September 2-5, 2021
It has been a long 14 months and we are all ready to take a step toward normal. This message is to update you on plans for the 2021 North American Festival of Wales. We realize the COVID situation is ever-evolving and, for the first time, it looks like we are on the right side of this fight. The board of the Welsh North American Association feels strongly that the best course of action for the organization is to take a small step forward and hold an in-person event in September for those who are comfortable attending.
We realized several months ago that our biggest obstacle was the U.S.-Canada border closure. Unfortunately, we just learned that it has been extended another month. As a result, we are unable to move forward with planning an in-person event in Ottawa. We will return to Ottawa as soon as we are able to do so safely. We have decided to relocate the 2021 festival to Utica, New York. Utica has strong Welsh roots and the ‘national gymanfa ganu’ has been held there many times in the past, most recently in 1996.
Plans are under way and we ask that you bear with us as we navigate these new times. We assure you that in every stage of the planning we will follow guidelines from the CDC and New York State Department of Health. If you feel comfortable, we hope you will join us as we continue to preserve and promote our Welsh heritage.
Hotel booking will be available in early May and we are working to get a tentative schedule out as soon as possible. We anticipate the event will start on Thursday, September 2, and end on Sunday, September 5. At this time, we do not plan to run auxiliary tours. However, Utica and the surrounding area have a lot to offer if you plan to extend your stay and explore on your own. We want to eliminate as many variables as possible before opening registration, and therefore aim to do so by July 1.
As always, please reach out to me with questions and I will do my best to assist. firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4 : Hotel reservations available
July 1: Registration opens
September 2-5: North American Festival of Wales
Access the Virtual NAFOW 2020
The 2020 North American Festival of Wales was scheduled to be held in Philadelphia, Pa, and like all large gatherings in 2020, had to be canceled due to the COVID19 crisis. Fortunately, it was successfully rescheduled to be in Philadelphia in September 2022.
In leu of an in-person event, while not the same, the organizers were able present a Virtual NAFOW which launched on September 4 and ran through the end of October 2020, allowing many to experience elements of the planned program. To access the Virtual NAFOW 2020 click here.
On this episode, Gideon and Richard chat with Dr Megan Williams from the Welsh North American Association about the upcoming annual North American Festival of Wales, a weekend long event that includes performances, poetry, literature, singing, dancing, seminars, a marketplace and an Eisteddfod. Sadly, due to the ongoing corona virus threat, this year's entire event will be virtual, the first time in the festival's 91 year history. The good news is that anyone can now attend for free online when proceedings kick off on Sept 4th, or screen it at their own leisure through Sept 30 via their event page. During their conversation, Gideon and Richard speak with Megan about the importance of the festival to the Welsh North American community, the challenges of adapting to a virtual format and the history of the event and Welsh heritage in North America.