Friday, July 18, 2014

The Saline Celtic Festival 2014

Over on my art blog, I wrote a post about the things I do for the Wee Folk at the Saline Celtic Festival, but it was getting a little long.  I decided to split the post into two, blogging about the crafts there and the athletics and other stuff here!  Here's a run-down of the awesome activities offered on the "Island:" 

Wee Haggis Hurl - In the main festival, there are crowd participation events for adults. One of them is the Haggis Hurl, where people can try their hand at throwing a frozen haggis and see how far it can go.  ...I'll let you think about that awesomeness for a minute...  So, a few years ago I thought I'd do a mini version of that, using water balloons.  It was fun, but I got sort of tired of cleaning up popped water balloons, and the filling of them took a long time.  So this year, I used elements of past athletics (hula hoops from a Wee Survivor competition and pool noodles with PVC pipe in the middle that were once part of a Wee Caber Toss*) to create a goal and had my sister make some haggis-shaped bean bags.  Much more effective, much cleaner, and much less time filling balloons! The kids seemed to enjoy it.

Defeat the Dragon - Two years ago I made a dragon, a castle turret, and a castle entrance out of four sheets of donated plywood (thanks, Home Depot!).  The dragon is also a corn hole bag game, where 100 points means the dragon has been defeated!  He also seems to watch over the Island, as he lives right near the entrance to the Island's activities.

Wee Golf Course - This was a new one this year!  Over the years I've eliminated a few athletic events for various reasons* and this year decided that this would be a good replacement for them.  Plus, it has Scottish origins, so it fits with the festival theme!  And bonus, there's an awesome grassy path right by our main Wee Folks area that is perfect for a mini golf course.  I think the kids really enjoyed it!  I plan on expanding from six to nine holes next year, and maybe having other people come and help me design the holes. 

The last hole!
*Here a some of the things I've eliminated over the years:
Wee Caber Toss - the "cabers" were a little too light-weight, I think, so kids usually ended up sword fighting with them, or just whacking their friends with them.  It had to go...
Wee Survivor - 3 or 4 years ago the festival started to do a Celtic Survivor competition for adults, so I thought it'd be fun to do a "Wee" version, with elimination rounds to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.  It was pretty fun, but a lot of extra stress for me the day of, so I stopped doing it this year.

Some of the other activities on the Island are: 
Ducky Races! - Four times in the afternoon people have a chance to win some fun prizes (like this pillow, this castle, or this knight set).  All they have to do is pick a duck and pay a buck! (That should be my new slogan for this...) This year I started offering a "6 ducks for $5" deal, which people seemed to like. We dump the duckies at one point in the river, and whichever one gets to the bridge first is the winner!  It's pretty fun!

Princess Merida!!! - For the last two years, Princess Merida from the movie "Brave" has come to the island.  The kids LOVE her! She talks to them, gives hugs, tells stories, and sends them off to find the Will-o-the-Wisps in the woods!  (I made those and sort of love them!  We hide them and the kids bring them to us for a prize when they find one.  Then we re-hide them!)
Princess Merida telling stories
Mini Merida on the left is so cute!
Merida, played by the incredibly talented and
sweet Hannah Rains, is SO good with the kids!
It's no wonder they love seeing here there!

A Will-o-the-Wisp hiding in the woods...

Face Painting - this is something I've never been able to have consistently.  It's hard to find a good face painter that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but this year we had one! She was excellent, and the kids were lined up to have their faces painted.

Wee Folks Parade - At 4:30, we take a break from our busy crafting and athleticizing (I think that should be a word...) and a bagpiper comes and leads the kids around the rest of the festival!  This is a chance for them to show off their craft projects and for the rest of the festival goers to see what we have to offer.  Princess Merida joins the fun, and the kids who participate love it! (And the free ice cream treat they get for being in the parade...!!)  This year I had streamers out (see photo above) for people to use to decorate their wagons and strollers for the parade.  Fun!
(Our piper forgot his kilt this year...oops!)
The best part?  All of these activities (except for the Ducky Race) are free, thanks to the sponsorship of Play and Learn Childcare.  

(Check back to my art blog for a wrap-up!)

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