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Celtic theme explored in afternoon of music, art

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POLSON — The mood was hushed and relaxed as harp strings flowed melodies among 14 ladies adding colorful hues to Celtic designs March 22 at the North Lake County Public Library in Polson.

The themed event, one of four offered each year, was an opportunity to learn more about Irish and Scottish roots while snacking on treats and visiting with old friends — or making new ones.

Angela Claver, public services librarian, said there were just two rules: “One, relax and have fun. Two, no fighting over the markers.”

Claver explained the history of the Celtic cross and the significance of its infinite circle, a design that dates back to the sixth century.

“Art is so ancient,” Claver said, “yet up-to-date today.”

Claver’s choice of the event theme was twofold: March boasts St. Paddy’s Day, and her mother was Irish.

“I love everything Irish,” she said as she poured refills of lemonade. Claver decorated a table with clover, a stalk of Bells of Ireland, and various papers to color. Irishthemed books and Sham- Rockers CDs were available to check out of the library.

Betty Burland was drawn to event after her ancestry DNA results surprised her, revealing she was part Native American, and more Scotch- Irish than French.

Karen Amundson gathered three friends to accompany her to the Celtic coloring day. The ladies shared bright markers and colored pencils as they chatted, laughed and reminisced.

“I made a resolution to learn or do something new each month,” Amundson said. “And the girls needed an outing.”

Harpist Debbie Conrad, a home healthcare nurse, took a break between patients to accompany the event on her portable, 8-pound carbon fiber harp — one of her six harps. She often shares her talent with her hospice patients. While it provides a calming balm for them, it also blesses her to play, she said.

The library offered a repeat event that evening for working folks who were unable to attend in the afternoon. The quarterly, enriching events are offered free to the public, funded solely by the library.

For more information, call 406-883-8225.

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