Wednesday, July 29

Print This Coupon! For July 30th

Join us after the Celtic Night at the Iron Pigs, for Celtic Night at the Airport Road location of Copperhead Grille!

Tuesday, July 28

Fer the Enlightened Pub Drinkers...

"May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends gathered below never fall out."
-Irish Toast

Dear Angus,

I have been admiring the plentitudes of available drinking establishments during my stay in Ireland as often as possible, and I was wondering if you could enlighten me on the history of pubs in the British Isles? If anyone, you should know! Thanks.

Dear Enlightend Drunk,

Och, aye, ye canna be drinking in our fine establishments without knowin’ a bit o’history behind ‘em. To help ye in yer quest fer knowledge I ha written a wee essay on the matter:

A Short, Random History of Pubs in General

The people of the British Isles ha been drinkin’ ale since the Bronze Age, but it wasn’t till the arrival of the Romans and their establishment of the Roman road network that the first inns, precursors to the pubs, began to appear. By the time the Romans took off, visiting the pub had a course become a part of the working man’s routine. They became so popular that in 965 the sassenach English King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village, imagine that!

Tha word “pub” is short for “public house,” which is the opposite of “private house,” where only tha members could go in for a pint. Using pictures on signs to identify the pubs became necessary, because many of the early patrons were the illiterate, hard-working members of the lower classes. Pubs often ha’ traditional names, but others seem nonsensical. These strange names may be corruptions of older names or phrases; fer example, “The Oyster Reach” pub in Ipswich, England spent several decades being called the “Ostrich,” before historians let the owners know of the original name.

In 1215, the measure for ale was standardized in the Magna Carta. By 1625, there were over thirteen thousand inns and taverns around the United Kingdom for a population of just five million. As the number of public houses grew, so did the number of breweries; by 1800, there were twenty-four thousand, a number that, of course, has fallen considerably. Today, there are just three large breweries in England, with about three hundred independent regional breweries, all operating in a highly competitive market.

Perhaps the best-known pubs are those of Ireland. The Irish pub is the greatest symbol of Irish social life, and the Irish pub experience has been reproduced, with varying success, all over the world. Irish pubs are much more than places to have a quick drink. They have a culture all their own, and in Ireland, a pub can easily be found in every town, village and city. They are the heart of Ireland’s social life, and perhaps the ultimate setting for human interaction.
Perhaps the greatest attraction of Irish pubs, besides the availability of alcoholic beverages, is that they provide a place for the craic (pronounced ‘crack,’ and no, it is not the highly addictive illegal drug). What is the craic? Craic is friends, laughter, good times, dancing, music and an unmistakably Irish atmosphere. Put it all together, with just the right amount of each, and ye’ll have some idea of what the craic is. The ideal setting to find the craic is in an Irish pub. But the craic doesn’t have to be restricted to Ireland. It can be found everywhere if the ingredients are right, as I’m sure ye have already found out.


"How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads"

Language fascinates me. My guess is that language fascinates you as well. We share the Celtic love of language in all its forms, written or spoken. With that in mind, I suggest for your consideration an utterly delightful and informative book, entitled, “How the Irish Invented Slang/The Secret Language of the Crossroads”, written by the late Daniel Cassidy.

Cassidy’s research sought to disprove the notion that the Irish language had no influence at all on our modern English. What he discovered is that Irish Gaelic forms the origin of many of the common expressions, words, and phrases we use in everyday speech. Reading this book gives us information galore (go leor—plentiful) about Irish-American history, culture, and American vernacular.

The slang and the accents of the Irish immigrant working-class neighborhoods have continued for generations and it seems that we use words everyday without realizing we are speaking “Irish”. Just a few that readily come to mind include, jazzy (teasaí—exciting, spirited), gee whiz (Dia uas—good/great God), and so long (slán—farewell/good-bye). There are many more that will surprise and amuse you. To quote Cassidy, “The Irish had invented slang by remembering the Irish language without knowing it”!

So, for all of us who grew up only knowing póg mo thóin, and Erin go Bragh, this book is not only informative but tremendous fun to read. And…you’ll learn a bit of Irish along the way as well.

Friday, July 17

Summer Celtic Music Night at Callaghan's! July 25th

Join us Saturday, July 25th for the Summer Music Night
to support and kick-off the countdown to the 2009 Celtic Classic!
Music by Maggie Drennon
Celebrity Bartenders from the Allentown Hibernians Hurling Club Michael Friel and Pat O'Donnell
$10 per person gets 2 free beers (your choice of O'Haras Red or Coors Light) a Wristband and a door prize ticket.
Chinese Auction, celebrity tips, jello shots and ticket proceeds all benefit the 2009 Celtic Classic.
Dress Code: If you've got a kilt - WEAR IT!
Location: Jack Callaghan's Ale House 2027 Tilghman St. Allentown PA
Time: 7:45PM - 2:00AM
Email for more info:

Sunday, July 12

Book Review: The Tree Shepherd's Daughter

The Tree Shepherd’s Daughter
Book One: The Faire Folk Trilogy
By Gillian Summers
ISBN-13: 978-0738710815

When her mother dies, fifteen-year-old Keelie Heartwood is forced to leave her perfect Los Angeles, Calif., life, to live with her nomadic father at a Renaissance Faire in Colorado. After arriving in a true “La-La Land”, Keelie finds herself wearing hideous “non-mundane” clothing from the Muck and Mire show, suffering from urban withdrawal and her wood allergy acting up big time. With mud up to her unstyled hair, a fairy-tale princess out for blood, a cat on a destruction mission against her, and living with a father she barely knows, this typical California girl, with plans to go to law school at UCLA, wants out of this Renaissance delusion immediately.
When Keelie starts hearing trees and getting attacked by a crazy little man wearing a red cap and with many of the Faire residents sharing her pointy-eared birth defect, Keelie’s dad has some explaining to do…

I’m not sure of a better recommendation for a book than this; on Monday morning after Celtic Classic 2007, at approximately 3 am, when sleep was desperately needed and with a full day of Festival clean-up ahead, this book kept me awake and fully engaged. The writing is clean and crisp, with the teen angst turned into clever repartee that we could only hope a normal teenager is capable of. The author kept the pace moving, while still allowing time for the reader to recognize and empathize with the characters, each of whom is alive in the pages and deserving of a novel of their own. The Celtic elements are obvious when you start meeting the Irish mythology characters showing up as Faire residents and reading the Gaelic names for the different fairies that decide to interfere or to help, according to their nature.

Billed as a book for young adults, The Tree Shepherd’s Daughter is easily enjoyed by the grown-ups wishing to delve into a new world filled with fantasy and fun. The next two books in the series, “Into the Wildwod” and “The Secret of the Dread Forest” are just as good.

–Kat Moyer

Other Reviews:
"In the recent flood of YA novels featuring rebellious teens who discover the supernatural world, this one stands out thanks primarily to the quirky ren-faire setting, some interesting wood magic, and a cat with serious attitude." --LOCUS Magazine

"A promising premise…dedicated teen fantasy fans might enjoy the unusual atmosphere of the Renaissance fair setting in this first book in the planned Faire Folk Trilogy." --VOYA

Saturday, July 11

Dear Angus,

Dear Angus,
My friend claims that the Scottish had little influence in getting the New World established, in comparison to the English or even the Irish! Can you please help me correct her?

Dear Proudly Scottish,
Well ye can tell your confused friend that ye are jestly proud of the Scottish heritage!

The Scots an invaluable addition to the developing the new world! Their past experience of working in the harsh conditions of rural Scotland, combined with their hard-working Presbyterian upbringing, made them an ideal people to help build America in its formative years. The Scottish emigrants of the 18th Century were an educated group due to the Scottish Reformation, which had stressed the need for education, allowing every Scot the ability to read the bible. Scots arriving in the New World soon established universities, colleges and other educational establishments, such as Princeton University.
During the mid-17th Century Scottish medical establishments were second to none. Many recipients of these teachings came to America, where their influence can be seen to this day! Why it’s known that in 1775 there were 3,500 people practicing medicine in the US, though only 350 or 400 actually held a medical degree. Most of those holding degrees had been educated in Scotland.

So there ye have a few facts to share with ye’r friend and I dare her to say that education and medicine were not valuable additions to the colonies!

Monday, July 6

Over 700 Facebook Fans!

Join the party, make some friends, say hello, post some pictures, chat up a fellow Celtic Classic fan, and get the latest news on upcoming events! C'mon...:)

Thank You!!

Thank you for coming out and supporting the Celtic Classic fundraising efforts! Check out the pictures in the slideshow...:)