March 9-11th, 2018
Motherlode Fairgrounds

Celtic Heritage Celebration


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On March 9-11th, 2018, the Gold Rush community of Sonora, will showcase the sights and sounds of medieval combat.
This will be no medieval dinner show however, or acting troupe trying to play make-believe, this will be hard-core, full contact jousting, at its most extreme!

Real Combat

For the first time ever- “Knights’ of Mayhem”, from the National Geographic Tv show, have challenged some of the stars from the History Channels, “Full Metal Joust”, to a full-scale, no holds bar, extreme jousting match, that has never been seen in modern history!

In 2011, the Sonora Celtic Faire was the set location for the second episode of the National-Geographic show “Knights of Mayhem”. At the time the reigning champion of hard-core jousting was Sir-Charlie Andrews.

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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 2018 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.

Again, the Sonora Celtic Faire is bringing the best of jousting to the entire world, and hopefully it will be a major sport in the next Olympic Summer Games….do not miss this....


"Organizers Patrick, Gary & Lissa have picked out the finest whiskies for the tasting room. It's hard work, but the Celtic Faire staff are very dedicated to good whiskey tasting".

Whiskey Hunters
Whiskey lineup
Chelsea Joy

Just added to the 2018 Celtic music lineup!

Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy Folk Rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 28 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area based act release fifteen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,000 gigs. It's also enjoyed an evolving line-up that's enabled musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member.

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her international award winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. Driving in from the North Bay area is Josh Fossgreen, an exceptional musical talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape. And Northern California's own young Indian-American progressive guitarist, Ab Menon, skids to a flaming stop on the Tempest stage, replete with flying dreadlocks, dazzling string stylings and a sense of ticklish fun. Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band's sound with inventive rhythms, and rock-steady drumming.

Culann's Hounds
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Just added to the 2018 Celtic music lineup!
Culann's Hounds

Fierce like their namesake, Cu Chulainn, Culann's Hounds have built a reputation for stage shows filled with high-­‐energy and a ruthless dedication to rocking their audiences. Folk melodies, sensibilities, and stories permeate their music with origins in Ireland, France, and early America. This mash-­‐up of tradition and energy is at once thought provoking, accessible and infectious. The Hounds original material is a mirror of their lives, tales of distant lands, love, elation, and loss.

Steve Gardner brings his virtuosic violin style uncut. With seeming effortlessness he plays Irish traditional music, Cajun, country and rock pairing with the accordion at breakneck speed. Steve also grabs the guitar and sings his irreverent brand of classic and original songs. Steve is a teacher of music and the artistic director for Roots Music Marin.


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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Chelsea Joy

Saturday Only!
Special guest Chelsea Joy is Joining Celtica on stage as a extra Bagpiper.
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, including the KVMR Celtic Music Festival, San Francisco Caledonian Clubs Scottish Highland Gathering and Games, Northern California Renaissance Faire, San Diego Highland Games, Motherlode Highland Games, Iowa Irish Faire, Get Shamrocked, & 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.

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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Val Shadowhawk

Saturday Only!
Val Shadowhawk & the Young Eagle Spirit Dance Troup will be Joined by the Wicked Tinkers for a Celtic native American performance.Val Shadowhawk comes from the Plains Cree, Blackfeet, Choctaw and Missouria tribes. A dedicated participant in the Native American Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow circle as a Treaditional Dancer, Singer/Drum Keeper and Announcer(MC), An Instructor/Consultant with the California Tribal TANF Partnership, teaching various kinds of beadwork, leather crafts, Dance Gear making and some aspects of Plains Cultures, He also is involved as an Instructor/Mentor to the Young Eagle Spirit Dance Troup based in Stockton California on a weekly basis teaching Pow-Wow protocol, Song and Dance. Val wil be at the Celtic Faire with the Young Eagle Spirit Dance Troup, who honor the memory of our ancestors, the Pnaci people from all tribes and Nations. We wish to mention one Caroline Wilson (Lakota, Apache) now in the spirit realm, who inspired the formation of our group.

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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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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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!

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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Pipe Bands

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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New shuttle Service at
Wal-mart to the FAIRGROUNDS! 

Shuttle only runs every 30 min. on the Hr.
From: Junction Shopping Center, 13775 Momo Way, Sonora, CA 95370 
Wal-Mart, 1101Sanguinetti Rd, Sonora, CA 95370
Also from: Trolly Stop 385 S. Washinton St, Sonora, CA 95370
Trolly Stop - 55 W. Stockton St, Sonora, CA 95370
Saturday 3-10-18 9:30AM to 11:30PM
Sunday   3-11-18  9:30AM to  6:00PM
Handicap Access at stops. NO riding Chairs.

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Black Oak Shuttle Service

Shuttle only runs every 45 min. on the Hr.
From: N. Forest Rd. , Sonora, CA 95370 (across street from fairgrounds)
Parking lot 40 N. Forest (Old Hospital Lot)
Also from: W School St, Sonora, CA 95370
Parking lot (Sonora High Lot across from swimming pool) 
Saturday 3-10-18 9:30AM to 11:30PM
Sunday   3-11-18  9:30AM to  6:00PM
Handicap Access at both stops.

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