If you can't make it down to Jackson, then by all means hit Otherlands Saturday night for Spencer Bohren.
However, if you CAN, the schedule is up and ready for you to print off. Not only will it be old home week for me, seeing old friends like Smithfield Fair, Legacy, Peggy Loyd and others, but it will have special significance. In addition to the Ceili on Saturday night, in addition to the Whiskey Tasting on Friday night, there will be a special memorial service on Sunday afternoon for three people associated with CelticFest for years who have left us in the last year.
Honored will be longtime CelticFest volunteer Jerry Baldridge, veteran workshop presenter at CelticFest and NTIF, Curt Marcus, and our own Celtic Lauren, who conned me into going to Jackson in 1995, when I thought I didn't like Celtic Music.
I will be speaking on her behalf at the ceremony, which will be led by Dudley-Brian Smith of Smithfield Fair; she would be delighted, if a bit embarrassed for all the fuss, that he was there to lead it, as they have been to ClanJamFry more than any other act, including this coming year. This will be in the tent stage at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon.
This is going to be a marvelous weekend with great music and dance, and while the Cabot Lodge Millsaps is apparently full, there are other hotels in the Jackson area, especially the Cabot Lodge in Ridgeland, near I-55 & County Line Road.
Above all else, I want to thank my dear friends Don Penzien and Valerie Plested for including Lauren in the service. Lauren loved this festival more than any other for the homey, family-like feel that they bring to this festival. They opened their house up to me when Brian McNeill came to Jackson this April, marking only the second time I had left Memphis after Lauren's passing, and it is a gesture of kindness I will never forget.
I have a new Flip UltraHD, folks, so when I come home, I will have VIDEOS of the music and dance, and possibly some of the service.
See you Monday, if I don't get to see you in Jackson.