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A ceili for the masses

Wren Wertin

With the advent of the Autumnal Equinox, when daylight hours are equal to nighttime hours, the folks at Planet Bluegrass are throwing the ceili of all ceilis. Festival of the Mabon starts Friday at 4 p.m. and continues all day Saturday.

Planet Bluegrass, located on a beautiful spot of the St. Vrain River in Lyons, is an institution unto itself. The red cliffs, green trees and river-front property make it a fitting spot for an outdoor party – especially one rooted in the spirit of communal celebration for the bounty of life.

Mabon (pronounced may-bon) is the ancient Welsh god of light. According to literature from Planet Bluegrass, the Autumnal Equinox is associated with themes of balance, thanksgiving and harvest.

“In that spirit, Mabon is offered as a time to take off from work or school to join in steady communal merrymaking,” continues the literature. “Both beautiful and convenient, Planet Bluegrass is preferred by performers and Festivarians alike as the perfect venue.”

Friday marks the Eve of Mabon Party Ceili. Ceilis have many incarnations, and are still regularly celebrated in Ireland as an open house to the community with music, food and fun. For the Mabon Ceili, fiddling fool Martin Hayes and guitar guru Dennis Cahill will be performing, among others. The duo starts with traditional tunes, but sends them spiraling into an entirely new realm.

On Saturday, the line-up continues with Ashley MacIsaac – seen on Conan O’Brien. His latest project has been called both rebellious and exuberant. Other performers include Dervish from Northwest Ireland, Teada from the West Coast, and button accordion maestro Johnny B. Connolly from Dublin. Colorado talent includes familiar names the Wayfarers, Single Malt Band and Colcannon.

As with most Planet Bluegrass events, the main stage is only one offering. Food and goods vendors always make it a colorful festival venue, in addition to the crafts tables and strolling entertainers. Magicians, pipers, fairies and wizards will be roaming at will.

Tickets for Festival of the Mabon are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Camping is available. For more information, visit http://www.bluegrass.com, or call (303) 823-0848.


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