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International bands to play at Celtic Country Faire

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Your toes are going to tap, period.

And it might take all you have to stifle the urge to get up and dance an Irish jig – professionals will be on hand for that – but you’ll be thoroughly entertained by the Celtic songs and instrumentals planned for the second annual Celtic Country Faire benefiting Southern STARRS, a no fee therapeutic horseback riding program for special needs children and adults.

The event is to be held from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday, May 22 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

“It’ll be like last year, but bigger,” said Kaysie Young, assistant director of the program.

A large crowd attended the first-ever event in 2009, visiting vendors, watching the Irish dancers and bobbing their heads and, well, tapping their toes to the Celtic bands that performed.

Making their first appearance in Lebanon, internationally known band Albannach from Scotland will bring their hard-driving drum beat to the stage at the Ward Center.

Albannach is Scots-Gaelic and means “Scottish” or “Scotsman.” All of the members of the band were born and raised in Scotland. The members include a championship winning piper, a main drummer, bass drummers and bodhran musicians. Bodhran is pronounced “baw-rahn,” says which defines it as a shallow, hand-held drum that is played with a stick.

And they sing, too, very well, thank you. The group has produced three CDs – you can check them out at their website at 

Returning this year to perform is Coyote Run, a Virginia-based group that has toured Ireland and many places in the Eastern U.S.

They are a modern band, that is, they include traditional sounds yet it is updated and features well known instruments such as guitar, bagpipes, whistles and mandolin and perhaps lesser known ones such as the Australian didgeridoo (long horn), the dulcimer and African djembe drums. Their songs sometimes include references to literature.

Coyote Run has produced a number of CDs, and you can learn more about them and check out their sound, too, at

Also, the Alabama Pipe and Drum Corps with their mascot, Vinny, the Scottish Terrier, will perform as will others.

The Celtic Country Faire will feature vendor booths, and a building has been obtained for them this year, Young said.

The Chili Cook-Off, headed up by Carol Knight, returns this year, as does the Fairest Baby Contest.

The Fairest Baby Contest is open for babies from birth to 4 years old. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 savings bond and a photo session with Amy Rich Photography of Lebanon.

The first and second runners-up will each receive a $50 savings bond. The savings bonds are provided by Wilson Bank & Trust.

There is a $10 entry fee that is due, along with an 8-inch-by-10-inch photo, by Wednesday, May 19. An entry form, along with additional information, may be found at

Children will have plenty to do at the Celtic Country Faire including inflatables, pony rides and a petting zoo with some exotic animals including emus and a huge tortoise. There will also be a miniature cow, goats, bunnies and sheep, provided by Gretchen and Darryl Simmons.

There will be a separate charge for the inflatables, the pony rides and the petting zoo, but that money will also go back to Southern STARRS.

There will be a blacksmithing demonstration by Danny Parsons, a member of the Fiddlers Grove Blacksmith Association.

A Silent Auction will feature a number of autographed items from country music entertainers such as Clint Black, a Brooks and Dunn jacket and CD and more.

New this year will be a 5K Run, Walk, or Roll for Ye Pot O’ Gold! Race time will be 9 a.m. with registration and check-in at 8. The 5K event, Young said, is headed up by Steve Gillis, Southern STARRS board president, and Shaun O’Connor, athletic director at McClain Christian Academy, is assisting.

Cost to participate is $25 in advance or $30 on race day. Pre-register by Wednesday, May 19 at or mail your form to Southern STARRS, Inc., 4050 Cairo Bend Road, Lebanon, TN 37087.

Don’t think for a moment that you’ll go hungry or thirsty at the Celtic Country Faire. There will be pizza from Papa John’s, and there will also be hamburgers, hot dogs, snow cones, drinks and more available.

Sponsors of the Celtic Country Faire include Amy Rich Photography, HTK Wealth Management, Cracker Barrel, O’Charley’s, Wright Printing in Lebanon, Tubb Printing in Mt. Juliet and Wilson Bank & Trust.

Other sponsors would also be welcome, Young said.

Admission is $15 and students producing their student IDs can get in for $10. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

Judges are needed for the chili cook-off, she said, and added that volunteers are also needed to help set up and break down at the Faire and to sell tickets.

Proceeds from the Celtic Country Faire benefit Southern STARRS, one of the few such programs nationwide that does not charge a fee to the students who participate. If you would like to participate in the various contests, be a vendor or a sponsor or volunteer, visit or call 453-2592.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

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