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Category: Annual Events

Malad Valley Welsh Festival 2017

By AmeriCymru, 2017-06-02

Malad City, Idaho - Friday June 30th - Sunday July 2nd 2017


The 13th annual Malad Valley Welsh Festival will recognize the importance of poetry in the tradition of Wales and Malad Valley. The Festival will be June 30 – July 1 with most events in Malad City Park and the LDS 2nd Ward Building. See for schedule.

Adult and student poets may submit 1-5 works in any style or format before the June 10 deadline. Please send them to Welsh Festival Poetry Competition, Malad City Hall, 59 Bannock Street, Malad ID 83252.

Presentations this year will also emphasize poetry. Lucie Thomas Washburn’s topic is “The Welsh: Poetry in Their Souls.” John Good will talk about “Songs and Tales of Wales.” John Good, formerly of Oceans Apart, will also perform on the outdoor amphitheater on both days of the Festival.

The Festival will host many opportunities to hear excellent music. The choral concert, youth concert, and the piano duet concert will feature outstanding vocalists and instrumentalists. Celtic musicians will perform toe-tapping traditional music outdoors on the amphitheater.

Welsh castles will be the theme of the displays in the Cultural Hall this year. Pedigree charts and census information about early Malad Valley Welsh pioneers will be displayed. The photography exhibit will feature photos of Wales.

Activities for kids are planned this year, including pioneer games, face painting, bouncy castles, and painting dragons.

The popular wagon tours will take visitors on historic routes around Malad. The Oneida Quilters quilt show and bake sale will be held at the Senior Center. Samaria will also host events, including tours of the town, the Jenkins-Davis cabin, and a Welsh Children’s Farm. Tours will also be conducted of the historic 140-year-old Presbyterian Church.

The Senior Center will sponsor a community cookout on Friday, and the Samaria Community Foundation will sponsor a community breakfast on Saturday. Home craft and food vendors will have booths in City Park throughout the Festival.

The finale event on the Saturday evening of the Festival will be a gymanfa ganu and the “chairing of the bard,” honoring the winner of the adult poetry competition.

The Festival is partially funded by grants from the Idaho Humanities Council, the Idaho Commission on the Arts, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Southeast Idaho High Country Tourism, Union Pacific Foundation, and donations from businesses and individuals in Malad and elsewhere.

Click the images below to enlarge

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Lighthouse and cross at Llanddwyn What is St Dwynwen's Day?

January 25th Wales has its very own patron saint of lovers. Saint Dwynwen is the Welsh St Valentine.

Brychan , a legendary 5th-century king of Brycheiniog had 24 daughters, of whom Dwynwen was reputedly the prettiest. She fell in love with a local prince called Maelon Dafodrill. Unfortunately her father, mindful of political advantage, had already arranged a marriage for her. Dwynwen was distraught. She hid in the forest and asked God to help her forget Maelon. She fell asleep and was visited by an angel in her dreams. The angel brought an elixir with the power to expunge her memories of her former lover and turn him into a block of ice.

God granted Dwynwen three wishes. Firstly she asked that Maelon be thawed. Secondly she wished that God would vouchsafe the dreams and aspirations of true lovers for all time. Thirdly she asked him to ensure that she never married. Upon fulfilment of these wishes and as a token of her gratitude, she dedicated herself to God's service for the rest of her days.

Dwynwen moved to Llanddwyn , a small island on the west coast of Ynys Mon ( Anglesey ), where she founded a convent. After she died in 465AD a nearby well became a popular place of pilgrimage. The well was believed to contain sacred eels and fish which could predict the success or failure of relationships. Couples would consult the aqueous oracle to divine whether love and lasting happiness would be theirs. Scant remains of her church are still visible today ( see below).

St Dwynwen's Church, Llanddwyn

St Dwynwen's Church, Llanddwyn

After fading from folk memory for a time, no doubt as a consequence of the wider observance of Valentine's day , St Dwynwen's Day has made something of a comeback in Wales recently. Here at AmeriCymru we want to do our bit to revive and promote this charming Welsh tradition. Don't wait till Valentine's Day to say 'I love you'. Or better still do it twice!

Send one of our St Dwynwen's day cards here