Conversation #1

Image from the San Marcos Celtic Festival Facebook page (used with permission)

It was December 28th and I had decided to try this crazy idea of 52 Conversations. But about what? I had narrowed the list of possibilities, but hadn’t made a decision. Then a post about the 4th Annual San Marcos Celtic Festival showed up on my Facebook page.

For more information about Green Men, please see the Resources page.

This Festival was the first community event my husband and I attended after we moved here last December and it was everything we have come to love about San Marcos. (Thanks to for posting the information on their Hill Country Calendar!) It was fun, easy to participate in, (not huge crowds or terrible parking), people were friendly and there was just enough to see, do, and listen to. And I bought these two small sculptures that now greet anyone who enters my home office.

So, I did what any person embarking on a crazy venture would do. I scrolled through the Facebook page for the Festival looking for someone’s contact information. I found the email address for the vendor coordinator and sent her an email asking if she would be willing to meet with me. Luckily for me, Virginia was not only willing, she responded that day with possible meeting locations. Thanks to Virginia, I started the first day of the new year with Conversation #1.

And what a great way to start this new project. Virginia has been involved with the San Marcos Celtic Festival all four years and freely admits it began as an excuse to bring together people who like Irish music, Celtic history, and arts. It’s still true that music and art are still the primary focus of the celebration. This year there will be musical performances all afternoon in the main room, a harpist in a separate space and a bagpiper roaming through the San Marcos Activity Center. Dance groups will come from Lubbock (Morris Dancers) and Austin (Irish Dancers). There will be kid-friendly events with craft and coloring tables and soft-tip archery.

I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Virginia. Of course, I learned more about the Celtic Festival – this year I need to look for the space in the building where anyone who wants to can stop and join in the jam session. I learned about an important difference between the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and Viking reenactment group – the SCA uses rattan weaponry and the Viking group uses ‘live steel’. Who knew?

Best of all, I learned about Virginia. In addition to working on the San Marcos Celtic Festival, she’s a musician. Look for her band O’Malarkey to perform at the Festival and in venues around the Hill Country. And, she makes Renaissance and Victorian Era clothing. She has developed a line of wedding dresses for people who get married at Renaissance Fairs. I shouldn’t be surprised, but again, who knew? I checked out her websites and her clothing is beautiful. Maybe I can understand the allure of having a medieval ceremony! While Virginia doesn’t live in San Marcos proper, she’s clearly an active member of our community. When I asked her about her favorite part of San Marcos, her answer was immediate – “great people”.

If Virginia is any example of the people I am going to have the opportunity to meet this year, then I have no doubt, I’ll have the same answer. Thank you, Virginia for getting my project off to such a delightful start. Conversation #1 was a delight!

Next post will be a bit of history – I’m going hunting for historical markers this weekend – while I line up conversation #2. We’ll see who’s next.

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