Celtic Festival, Kapunda 2007

My first visit to Kapunda, Australia's oldest mining town, was to experience one day of a three day event, the 32nd Annual Kapunda Celtic Festival. Blonde Rose and I attended the second day which was a Saturday.

As far as Celtic Festivals go, this one had a Celtic flavor but my impression overall was that this could have easily have been a Town Festival. Largely because many of the market stalls and some of the performing artists weren't specifically 'Celtic' themed. That said, I didn't get to see all of the Celtic performing artists such as dancers, singers and more. Perhaps if I had I would've been left with more of a Celtic experience.

Don't get me wrong, I was not disappointed with the festival at all. Kapunda is an exceptional town with a lot to see. Which is why I didn't see all the entertainment. Too busy looking in local art galleries and exploring the excellent basement Kapunda history display at the Visitor Centre, as well as the basement museum display at the Kapunda Bakery. Even without a festival there is plenty to do.

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What we did see at the festival was Honorary Town Crier and Honorary Escort Town Crier (to the City of Salisbury) Tom and Daphne Benny. Tom is something of a regional icon for his Town crier abilities and he was in fine form at this event, welcoming guests to the town and announcing the various street performances.

An Ghillee Mhor and the Border Celts was the only truly Celtic act I saw. Unfortunately I only caught the last half of their spirited dance routine that involved a bit of shouting and a lot of hitting together of, what looked to me like, bamboo poles.

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The Creole Cowboyz, a six member band of blokes, playing music inspired by Creole French traditions, were a highlight. They seemed to be putting on a show intended for kids and families but, with a lack of younger members, persevered with an older audience that connected well with their humor. A particular highlight was a very young audience member enjoying dancing around like a chicken to the bands 'chicken song'.

Later in the afternoon we caught the Henna nights Bellydance troupe. They put on a great demonstration with three different performances - two group dances then a solo dancer for the finale. I'm not exactly sure how 'Celtic' belly dancing is but the performances were very well received and added much colour to the festival.

We finished off the day by taking a drive around the historic sites of the town that included some excellent lookout points for views of the surrounding country side. I must do this tour again some time because we were chasing the setting sun. Trying to see everything before we ran out of light.

I quite enjoyed the trip to Kapunda. A town that should certainly be on your itinerary if you happen to be in the region.

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