The 2014 Golden State Feis was held on March 29th and 30th at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, Ca. This was our third time attending.
This feis is held under the St. Mary’s Cathedal in the “basement” area as we call it. It is not really a basement, more like the ground floor. We have always liked this feis and one of the reasons is because of the venue. Beginners through Prizewinners are located in the very large room in the center of the building while Prelims, Champs and Adult competitions take place in another smaller but still fairly large room across the hall. Check-in, results and the art competition are located in another large room off the hall as well. The wide hallway wraps around the entire large room in the center with beautiful marble floors and although there are no hardshoes allowed, it offers plenty of practice room between dances. The stages are nice and big with marley flooring over plywood. We have never had any problems finding seats as there is always plenty of room. “Camping” is not a big issue at this feis as there are enough chairs for everyone and saving seats doesn’t pose a problem. I have noticed that there is much more “camping” on the floor versus seats in the Championship room due to the smaller size of the room. One thing that has been a bit of an annoyance the last few times has been the hanging of solo dresses for sale on all the doors in and out of the large room in the middle. People will hang the dresses on the top of the door as well as the push bar to open the door. And even though these doors stay open during the feis I have seen people knock the dresses down going in and out and I myself have done this one or twice trying to sidestep a hurried dancer rushing by. I think these dresses would fare much better on a provided dress rack. I know, myself, don’t really relish the idea of knocking down $1200 worth of dress on the floor and wondering how much bling I may have knocked off. As for parking, well, everyone that has ever been to San Francisco knows that parking and that city do not go together. Parking, however, is not usually too much of a problem if you time it right. Parking is free in the cathedral parking lot and if you get there early enough you can find a spot very close. We have also arrived at times where the ages were switching and were able to find a spot no problem. If you are lucky, some parking spots are even covered, which we weren’t quite lucky enough to find this last time when, of course, it was pouring rain. Nothing like walking through the rain in a velvet school dress with tights, full makeup and a wig.