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Idaho Enterprise

16th Annual Malad Valley Welsh Festival – Celebrate Malad’s Heritage!

After being cancelled for two years due to COVID, the Malad Valley Welsh Festival will be held on the last weekend in June:  June 24-26, 2022. This year’s Festival will feature some new events and a lot of favorites.  There will be something for everyone – whether or not you are Welsh!

Each day of the Festival will begin with an Opening Ceremony, presided over by Cory Webster, the 2019 Bard of the Festival.  Cory, the Haywire Ranch Cowboy Poet, has performed the duties of the Bard for three years and will preside over the Chairing of the new Bard at the conclusion of the Festival.  The Knight of the Festival will lead the Bard into the Festival, somewhat reminiscent of the pageantry at the eisteddfod held annually in Wales.

Jan Crowther Myers, the 2017 Bard of the Festival, will introduce the Festival by speaking about traditional music and poetry of Wales.  Other presentations will feature Lucie Thomas Washburn, who will discuss the many heroes in Welsh history, and Jill Morgan, an historian from Wales, who will speak about the sites in Wales important to the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Music, poetry and art have to be part of any Welsh Festival. Celtic musicians will perform on the outdoor amphitheater at Malad City Park. A harpist and vocal groups will perform on Friday evening. A youth concert and a piano ensemble concert will also be held.

Youth poets will recite their poems at the reading on Friday with winners being crowned at the conclusion of the program. Adult poets will recite their poems at the finale event of the Festival with one winner being chaired as the Festival Bard and one winner receiving the Patsy Price Scott Poetry Prize.

Works of art by the winners of the Youth Art Competition will be displayed in the 2nd Ward Church building. The Oxford Peak Arts Council will sponsor their “Art on Main” event on Friday along Main Street in downtown Malad.

The Oneida Quilters will host their annual quilt show at the Co-op building during the Festival.  Special events will be held at the Malad Valley Heritage Square in Samaria on both days of the Festival. Kids’ activities sponsored by the Malad After-School Program will be on Friday, and pioneer games sponsored by the Malad Middle School MathCounts Team will be on Saturday.  Wagon tours of historic sites in Malad are always popular. The Oneida County Library’s Friends of the Library will sponsor a book sale during the Festival.

Whether or not you have ever been to Wales, you will want to take a “Walk through Wales” in the display area of the Church, where enlarged photo banners will bring Wales to Malad. 

Tours of the historic Presbyterian Church, the oldest church in Malad Valley, will be held on both days.  On Sunday evening, a special celebration of the Presbyterian Church’s 140th anniversary will be held at the Church.

Lots of food and craft booths will sell practical and whimsical items throughout the Festival. The Welsh Country Store will sell souvenirs of Wales and the Welsh Festival.

The Malad Valley Welsh Festival is partially funded by grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Idaho Humanities Council, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Bistline Foundation, and the Southeast Idaho High County Travel Council and generous donations from local businesses and organizations. Admission to the Festival is free although some individual events will charge participation fees. Donations are very welcome.

For the complete schedule and additional information, please see www.welshfestival.com or call Malad City Hall at 208-766-4010.