Make us your home page
Instagram

Music, demonstrations, competitions highlight Celtic Family Jamboree at Sertoma Youth Ranch

BROOKSVILLE — The first week of February always seemed to be a difficult time for Celtic entertainers to find performance venues in Florida. So, about five years ago, a group of artists contacted Greg McGrath, the late chief financial officer of Celtic Heritage Productions, and asked him to help find them gigs.

McGrath did something better, and in 2012 put together the first Celtic Family Jamboree at the Sertoma Youth Ranch. The fourth jamboree kicks off this evening and will include music, workshops, camping and camaraderie.

"This is such a great event," said Marcille Wallis, president of Celtic Heritage Productions and McGrath's widow. "What makes it popular is its uniqueness and the camp itself. It is such a beautiful place for folks to come together and make lasting friendships. Even the artists are accessible."

Entertainment will be on two stages and will include Albannach, Rathkeltair, Brendan Nolan, the West of Galway Duo, Marcille Wallis and Friends, Bing Futch, and Oddbins.

Saturday will include a variety of workshops: fiddle, pennywhistle, bodhrán drum and mountain dulcimer.

A popular part of the weekend will be the Highland Athletics Demo, which will be open to men and women this year.

"The games started hundreds of years ago in Scotland as a way to find the strongest men," Wallis said. "But this year's games will have a handicap, and the winner just might be a woman."

The games are similar to strongman sports, Wallis said, and will require strength and finesse. For example, one of the competitive events will be the caber toss, a long, tapered pole similar to a telephone pole.

"There's a lot of trash-talking among the men, good-natured of course," she said with a laugh.

The Celtic Family Jamboree is a family-friendly event, with plenty of activities for children. A number of Celtic vendors will be on hand. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

For Wallis, coming to the annual jamborees is somewhat bittersweet.

Not only is it a way to carry on her late husband's legacy, but it also reminds her of her youth.

Wallis lived in Brooksville for a year as a child, and spent many summers at her grandparents' place on Croom Road. Her grandfather, Jack Funderburk, was the music minister at First Baptist Church before he died in 1968.

"I spent the first 14 years of my life here," she said. "So this is like coming home."

>>If you go

Celtic Family Jamboree

When: Gates open at 3 p.m. today, with a potluck dinner and entertainment beginning at 5 p.m. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday, with workshops and demonstrations in the morning and performances in the afternoon and evening. Tribute to Greg McGrath at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Where: Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, south of Spring Lake.

Tickets: Advance tickets are $18 for today, $22 for Saturday; tickets at the gate are $20 today, $25 Saturday. Weekend tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the gate. Camping, subject to availability, is $30 in advance, $35 at the gate.

Contact: Visit celticheritageproductions.com or call (941) 625-8544.

Music, demonstrations, competitions highlight Celtic Family Jamboree at Sertoma Youth Ranch 02/03/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 4:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Want to feel old? It's been 20 years since the first 'Harry Potter' was published

    Books

    He was so cute: Blond hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. He was dressed in a black robe with a fake scar on his forehead and regaling our fifth-grade class with his book report on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As a 10-year-old with only the most sophisticated of tastes (give me a Baby-Sitters Club any day), …

    An auctioneer holds a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" containing annotations and illustrations by author J.K. Rowling. The tale has turned 20,  published in Britain on June 26, 1997. Since then, it has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. (Associated Press [2013])
  2. Restaurant review: Deccan Spice in Feather Sound is a gateway to the allures of Indian cuisine

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER

    Feather Sound's Tru Lounge, which was Flo Lounge before that, morphed into Grand Siam in 2012, a giant Thai restaurant owned by the folks who had Ban Thai restaurants in Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon and Lakeland. It was lavish with dramatic fluted chandeliers and a long, polished wood sushi bar, but it …

    Some of the selections at a recent lunch buffet at Deccan Spice included chicken biryani, gobi masala and murgh masala.
  3. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders

    Cooking

    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  4. Who topped the Billboard charts 35 years ago? Paul and Stevie, of course

    Blogs

    We really did have it so much better in the early ‘80s. Just check out the Billboard top 5 songs for the week of June 26, 1982. 

  5. Taste test: Unsalted butters

    Taste Test

    Even good things should be tasted in moderation. That's why we divided the columns for our tasting of salted butters. Last week, our judges shared their favorites from the first eight of 16 varieties found at local grocery stores. Here, they review the other eight. We spread the butters on unsalted saltine crackers in …