'Pipes in the Valley' celebrates Celtic culture

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Sep. 30, 2011
The band Dicey Riley played at the festival throughout the day. Photos by Frances Taylor.
The band Dicey Riley played at the festival throughout the day. Photos by Frances Taylor.

Thousands of people turned out for the day-long celebration of Celtic culture on the riverfront at Mortensen Plaza on Sept. 24.

The Pipes in the Valley festival included bagpipe bands, highland dancing performances and children's events. There was also whiskey-tasting, and visitors could choose from a range of Irish ales. Olde Burnside Brewery in East Hartford was a major sponsor of the event.

Performances included a sunset demonstration by Phoenix Swords, a group that specializes in medieval sword-fighting techniques.
“Most of the sword-fighting you see in the movies is not really how it was done,'' said Frank Hunt, a member of the Worcester, Mass.-based group of historical re-enactors. “We specialize in the techniques of the European sword masters from 1300 to 1750.” The highlight of their show is a demonstration of sword-fighting using flaming swords. “We do that just for fun,” Hunt said.


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