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Sonora Celtic Faire

The 2017, Sonora Celtic Faire, will host the International Ultimate Jousting Championships * Real hard-hitting full contact jousting! No fake dinner show tournament acting! * Featuring some
of the best riders from the world of Jousting. The only Championship Joust on the West Coast of America,
ONLY IN SONORA!!! March 10-12th, 2017
Celtic Heritage Celebration

Free Parking And Shuttle 

At New Locations

NO Service at Wal-mart! 

Shuttle only runs every 45 min. on the Hr.
Saturday 3-11-17 9:30AM to 11:30PM
Sunday   3-12-17  9:30AM to  6:00PM
Handicap Access at both stops.

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On March 10-12th, 2017, the Gold Rush community of Sonora, California will showcase the sights and sounds of medieval combat.
This is no dinner show or acting troupe trying to play make believe, this is hard-core full contact jousting. A sport that has had longevity surpassing football, baseball, and modern basketball combined. In fact the sport was practiced for 500 years and has reinvented itself in the 21st Century with modern extreme warriors at the helm.
Modern jousting features armored clad sportsman on large draft horses. The object of the game is to unhorse the other rider for maximum points. However, to do this requires a solid full-on hit, with a solid wood lance. Unlike choreographed amusement jousting shows in Vegas , the unlucky rider is dislodged from his mount with sometimes painful results. This type of jousting is so extreme that only a few in the world practice it. Because of the fascinating nature of this ancient sport gone modern, National Geographic Television did a six part series about its competitors titled- “Knights of Mayhem”.In 2011, the Sonora Celtic Faire was the set location for the second episode of the Nat-Geo show “Knights of Mayhem”. At the time the reigning champion of hard-core jousting was Sir-Charlie Andrews. Years later, Sir Charlie is still up to defend his title at Sonora again. In fact Charlie has made a recent statement that he will defend his title against all challengers in the rain or snow if need be! At the 2017 Sonora event, the public will be able to enjoy the sporting event from an arena that is 70% covered from the effects of mother nature, so rain, shine, or snow, all challenges will be accepted.

Jousting is not the only high-octane sport offered by the Sonora Celtic Faire. The venue will also host the “Battle of Nations”. In this extreme sport it’s all about foot-combat. Fully armored Celtic Knights will battle it out using real metal weapons from the period. Sometimes bouts will feature one-on-one, and at other times it’s a full-on melee with up to a dozen knights banging it out!
If you’re into Celtic History, the Sonora Celtic Faire offers a window into the past, highlighting two-thousand years of it. Patrons will get a chance to see a 1st Century Celtic encampment, marvel at Roman Soldiers ready to defeat the Scots. Favorites include the Viking Raiders, Scottish Highlander camps, and a visit to the throne of Mary Queen of Scots. Every age will not be disappointed in the thousands of costumed living history performers.
Music has always been the driving force of Sonora. Being that it was the very first Celtic Faire on the West Coast of America, Sonora has always been progressive with its Celtic entertainment choices. Featured bands this year include the ever popular Celtica & Wicked Tinkers. These two bands wrote the book on loud and in your face pipes & drums. It’s always a guarantee that when the downbeat hits with their brand of music, everyone it the place will be jumping with Celtic pride. 
For the more traditional aspects of Celtic Music, featuring the Irish Harp and Fiddle, bands like Cooking with Turf, Molly’s Revenge, Golden Bough, Banshee in the Kitchen, Black Irish Band, will be there to soothe the Celtic spirit. For those that like motion with music, there will be numerous marching bagpipe bands around every corner with dancers in tow….
For those that like to shop, 2017 will offer the largest Celtic Marketplace. Hundreds of craftsman, artisans, and importers will all have the latest and most sought after Celtic gifts for sale. Be it a kilt, musical instrument, t-shirts & hats, and traditional food items, Sonora has it!
For the wee-ones, special stage acts and venues will amaze and excite the heart & soul. The faire will feature a fire-breathing dragon, extreme magicians & juggling acts, a sword swallower, fire wizards, and a children’s story-book village with characters. The Sonora Celtic Faire offers something for every age and interest, from whiskey tasting and modern Scottish Clans to Celtic warriors battling it out in a large arena.
Rain, shine, or snow, the Sonora Celtic Faire and International Ultimate Jousting Championships will take place on March 10-12th, at the Motherlode Fairgrounds in Sonora California.

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VIP PASS (21yrs.+) INCLUDES: Entrance for all 3 days, Entrance to the Sat. night Ceili with meet the Jousters & Bands area, VIP Seating behind the Queen's box at the Jousting Tournament, Weekend Parking Pass , and One Ticket to the New Whiskey Tasting Lounge.

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Ever wanted to sit down with one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table and talk Jousting over a shot of whisky or stout, we’ll now is your chance! This party is however limited to just a few fine nobles like you. The only requirement is you buy a ticket and have a fun time… A no-host bar will feature the Celtic Faires best ales & whiskies, music by the Wicked Tinkers- with selected performers, and a chance to meet & greet the “Knights of Mayhem” Jousting Team. The group’s leader, Sir Charlie Andrews, was recently featured on Netflix’s “GForces’, as well as his own National Geographic television program, “Knights of Mayhem’. Tickets are limited. Party starts at 7pm, Saturday March 11th. (21 & older)

Whiskey Hunters
Whiskey lineup

"Organizers Gary & Patrick in Ireland, picking out the finest whiskies for the tasting room. It's hard work, but the Celtic Faire staff Is very dedicated to the cause of good whiskey tasting".


Celtica Pipes Rock

In 2016, the 7th year of touring all over Europe and North America, from Florida to Alaska, after shows and video shootings in New York City and Hawaii, after 3 albums and over 1,3 million views on YouTube (counting the official videos only), it seemed to be time for a change.

Steamphonia, the upcoming 4th album, takes the listener across time to the Victorian age. A magic moment when aristocratic elegance meets daring visionary passion, the steam engine promises to become the modern gate to Utopia, and here, as a scientist, you are also adventurer and romanticist. Celtica transforms this fantastic epoch into music distilled from Gothic, Steampunk, and Metal styles to break all the traditional limits of the Great Highland Bagpipe, and creates a totally new musical context for this majestic instrument.

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Wicked Tinckers


Prepare yourself for a wild ride with WICKED TINKERS! Pioneers of the growing Tribal Celtic movement, the Tinkers have been playing haunting, heart-pounding bagpipes and irresistible tribal drums as a professional touring band since 1995. With the addition, several years back, of the mesmerizing drone of the Australian didgeridoo and Bronze Age Irish horn, the magic was complete. Sit back and be transported to an earlier time in Scotland and Ireland, when battle cries filled the air and strange, unheard-of creatures roamed the night. Or better yet, get on your feet and let your body move to ancient rhythms and forgotten sounds.

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Black Irish Band

The Black Irish Band

The Black Irish Band is celebrating 28 years of performance and Twenty-Five CD albums. Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the four member Black Irish Band have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large compliment of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, Italian, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The bands musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.

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Chelsea Joy

Just added to the 2017 Celtic music lineup!
Chelsea Joy, former lead bagpiper for the "Angry Brian's (1916)
Chelsea will be performing as a guest artist with our headliners Celtica all weekend long.

A Product of the Seamus McNeil College of Piping Summer School, Chelsea began piping in 2006 playing with pipe bands: Tehachapi Moutnain Pipes & Drums & Pasadena Scotts. Joined 1916 (later renamed The Angry Brians) in early 2012 where she performed with the band for her first time here at the Sonora Celtic Festival that year. In 2014 recorded an album with the band entitled "We Came to Fight", and toured the entire west coast piping her heart out at many Scottish & Irish Festivals,  & Opened for the Dropkick Murphy's. Now begining a new journey, Chelsea competes & performs with Prince Charles G2 Pipe Band, and this year will be performing with bands, including Celtica Pipes Rock, Molly's Revenge, the Black Hat Society and more. 


Black Eyed Dempsey's

Name your band after one of the greatest fighters in Irish history and you'd better be prepared to crank out some musical fisticuffs and all bets are off showdowns.That's exactly what BlackEyed Dempseys do and why they are fast becoming a favorite in the Northern California music scene. Now they are bringing their punk-Irish-vision to ever increasing audiences.
BlackEyed Dempseys blend traditional Celtic playing skills with rock 'n' roll hooks. Their sound has the familiarity to be instantly recognizable. When you hear them you know it is the Dempseys. They are engaging, and appealing to fans of all ages. Their live shows bring a raucous energy that cannot be denied. 

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Golden Bough

Rooted in the traditional Celtic music of the seven Celtic nations (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, French Brittany and Spanish Galicia), Golden Bough has become a popular and in-demand group on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since their formation in 1980, this trio of modern day minstrels has traveled great distances to numerous countries, to bring their music to enthusiastic folk fans the world over. Backing themselves on an array of acoustic instruments; Celtic harp, guitar, octave-mandolin, mandolin, accordion, violin, penny-whistle and bodhran, they blend their voices in the pristine harmonies that have become a Golden Bough trademark.. To date they have released over 30 recordings. In the recording studio, as well as on stage, Golden Bough captures the essence and joy of traditional music.

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Banshee In The Kitchen

Banshee In The Kitchen plays Celtic music with eclectic skill and merry abandon. Touring and recording since 2002, this group has delighted audiences in festivals, theaters, living rooms, and countless other venues from New York to Los Angeles, and as far as Japan. They take traditional Celtic tunes, find the sweet spot between old and new, stirring it all up with trademark playfulness and musicality they term “banshee-fying”...

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Traditional Celtic!


Molly's Revenge

Molly's Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle, with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Molly's Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, and prestigious events in Scotland, Australia and China. Their arrangements of traditional Celtic jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.

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Cooking with Turf

Cooking With Turf

Cooking With Turf is a traditional Celtic band that can play rollicking jigs and reels
as well as sweet and sensitive waltzes, airs and songs.
They will make you laugh out loud with some of the funny songs they know,
or maybe you'll get a bit misty on some of the typically poignant ballads.
Cooking With Turf is...
Richard Ferry on wooden flute, whistles and guitar,
Steve Kenworthy on fiddle and guitar,
Ken Van de Kieft on various mandolines, dulcimers and guitar,
and Jared Myers on Scottish bagpipes, smallpipes and guitar.

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PUBCRAWL is a dynamic duo made up by the Fiddler Michael Mullen (TRIO OF ONE, formerly with TEMPEST) who teamed up with his mate from their new GUNPOWDER REBELLION Celtic Fusion band, Caledonian Club of S.F. Past Chief Kristan Robbie Anderson, to present.  Get set for some traditional Celtic and Pub Ditty favorites with just a bit of experimental twang!

Got Pipes!

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The Sonora Celtic Faire Mercenary Bagpipe Band

The Sonora Celtic Faire Mercenary Bagpipe Band’s a group of bagpipers and drummers dedicated to the support and advancement of Scottish bagpipe music and the Sonora Celtic Faire. Those playing in the band this year are members, or former members, of local pipe bands and have come from as far away as Medford, Oregon and Redding, California to play at the Faire. We enjoy the music and try to honor the heritage and culture of those from whence came the Great Highland Bagpipes and Celtic Music. We are honored to be a part of the Sonora Celtic Faire and wish Patrick Karnahan, and those that provide this venue, the preservation of the Celtic Culture in Northern California many more years of success.


Fresno Stag and Thistle Pipes & Drums

The Fresno Stag and Thistle Pipes & Drums was formed as a main offshoot of the founding of the Piping Society of Central California in 1990 as a non-profit organization with the following purpose: "To preserve and promote the great highland bagpipe, excellence in piping and drumming, and the love of Scottish music." Now in its 25th year, the band has already accomplished many of its goals. The band teaches piping and drumming for free to anyone who has a genuine interest and willingness to work hard to learn. The band has also sent numerous pipers, drummers and dancers to summer schools and camps when possible. Over the years, the band has played at innumerable parades, dinners, parties, funerals, weddings, ceilidhs, holiday events, highland games and festivals from San Luis Obispo to Mammoth Lakes and San Diego to Sacramento.

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Emerald Society Bagpipe Band

Located in Ripon CA The Emerald Society Bagpipe Band features bagpipes and drums since 2005. It is the premier pipe band in the Central Valley of CA. It has performed throughout CA including: Modesto, Stockton, Fresno, Angels Camp, Murphys, Sacramento, Sonora, Bakersfield, Oakdale, Ripon and other cities in Southern CA. The band performs sets in both Irish and Scottish music. The band can perform a variety of events including: weddings, parades, cultural events, funerals and private parties. The band can provide solo pipers, a few or a full band with or without drums. We offer free instruction to those who would like to learn to play the bagpipes or drums. Our band is a family oriented group with members ranging from 7 to 70 years of age.

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