Thursday, June 14, 2012

Malad Valley Welsh Festival

Welsh Culture and History Celebrated in Southeastern Idaho

The 8th annual Malad Valley Welsh Festival commemorates the heritage of the Welsh in southeastern Idaho with a four-day Festival that has something for everyone, Welsh or not! Located in Oneida County, the Malad Valley was originally settled by Welsh pioneers in the 1860s. One of their many Welsh traditions was an annual cultural arts event called an eisteddfod, celebrated for over 900 years. This event was held locally until it was discontinued before World War 1. The festival takes place from June 28th through July 1st.

Events at the Malad Valley Welsh Festival

Day 1:   Experts in Welsh genealogy from the Salt Lake City Family History Library will present workshops on Welsh names and language, how to conduct Welsh family research, and how to preserve photographs. Malad Valley has the largest per capita concentration of people of Welsh ancestry outside the country of Wales itself. For that reason, many residents of the Valley wanted to reestablish their Welsh roots.

Day 2:   Entertainment of all types dominate the second day, including:

  • Choral and piano concerts. The music of Evan Stephens, composer and conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, will be featured at the choral concert.

  • Welsh musicians and dancers

  •  Youth presentations about local historic sites

  •  Professional presentations about Welsh culture, language, and history.  Dr. Ronald Dennis will present about the Welsh Mormon emigration to the western United States.

  •  Displays about Welsh pioneer families and pioneer games

  • Wagon rides to historic sites in Malad

  • Quilt show

  •  Biathlon

  •  Film festival

  •  Community lunch and breakfast

  • Food and home craft vendors

Day 3:   An evening program in the historic 130-year-old Presbyterian Church will feature male vocal soloists.

Directions and Location of the Malad Valley Welsh Festival

Most events are held at the Malad City Park and the town church. Take main exit to Malad. Follow Welsh and United States flags to City Park on 100 West, one block south of downtown Malad. There are many fine Idaho Bed and Breakfast options in the vicinity of Malad. Take a look at one now!

Are you Welsh?

Do you know about your Welsh heritage, or have you attended the festival in the past? Please share you experiences with us!

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