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Hello and welcome to my sphere of blogging influence. Tonight I decided to get out of the house to, as my mother would phrase it, "blow the stink off." I searched for something to do that would be entertaining and cheap, but also would give me no lasting diseases. This last qualifier shortened the list considerably.
However, I stuck to it and using the interweb I came across an event scheduled in Central Park. Hooray! I like Central Park. The event in question was the NYC Celtic Gathering. Hooray! I like Celtic Gatherings. The program said it was to feature The Kilted Juggler. Hooray! I... wait, what?
But hey, it's a big Irish thing in the bandshell near Bethesda Fountain, and since Bones isn't on Thursday nights, I decided to check it out.
Ashamed of yourself for watching? You're in good company.
Anyway, I drag Oach along, though most of the time he is supremely disinterested and sits on a bench reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Whatever. I see the bandshell set up for the raucous evening to come:
hmmm... Spidey sense tingling a bit.
So I grab a program from one of the tables to see what parade of Irish musicians are going to be rocking the park. This is the front of it:
tingling a little stronger now...
Ok, maybe they chose that image completely on purpose. Maybe they're saying that we're going to all turn into badass highland berserker warriors ready to tear Longshanks a new one by the end of all the awesomeness. Oh hey, it says there's going to be a procession to the bandshell from Bethesda Fountain. That's why I haven't seen too many people about. To the fountain!
That's it all right... now to find the giant parade full of rebellion and craic. Zoom out.
still not seeing anyth- wait a minute.
So yeah, not the huge blowout I expected, but they're still gonna get this place jammin, right?
No. Not right.
Basically, this event was a large section of time put aside to feature "The NYC Piper" Jerry Dixon. He apparently put this thing together, according to the program. He piped from the fountain to the stage and then about 15 minutes more besides. Droning, I would describe it. Not like droning as in how the bagpipes are supposed to sound, but droning as in he should have stopped 5 minutes ago and I want to throw a child at him. This is him:
After him, a fiddler approached the mike. She was decent, but not outstanding. Also, like Dixon, she exhibited a complete lack of stage presence/showmanship.
This picture is darker because the sun ran away over the horizon to escape the bagpipe solo.
After the fiddling, the piper came back to squawk through a several-key rendition of "Danny Boy." He then attempted to lead a sing-along to "The Wild Rover." However, he forgot to have anyone sing. He erratically played the tune on his pipes and hoped that the audience would be inspired enough to know the words and be able to sing along with his racing and unpredictable tempo.
Not even these dudes were having it.
The highlights of the evening were two. First, the table full of delicious free Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies. Also, did you know that you can now get FREE Ground Shipping on All Online Orders over $20? It's true. Just enter the code "Scots" at checkout!
The second were the step dancers. True, they were young, and beginners, but they were still much more entertaining that mediocre music from people standing still. Also, guess who accompanied the dancers? That's right! More bagpiping from Jerry! As an added bonus, however, two of the dancers were some sort of unholy Hellspawn. Don't believe me?
Catch you later,