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Welsh Festival continues to strengthen Malad

Music performances are one of the highlights of the Welsh Festival. The Youth competition gives local musicians a chance to shine in front of a large audience. Art and poetry are also opportunities for local student creators.

The Malad Valley Welsh Festival began in 2005 as a mostly local event to celebrate the Valley’s Welsh pioneer heritage.  This year will be the 18th Welsh Festival that still has the goal of celebrating the Welsh heritage of this area.

Besides the benefits of providing a venue where attendees can learn about the home nation of ancestors, enjoy Celtic music, see poets crowned and chaired, and hear presentations about the history and culture of Wales, the Festival provides economic benefits that cannot be ignored. The Festival attracts over 1500 people from all over the region, which translates to tourist dollars coming into our community. The local restaurants, stores, convenience store/lottery outlets, service stations, and other businesses benefit from an extra 1500 people coming on one or both days of the Festival.

Besides the general economic benefit, the Welsh Festival rewards several organizations that make the Festival successful. The local Boy Scouts of America Troop #1776 is paid for putting up the awnings for vendors and activities and hauling tables and chairs from the nearby church building for the amphitheater program audiences, the Welsh Country Store, the Information Booth, and the Taste of Wales booth. When the Festival is over, the Scouts take down all the awnings and store the tables and chairs back in the church.

The Malad Middle School MathCounts Team receives a stipend for organizing pioneer games for kids of all ages. The Malad After-School Program also receives a stipend for planning games and activities for younger children. The Malad High School Dragonettes receives a stipend to staff the Information Booth. The Malad High School Academic Team receives a stipend for putting up the signs along the historic wagon routes and taking them down when the Festival is over. This year the Malad High School FCCLA will collaborate with the Malad Valley Heritage Square Committee to provide authentic Welsh treats at the Taste of Wales booth.

The Oneida Quilters combine their annual quilt show and bake sale with the Welsh Festival, benefitting both financially by bringing another group to the events. The Malad Valley Heritage Square benefits from having people interested in the history of the Welsh in Malad Valley going out to Samaria to tour the cabins and buy the treats available there.

In addition, poets, artists, musicians, and performers receive either stipends or food/craft booth coupons to reward them for participating in the Festival. Local food and craft vendors benefit from having an event where they can sell great food and unique gifts to Festival attendees.

The Welsh Festival has something for everyone, whether or not you are Welsh!  Come and support the many youth and community organizations that make the Festival possible.

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