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Cortez Celtic Fair Attracts Thousands

7/7/2022

He was told that a Celtic Fair in Cortez would never get off the ground, but organizer Randy McKnight has proven them wrong. This story is sponsored by The LOR Foundation and Big-O Tires

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Celtic music filled the air at Parque de Vida the last Saturday in June as thousands descended on Parque de Vida for the annual Celtic Fair. You're watching The Local News Network brought to you by the LOR Foundation of Cortez and Big O Tires. I'm Hannah Robertson. The Cortez Celtic Fair continues to grow in popularity each year. Drawing more than 3,000 attendees who listen to a Celtic music, watch men and women struggle to lift then toss a tall pole called a caber or cheer for their favorite swordsmen on the dueling grounds. No jousts this year, but you could try your hand at archery. Shop for trinkets, grab a bite to eat, a beer to drink or learn whether you are a descendant of the MacGregor clan, one of the oldest clans in Scotland.

We were the only clan to ever be outlawed. The whole society at one time was outlawed but we were the only clan in particular to be outlawed. And that was from 1602 to 1774. It was punishable by death to be a MacGregor. They hunted 'em. They hunted them with dogs. We were also known as children of the mist because, during that time, a lot of the MacGregor's went and hid in the hill country and they would come running down and out of the mist with their faces all painted and rob villages of what they needed and then disappear back into the mist.

Fair Founder, Randy McKnight started the event five years ago when he was a Montezuma County Fair board member. He wanted to offer something different from the ordinary to attract more attendance. The next year, he moved the fair to Parque de Vida, despite naysayers who claimed that a Celtic fair would never fly in Cortez. Boy did this year's fair ever prove them wrong.

I had a couple people tell me this'll never work in this town. And the first year we had about 1,200 and Saturday we're estimating a crowd of approximately 3,000. So we've had consistent, steady growth over the last five years. It's a community effort and you know, it's, as you know, it's free admission and it's kind, enables me to give back to the community and just you know have a fun day for kids and their families. We have a great family atmosphere and I'd like to continue that and gradually add a little bit more entertainment. We're pretty close to being maxed out at 3,000. But I think we could squeeze another 500 or so in next year.

McKnight already has started planning for next year's event scheduled for Saturday, June 24th. If you have an idea for an event or would like to volunteer next year, contact McKnight through the fair website at cortezcelticfair.com. Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Hannah Robertson.

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