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Féis an Eilein: 20 Years of Embracing Gaelic Culture
“The Féis is on this week.” This is a common statement echoed in Central Cape Breton over the course of the past few days. Féis an Eilein is a Gaelic Cultural festival that happens in Christmas Island, Cape Breton. For one full week in August of each year, the Christmas Island Fire Hall comes alive with Gaelic language, dance and music. It is fantastic.
2010 marks the 20th anniversary of this worthwhile event. Last night was the Pipers’ Ceilidh. I remember the very first one; it was electric! It was a night to be remembered in the piping world and in the Gaelic world as well. That night, if memory serves me correctly, the music of John MacLean, Jamie MacInnis, Allan MacDonald, Paul K. MacNeil, and Barry Shears was heard (someone please correct me if I am wrong on this). I played piano. Paul MacDonald played guitar. It was some of the most fun, musically, that many musicians have likely had in their musical lives to date. I know for me it sure was.
The balance of the week provides more opportunity to participate in language workshops, a milling frolic and square-dances too! The Féis is a home to all, bring your children, your parents, bring your heart and soul and participate in a wonderful week of Gaelic Cultural events and experiences.