The 22nd annual St. Ambrose Spring Feis was held Saturday, May 10, 2014 to Sunday, May 11, 2014 in Pomona, CA. This was our second year in a row attending this feis. We enjoyed ourselves so much last year that we decided to give it a go again and were not disappointed.
The venue for this feis is one of our favorites. This feis has been held at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona, California. The huge conference center building has all the stages and vendors in the same place plus a huge area to practice on the side, making it nice for parents with multiple dancers or parents that dance as well. There were quite a few dances that I was able to look down the line and see my daughter dancing while I was waiting in line to dance. Usually, I have to miss some of her dances because we are in separate rooms. It was a bit more crowded this year than last, however, we were only there on Sunday for the grades, not Championships. The building was nice and cool and the hotel is located in a safe little neighborhood close to the freeway. Parking is a breeze as there is always plenty of parking right in front of the conference center, and free too!
Most of the judges looked like they were having a good time and happy to be there. There were a few that were a bit more stern and didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the dancers, but you never know. One of the best parts of the day was watching one of my favorite judges hide the microphone from the announcer with an impish grin and then scurry off. The mood was playful throughout the day between judges and announcers and made for less nerves and butterflies for the dancers.
The music at this feis was ok. It was a little faster than most feisanna as some tend to be at times. The only major negative I found with this feis was a music issue and it wasn’t really the musicians fault. Being that the building was so large and had a VERY high ceiling, the fact that the musicians were stationed at one end of the stages made for some very distorted sounding music by the time it reached the other end of the stages. It was very hard to dance to and a lot of people were complaining about that. I think they finally turned on a speaker at the other end halfway throughout the day.
This feis had three food options on site. One feis food cart and a little pre-made sandwich shop from the hotel were located within the building, while the hotel lounge/restaurant was a few minute walk across the courtyard. I personally, did not eat at any of these but I heard that they were all pretty costly. As with most feisanna, we brought our own food to munch on during the day. Being that this was in Southern California there are a variety of really good Mexican restaurants within minutes from the hotel and we took advantage of one of them after it was over. There are plenty of other eating options in the area if you want to drive there.
Not as many booths as most of the feisanna we attend. Two or three shoe/wigs booths and the feis shirt guy was about it at this one.
Results were on time and posted on the huge wall over on the other side of the room so not much crowding and shoving to see them which is always nice.
This feis was very on time and flowed very nicely just like last year. Once it started there was not a lot of waiting in between dances and the day went by very fast and was fun.
This feis was super fun and very low key. It is located in an area with lots to do and see as well. Cleary is well organized and makes it enjoyable. We hope to be able to come every year. One thing I really like about this feis was the amount of adults that competed. The numbers were a lot higher than most feisanna and if you are an adult dancer this is a great one to move up in since there were way over 5 in all my dances.