Mike Danahey On The Loose at Hoffman Estates Celtic Fest

Moony The Irish Wolfhound at Hoffman Estates Celtic Fest.
Moony The Irish Wolfhound at Hoffman Estates Celtic Fest.

Saturday afternoon I headed to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates for what could have been billed as  the world’s smallest Celtic festival.

Actually, “world’s smallest Celtic festival” is what many a redheaded lass says when she sees her Irish beau naked for the first time. Or so I have heard.

In its second year, the Hoffman Estates fest was once again a very laid back affair. In fact, I wanted to take a nap on one of the nice sofas in the arena’s lounge, but was afraid I might be awakened by a roving bagpiper.

So instead  I went shopping along the concourse for kilt accessories and bought a couple pins from Sheldon Pewter. Mind you, I did not wear a kilt this time, opting instead for baggy shorts. And the answer is yes, if you were wondering if I wore them “kilt-like”.

I also snagged two matted photos from Images of Ireland – one a view of Dublin from the top of the Guinness tour, the other one of accordionist Joe Cullen’s old girlfriend’s, which is to say a sheep.

I almost bought a fox tail, too, for no apparent reason other than I thought it might look funny hanging off the back of my kilt. I saw some chubby guy donning one at the Ren Faire in Bristol, Wisc. last summer. It bet he wears it so he can tell his buddies he gets a lot of tail in his tartan.

They had a pretty good corned beef sandwich, though it should have been on rye, not an egg bun. The potato leek soup wasn’t bad either.

I listened to some music from Baal Tinne, watched a bit of a cricket demo, and met Mr. Morrison and Moony.

Moony is an Irish Wolfhound, though I’m pretty sure I saw him later that afternoon racing in the Kentucky Derby.

Moony is three years old and weighs 180 pounds. I didn’t get to that weight until high school. He eats 10 cups of kibble a day. He makes large poops,  He likes to lounge around the house. And, though he looks intimidating, he’s not much of a watchdog.

All of which means I might be related to Moony – but for the fact he can run like a cheetah, while I am as fleet as Frosty the Snowman on a warm winter’s day.

It was nice to have the place pretty much all to myself, like finding a good mall with but a few hundred shoppers milling about on the day after Thanksgiving.

I know they spend less than $10,000 to put on this festival, but if someone had grander plans I think Sears Centre could handle a bigger event.

After all, I went to something called Winter Jam there earlier this year, and the arena was filled with fans of contemporary Christian music who were praising Jesus with adult contemporary, rap, and even death metal tunes.  I figure if the Willow Creek types can pack the place, why can’t the Celts put together a blockbuster bill?

Maybe late February would be a good time for this as a warmup for  St. Patrick’s celebrations.

Or, since the Sears Centre can be converted into a hockey rink, why not hold the first Riverdance on Ice? Irish step skating sounds dangerously beautiful – maybe not as much as Cirque du Guinness would be and which is a nod to something else I have seen at Sears.

The arena also is home to the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League, legends being a euphemism for skimpy uniforms worn by good looking but tough young women.

So maybe the Tilted Kilt could cook up something Celtic for an afternoon in Hoffman Estates. The  Irish Nachos, Drunken Clams, Five Quid Squid, and Spicy Black Bean Veggie Wraps from their menu should at least keep Moony full for a few hours.