The Celtic Fling Feis was held on June 28th, 2014 in Manheim, PA.
This is an outdoor feis, combined with an Irish-Scottish festival. Be aware that each adult needs to pay to get into the feis (it includes admission to the fair) even if you do not want to go to the fair. The parking is well organized with parking attendants leading you to your appropriate spot. A short walk later and you have been transported into a Renaissance Village with the signage to prove it. Ye Enter Here! Be prepared for long lines to get tickets and dancer numbers, although there is an option to pick them up the night before.
The dancers loved the Renaissance look. As far as trying to lug a Zuca bag through the village…. not easy. The paths are all rocks and hard to push or pull the required many items that feis people need. The smart people arrived early with their tents and chairs, camping in the very small amount of shade available. Overall, since it wasn’t really humid, it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t all that hot, it was nice once you managed to get your gear past the rock path.
Rating – 9
There is a small snack stand close to stages 4 and 5. The offerings were pretty slim. Think granola bars, fruit and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Nachos, chicken fingers and soda for lunch. My guess is that they keep the offerings minimal because the good food is over at the fair. Prices were reasonable.
Rating – 6
The ones that I saw seemed attentive. The dancers rotated stages so they were able to experience different judges.
Rating – 10
We had a well-known musician on our stage, who is always fabulous. On one of the OC stages, there were reports that a less than wonderful musician was present. Stories of wrong music, wrong speeds and a lot of starting and re-starting. It may not be a good idea to place a new musician on an OC stage where these dancers can clearly call the musician out….just a thought.
Rating – 6
The champ awards were nice. Medal round awards for only the first place champion dancer. They did have crystal awards instead of trophies (a nice change) and nice sashes. The grades awards came out relatively quickly with happy dancers receiving trophies and medals. There were even ribbons for places greater than third.
Rating – 9
Only 3. One shoe, one tee shirt and one “feis essentials” vendor. Nothing special. The real vendors were at the fair.
Rating – 7
A nice feis as long as the weather is good. The flow and results are good and everybody can enjoy some traditional Irish and Scottish music and games post feis. Get there early and bring your chairs and a tent and you will have a good day.
One nice addition to the awards for OC / PC was that they placed everyone. EVERYONE left with something. Very nice touch.
I am familiar with how this group runs feiseanna and they do a nice job. The topic of everyone getting something has come up before. Take a look at the Editors Note at the bottom of the last West Virginia Feis Review for more on that if you have the chance. https://whatthefeis.com/west-virginia-feis-pcoc-day-2014/
Overall I liked the feis and how it was run, but I learned that I am not a fan of outdoor feiseanna. It was so hard for the dancers because of the heat and not much shade around the sides of the stages to cool down in between dances. I also felt the champ stages were too small. There was no room between the stage and where dancers were lined up and where parents were sitting. My DD’s clicks are always in the corners of the stages and she wasn’t able to give them full effort because she was afraid she was going to kick another dancer or parent. Other than those two things, the results were quick, I actually liked having less vendors and I loved having the faire to go to.