Jan 29, 2009

The Dragon Has Landed!

We apologise for the cheesy title but we are naturally very pleased and excited to be able to announce that plans for the Left Coast Eisteddfod in Portland this August are now beginning to firm up. This week we secured the location for the event in Portland, Oregon: it will take place at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, 22 August 2009.

Below is a shot of the view of the ballroom from the stage. The Crystal Ballroom has been a Portland nightlife destination for many decades, glamorously famous for its dance floor: a wooden floor on a ball-bearing base, below a balcony of fixed seating, with two bars - one in the balcony and one at the back of the ballroom itself. The ballroom overlooks downtown West Burnside Street, a main boulevard which bisects the north and south halves of the city and just blocks from Powell's Books, the largest independent bookstore in the United States, probably in the western hemisphere.

The ballroom is on the third floor and in addition to that floor, we have the second floor, which is another bar and dance floor - photograph of that bar, intrepidly claimed for Wales by AmeriCymru member, Hugh Roberts, at the bottom of this post, below.

So far confirmed to attend are:- Chris Needs, Bruce Anderson, Niall Griffiths, Oceans ApartDavid Western. Other announcements will follow. There is every chance, should our funding situation continue to improve, that we will book a second and possibly a third day It was our original intention to stage a three day event and we are exploring various sponsorship options with interested parties at the moment. and

The program for the event is in the beginning planning stages but so far we're looking at a Welsh market/tradeshow with vendor spaces during the day and seminars/appearances by lovespoon carver David Western and author Niall Griffiths on the ballroom stage and performers appearing in the ballroom in the evening.

The winners of all our online Eisteddfod competitions will be announced at the event. The Short Story Competition is being judged by Lloyd Jones and Peter Thabit Jones is judging the Poetry Competition. Judges for the other competitions have yet to be announced. David Western will announce the winner of the Left Coast Eisteddfod lovespoon he is creating and auctioning for the event.

We're working out additional presentations and possibly appearances and events at other locations near the Crystal Ballroom: book signings and other events. We'd really love to hear from anyone about events they'd like to see at this, any ideas anyone to make it even bigger and better.

We want to thank all our members and contributors for helping us get to this point and giving us an opportunity to promote Wales and modern Welsh culture in the western USA. We really hope we see a lot of you here and plan a special event for AmeriCymru members.

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