The third in a series of community-based cultural heritage exhibits, this unusual display is a compilation of more than 30 people’s private collections and features artifacts as old as 30-40 AD. For the next three months, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about Celtic traditions and customs, not only in the museum but also through dance and music performances in the museum’s new cultural center.
The Celtic nations are comprised of six territories in Northwest Europe whose Celtic language and cultural traits have survived to modern day. The recognized Celtic nations are Brittany (in northwest France), Cornwall (in southwestern Great Britain), Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. The exhibit features more than 100 artifacts from four of the six territories and has fun interactive features that allow visitors to play a virtual bagpipe or look up their Tartan.
“Due to the influence of the railroad, Sparks has a particularly strong presence of Celtic descendants,” said Anthea Humphreys, executive director of the Sparks Heritage Museum. “The exhibit contains artifacts from the 1700s that are personal and significant to our present-day residents. Equally exciting are the upcoming dance and musical performances by local talent that we are scheduling in our new cultural center.”
The Celtic exhibit will also feature several programs in the coming weeks and months:
1 to 4 p.m. Saturday: Exhibit opening and book signing by author Karen Klausner Chute, author of “Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem.”
5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday: Wyatt Troxel performs for The Chamber mixer. Though not traditional Celtic music, bluegrass and flat-picking guitar have their roots in Scottish and Irish music.
1 to 4 p.m. March 4: The Blanchette Irish Dancers, Celtic session musicians and others will perform at a reception for The Sons & Daughters of Erin. Come meet the members and learn more during this fun-filled afternoon. The Sons & Daughters of Erin will name their “Irish Person of the Year.”
March 17: Victorian Square St. Patrick’s Day music and festivities.
April 21: Scottish clans reception and Celtic jam (time TBA)
Mid May (date TBA): Tentatively the Nevada Arts Council will sponsor a free workshop and a performance by fiddle and banjo old-time musicians Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman
Admission to the museum costs $5 for adults. Members and children 12 and under are free. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday. Both the museum and train are open 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Sparks Museum is located at 814 Victorian Ave. For more information, call 355-1144.