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Fathers celebrate at Celtic Fest

Lu Snyder

KEYSTONE – River Run Village at the base of Keystone Mountain – most commonly known filled with skiers and boarders and surrounded with snow – transformed into another, greener land this weekend.

Saturday and Sunday was Keystone’s fifth annual River Run Celtic Festival. Though dark clouds overhead seemed to threaten rain, the good weather persisted and festival-goers were warmed with sunshine, Guinness and whiskey.

The smells of roasted roasted almonds, kettle corn and drumsticks mingled in the breeze with Celtic music and bagpipes.

The center of the village was filled with locals, tourists, fathers and kids of all ages Sunday afternoon. Chris Haas, of Arkansas, was happy to spend Father’s Day there with his wife, Tiffany, and their 16-month-old daughter, Maggie.

“We like festivals, especially Irish, Scottish and Celtic music … and dancing,” Haas said. “The music is just cheerful. It puts you in a good mood and it’s a great way to spend Father’s Day.”

Maggie honored her father by saying one of the few words she knows: dada.

Breckenridge resident Chuck Essary spent some of his Father’s Day at the festival as well – and not begrudgingly. He rode his bike to Keystone where he met his wife, Rose, and two sons, Will, 4, and Kevin,1. Essary said he even got a beer to celebrate his fatherhood.

Some fathers were spending the day without their children Sunday, but celebrating nonetheless. High-school buddies Jim Sandmire of Iowa, Vern Dalberg of Wisconsin and Jim Rawson of Texas were on vacation with their wives. They gathered in Summit County celebrate Dalberg’s 30th wedding anniversary.

Though their children are “mostly grown,” Dalberg said they were enjoying – at least part of – their Father’s Day at the Celtic Festival.

“Sun’s out, nice day,” Sandmire said.

“Smoked drumsticks were the favorite,” Dalberg said, adding the food isn’t available back home.

The men said they would definitely be raising a few beers in celebration of their paternity – and with booths selling $2 Guinnesses surrounding them, they probably were in the right place.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or lsnyder@summitdaily.com


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