Visit the Ireland of legend and lore while strolling through Tara Village, a historical re-enactment showcasing 16 centuries of Ireland's past, meeting many of the Ireland most historical characters as you stroll. Set in a rolling pastoral setting, the fairgoer will see and hear the melodies of maidens playing their harps, and observe the ancient Celtic warriors in battle. The area, while similar to other renaissance festivals, covers a much wider period of Ireland’s history. While visiting this land of lore the, you can watch arts and crafts made by hand and then have the chance to buy them.
In addition to Ireland's ancient past you’ll be treated to displays of more current historical periods of both Ireland and Irish America. Groups representing Ireland's fight for independence against Britain and Irish America's involvement in the United States Civil War will present re-enactments of those events.
The Viking Period
Life in the Age of the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Normans
The Vikings group concentrating on the Viking
Age - from 793 through 1066 AD. The group strives for an authentic presentation of the culture, weapons and crafts from a thousand years ago, including Viking, Norman and Anglo-Saxon re-enactment Weaponry, clothing and props have been reproduced to give the fair visitor a feeling of that period.
The Hill of Tara
This ancient site, and one of Ireland's premier attractions, was the symbolic seat of Ireland’s High Kings until the 11th century. Ring forts can be seen but unfortunately some were damaged by the English searching for the Ark of the Covenant. It once had religious importance but this faded in Christian times. Although it may take some interpretation from the visitor center the Hill of Tara is well worth a visit.
The Rock of Cashel
It was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 30km north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel.
The Battle of Clontarf (Irish: Cath Chluain Tarbh)
The battle took place on 23 April 1014 between the forces of Brian Boru and the forces led by the King of Leinster, áóMel Mrda mac Murchada: composed mainly of his own men, Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the Orkney Islands led by his cousin Sigtrygg, as well as the one rebellious king from the province of Ulster. It ended in a rout of the Máel Mórda's forces, along with the death of Brian, who was killed by a few Norsemen who were fleeing the battle and stumbled upon his tent. After the battle, Ireland returned to a fractious status quo between the many small, separate kingdoms that had existed for some time.
Ireland's Fight for Freedom in America: The American Civil War
The Irish immigrant was very involved in America long before we became a nation. They were part of George Washington's Army in America’s fight for freedom from King George's Britain. (George Washington celebrated St Patrick’s Day).
It was an Irishman, James Hoban was born and raised in a thatched cottage near Callan in Co Kilkenny who designed the White House. There where so many Irish men and women who contributed to the making of America.
The Fighting 69th Irish Brigade
We present the famous New York (Fighting) 69th who fought in the American Civil War. They will be represented by re-enactors at the Irish Fair. (Note. there were also many Irishmen who fought for the South as the Southern states had many settlers from Ireland.
Today’s 69th NYSV Co C was founded over 20 years ago and since that time the 69th has been a major influence in the development of Civil War re-enacting and Living History events throughout Southern California.
We are currently a charter member of CRAIC– California Re-enactors for American and Irish Cultures, a non-profit organization, and are affiliated with many other Civil War and Living History organizations here in the Southland.
Our portrayal of the 69th is as it would have been in camp in the spring of 1864. At that time the regiment would have just been re-supplied with new recruits, equipment, uniforms, tents and they would have been eating well for the first time in many months.
Also some of the soldiers may have had family visiting the camp which accounts for women and children participating in our portrayal today.
With more than 40 members, today’s 69th strives to be a family oriented re-enacting unit that encourages participation by whole family groups as well as single members.
As living historians it is our mission to educate the general public about this time in our great county’s history and to honor the memories of those who lived and died during the Civil War. It is our desire to preserve history but also to have fun doing it.
Although we strive to be as authentically accurate as possible in all that we do, from our uniforms and our weaponry, from our military drill and the food that we eat, we always try to keep things enjoyable and relaxed. We even speak a little Irish in camp and have, on occasion, been known to kick our heels up on a Saturday night.
Our members come from all walks of life and reside in many areas throughout the Southland. The Civil War Re-enactments and Living History events we attend are also very varied in location and are conveniently scheduled throughout the year.