly falling over from being dizzy. This happened every 2 minutes for the 30 minutes we were there. He was so captivating that even the band laughed as he randomly biffed it (fell on his face for those who don’t know what biffed it means) on the floor. 

There’s always something about falling down that can make anyone laugh out of the sheer pain we all know they experienced.

After about 30 minutes of Burning Bridget Cleary we went inside to the “Irish Pub” to see another act called Seamus Kennedy. We were not quite sure what we walked into, but we did not want to leave. He’s an entertainer of many sorts who hailed from Belfast, Ireland. He’s very good at engaging the crowd, cracking jokes, and keeping the crowd lively. 

Here’s a video of his performance yesterday that I found on youtube. See for yourself:

 I’m officially a fan! We left right before it ended and went over to watch the herding sheep dogs.
There were two collie’s at the show, but only one was working at a time. While the one dog was working, the other was standing with the owner who was announcing next to me. I guess the dog got a whiff of my awesome-sauce because he would not leave me alone. He kept sitting in between my legs and shoving his face on my lap demanding I pet him the entire time. The owner kept asking me if I wanted to take him home. 
My response was that I’m pretty sure I have my hands full with the dogs I have now. 
But then I thought, how great would it be to have a dog to herd in my other dogs? So efficient!
One of the most interesting thing was the fact that this particular breed, the border collie, herds the sheep primarily by staring at them. Other herding dogs use different methods, but the border collie will stare, lay down, and come at them from different directions to direct them. The sheep see them as predators, wisely, and will run away from the border collie just by a stare. Based on whistle commands by the owner/trainer, the collie knows whether to run clockwise or counterclockwise to steer them.
After the sheep herding we made our way back to the car to return to the Lehigh Valley.
I love going to festivals and I’m so glad festival season is in full swing! I have to say, this was a bit out of the way for us (over an hour) and a bit overpriced in our minds. It is great, however, for comparison sake. Bethlehem (so, our neck of the woods!) is holding it’s annual Celtic Classic taking place in September with entertainment, highland games, and so much more! I’m dying to see which of these is worth skipping and which is worth attending. 
Have you ever been to a Celtic Festival? What was the best part? What was the best festival you have attended?
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