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Putnam Responds to ‘Celtic Calling’

The Appalachian Lasses perform at the Kanawha County Library.

The seventh annual Celtic Calling held this last weekend in downtown Charleston called out to the roots of many Appalachians. The event, a celebration of Celtic culture and traditions, featured a variety of educational demonstrations of traditional crafts such as weaving; numerous musical performances; Beni Kedem Highlanders Tartan Ball; traditional Celtic folk dancing; a 5K kilt run and walk; Irish road bowling; Highland games; a pub crawl; and a parade. The parade featured the Loch Ness Monster, St. Patrick, bagpipers, and Scottish and Irish dancers.

Putnam County talent was well represented in the dance and musical performances at this year’s Celtic Calling.

Kaylee Polk and Friends provided musical accompaniment for a community folk dance hosted by Friends of Old Time Music and Dance (FOOTMAD). The dance, which was held at the Kanawha United Presbyterian Church on the evening of Friday, March 3, featured traditional round and long dances of Irish origin. Kaylee is a sixteen-year-old fiddle player from Red House who has been playing since she was six. Her father, Chris, was also in the musical ensemble, playing stand up base guitar.

On Saturday, March 4, the Appalachian Lasses, a troupe of Scottish and Irish dancers with Red House-based Mountain Dance, performed at the Kanawha County Library to a standing room only crowd. The troupe, which is comprised of children and teens, gave demonstrations of several historical dances, including the famous Highland Fling and the Scottish Sword Dance. While performing the Scottish dances, the dancers dressed in colorful kilts; for the Irish dances, they wore outfits of black and green. Besides putting on a demonstration of traditional dancing, the performers also invited the audience to participate and learn several dances for themselves. Later in the afternoon, the Appalachian Lasses marched in the Celtic Calling parade down Capitol Street, giving performances during halts in the parade to the delight of the crowd that lined both sides of the street.

With a wide variety of events for all ages, Celtic Calling offers something for everyone. If you missed out this year, the event will be returning next March.

Kaylee Polk and Friends provided musical accompaniment.
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