The 10th Annual Welsh St. David's Day will take place this Saturday, March 5, from 1-5 p.m., in downtown Columbus Junction. Come celebrate St. David's Day with your family and friends. The Welsh parade will begin at 1 p.m. under the viaduct and will end at the American Legion Post 100, 99 Second Street. Please bring Welsh flags and Welsh family name banners to proudly display to the crowd. The parade will be followed by a delicious Welsh feast and fellowship. For more information, contact Troy Pugh at 563-299-2472, or Patsy Pugh Taylor at 515- 571-2326.
North American Festival of Wales - September 1-4, 2022
Join us to preserve and promote Welsh Heritage in North America
* Eschoir returns for the Grand Concert
* Welsh Tenor Dafydd Jones
* Edward Morus Jones will receive the NAWF Heritage Medallion
* Extensive Seminar line-up
* Cinema from Wales
* Theatre production~Alice Paul
* Tours return; including a chance to visit the Welsh Tract
* Join us as we celebrate the Urdd's centenar
* the 90th National Gymanfa Ganu
Headquarters hotel is the Doubletree by Hilton, Philadelphia City Center
Room rates only $129. Book early to avoid disappointment!
*/Festival registration open March 1/*
Enjoy these photos from our annual gathering in Pella, Iowa, during St. David's Day.
Article And Photos By Danny Davis
Several hundred people, decked out in the Welsh colors of green, red, and white, gathered in Columbus Junction Saturday, to celebrate their Welsh heritage during the seventh annual St. David’s Day festival.
Observed by Welsh all around the world, the date of St. David’s passing is used to celebrate Welsh culture and tradition through Welsh music, food, and parades.
All of that pride-of-heritage was on display Saturday, as nearly 100 people carrying signs with their ancestor’s names walked in the parade, which went down Main Street and ended up at the American Legion, that had been decorated with Welsh signs, flags, and balloons.
When they arrived, they were treated to a traditional Welsh meal that included Lobsgow stew, Welsh cakes, laverbread, blood pudding, Welsh cheese and desserts.
The festivities inside the Legion began when Sara (Evans) Mayo led the crowd in prayer, and sang several traditional Welsh songs, including the beautiful We Will Keep A Welcome (In The Hillsides).
After recognizing some of the Welsh family names in attendance, she was joined by Iowa Senator Nate Boulton of Columbus Junction, in the singing of the Welsh National Anthem, which anyone who is Welsh will tell you is no easy feat; especially for someone who doesn’t speak Welsh. “I took a summer class in college to learn to speak it, so I can say a few phrases, but that’s about it,” said Boulton, who is part Welsh and was an integral part of getting the festival going. “My cousin Troy (Pugh) and I returned home from Wales and began talking about holding a festival to celebrate our Welsh heritage and honoring the Welsh who still live in our area. Troy ran with the idea, and it has turned into a celebration that continues to grow each year. It’s been a real honor for me to not only be a part of it, but emcee it each year,” said Boulton.
Ronda Van Auken Redlinger has been involved in the festival for all seven years and noticed this year’s attendance was down from past years. “This is a good size. I think we are all happy with the turnout, but it’s not the biggest event we’ve had. I think the cold weather turned people away. I know some of the families, who were unable to come, have kids who are participating in various athletic events, and we have our snowbirds who are out of state still.”
As a result of the cold temps, there were only a handful in attendance who were 100 percent Welsh. “It’s great to have them joining us today,” said Boulton. “They have made such an impact in the area and helped build these communities, so it’s pretty special that we are here today to honor them.”
For those interested in genealogy, some of the Welsh family names in attendance were Jones, Hughes, Thomas, Foulkes, Rees, Peters, Davis, Davies, Arthur, Pugh, Morgan, Evans, and Edwards.