Friday, July 19, 2002

British Festival puts accent on fun

Pub rock, caber tossing and kilts on tap this weekend

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer contributor

[photo] Florida artist Barry Chevalier arranges his sculptures Thursday at the British Isles Festival.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        HARVEYSBURG — The first British Isles Festival this weekend promises to be a display of energy and muscle.

        From high-flying cabers to high-volume Irish pub rock, from dancing to dog trials, the celebration will feature entertainment with several accents.

        Headlining the musical entertainment is Black 47, an ensemble of Irish-Americans that fans call the House Band of New York City.

        “They have played on Jay Leno and David Letterman, as well as other TV shows,” said Billie Andrews, who with her husband, Jesse, is managing the festival.

        There's the California-based Scots band Bad Haggis for those who prefer their music with a bit of a burr. The piping of band member Eric Rigler has added a soulful note to the soundtracks of Braveheart and Titanic.

   What: British Isles Festival
   When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
   One-day specials: British car show (Saturday), Columbus Celtic Dancers (Saturday), Cincinnati Scots Highland Dancers (Sunday).
   Where: Renaissance Park, Ohio 73 east of Harveysburg
   Admission: 2-day admission $15, 1-day admission $10, 2-day child (6-12) $5
   Information: 897-7000 or
        While Morris Dancers perform traditional English circle dances at one end of the festival grounds, their kilted neighbors to the north will be heaving cabers (hefty wooden poles) and giant hammers to see just how far heavy objects can travel.

        These Scottish Games will be coordinated by Cleveland Phillip Bearden. “The competitors are local and regional amateurs registered with the North American Scottish Games Association, which sanctions my events,” Mr. Bearden said. “We've got quite a variety of contestants, from preachers to chili chefs.”

        He hopes the British Isles Festival games eventually will attract enough sponsors to build a respectable purse and draw professional athletes. But for now, he says, an amateur event is just fine.

        The Cincinnati Enquirer/


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