Animals of the Celtic lands visit fairgrounds |

Animals of the Celtic lands visit fairgrounds

Submitted photo

The KVMR Celtic Festival, now in its 16th year, will bring world-class musicians, medieval reenactments, an Irish pub, a tall-mast sailing ship, the Celtic marketplace and animals of the Celtic lands to the Nevada County Fairgrounds next weekend.

“The animal exhibits have proven to be among the most popular aspects of the festival. The kids especially love to see the beautiful birds of prey, wolfhounds, sheep dogs and ponies,” said festival producer John Taber.

Featured this year are the border collies and “mule” sheep of the Flying Mule Farm, Irish wolfhounds brought by the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club, birds of prey from Penn Valley’s Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release and Fell ponies from the United Kingdom’s National Pony Society.

Flying Mule Farm combines Old World traditions and modern technology, producing USDA certified grass-fed lamb in the Sierra foothills. Using a cross-breeding system developed in Great Britain, they raise crossbred “mule” sheep that are well-suited to Sierra vegetation.

They rely on our border collies Taff, Mo and Ernie to help in day-to-day shepherding and help aspiring shepherds learn about sheep husbandry and working border collies.

During the festival they will exhibit a variety of sheep breeds typically seen in the British Isles and demonstrate the use and training of border collies. Learn more at

The Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club was formed in 1974 and will return this year with their beautiful dogs. Through ancient woodcuts and writings the beginnings of Irish wolfhounds can be traced back as early as 273 BC. Wolfhounds were sent as highly coveted gifts to emperors, kings, nobility and poets.

Hunting filled the life of the early Irish and wolfhounds were cherished in Ireland for their skills. The Irish Wolfhound appears as a symbol on every jar of Tullamore Dew Whiskey, on every piece of Belleek porcelain, sixpence coins and even postage stamps.

Come by and see these beautiful animals. Check out the NCIWC website at

Various breeds of mountain and moorland ponies have appeared at the Celtic Festival, including the Fell, the Dales, the Welsh, and the Connemara. These beautiful and unique ponies from Ireland, Wales and England are rare in the United States but versatile and talented with fine dispositions. Learn more at their website

Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release returns this year with its beautiful birds of prey. It is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife. Each year its team successfully releases more than 100 different species of native wildlife, including mammals, songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians. As a nonprofit, it is completely funded by volunteers and by generous individuals. Check out its website at

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