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Celtic Music Festival looking for information

HUERFANO- The 4th annual Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival  needs your help!

    Do you have family mining ties?  Were you a miner yourself or was your father, uncle or grandfather?  Do you have any family photographs of the period or memorabilia to share as a library display?  Any stories to tell of life back then?  Would you like to get together with others who share your heritage and give the festival team your ideas concerning the best way to promote coal mining as a centerpiece for this year’s festival and elementary school programs?

    This year the Celtic Music Festival’s central theme is coal mining both in Huerfano County and in the Lothian region of Scotland from back at the turn of the 20th century and up to the 1950’s.  Miners in both cultures shared the same dangers down in the mines, as well as the unrelenting hardships of very rough living circumstances for themselves and their families.  Mining families in the two countries also had in common surprisingly active social lives – getting together to share songs and music, to share folk dances and to share the personal stories miners told among themselves.  These courageous ‘Coal People,’ who are the ancestors of today’s richly diversified population, will be honored in a variety of programs including a grand finale concert at the Fox Theater.

    Work on the project is underway thanks to the research of Carolyn Newman, Curator of the Walsenburg Mining Museum, and La Veta historian Nancy Christofferson, as well as the support and cooperation of our two libraries, the Huerfano County Historical Society and the Francisco Fort Museum.  But the festival needs your input, your ideas and your involvement to help design a full community project.

    There is a choice of two meetings for those interested in taking part.  The first gathering will take place Tues. April 22 at the Huerfano District Library in Walsenburg from 10am – 12pm.  The second is scheduled for the upstairs room in La Veta Library on Thurs. April 24 at 6:30pm.  If you can’t come either time, but want to be involved, please call Barbara Yule at 746-2061.  A follow-up meeting will be scheduled in May.