Words of Wisdom: A fair day ‘tis, at the Fair…

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Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

Whether it’s a County Fair, a Country Fair, a Spring or Harvest Fair, or even a Farm Fair, people get together to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate something important. No matter what it is, it’s a party.

Fairs and festivals have a lot to do with food, but not the kind at home. Fair food either comes on a stick, or it’s so sticky it sticks to your nose, or it’s something weird fried, refried, or deep fried.

And sometimes the fair itself is weird enough to be famous even if it only happens once. Remember the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of August 15 through18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York? Today, statisticians say,

  • More than 400,000 people attended Woodstock.
  • Over those four days vendors sold:
    • 2.7 million gallons of water
    • 750,000 cans of beer
    • 100,000 hot dogs
    • 15,000 pounds of granola
    • And a single bar of soap!

Fortunately—or unfortunately if Woodstock is one of your fondest memories—some fairs and festivals are a little tamer and more “family friendly” than that one-of-a-kind high-water mark in American cultural shindigs.

That’s why this week your Jamestown Gazette invites all of our readers to help celebrate the long-awaited reboot of one of the region’s most popular, long-running fairs—the Celtic Festival & Gathering of the Clans—now re-emerging from its two-year Covid-mandated retirement.

But the Celtic Festival & Gathering of the Clans was not really asleep. At most, they were only catnapping. Behind the scenes, the organizers were planning and building a bigger, better-than-ever celebration of the region’s Celtic history and roots.

The Celtic Festival is bringing new sounds and popular, world-famous groups to Mayville this year. Past attendees will find, hear, taste, and experience much they have enjoyed before, and maybe even more that they haven’t yet seen.

Some of the newest material at the festival will still draw on the time-honored traditions of the ancient clans or Scotland, Ireland, and the other Celtic nations of the world, but a few new groups will add the high spirits of American and Canadian back-country blues and rock that will keep feet stomping and hands clapping all night long.

So, whether you are among the Celtic diaspora to the New World or of some other tradition, tribe, clan, or heritage, please join in the Celtic conquest of Mayville, New York, this weekend.

Good music, great food, and new friends await!

Enjoy the experience, and as always with your Jamestown Gazette in hand, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.