20th annual Celtic festival sees eclectic guests and a triumphant retirement

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For the last 20 years, thousands of people have looked forward to the annual McLain Celtic Festival in Carlisle, Cumberland County. For Joan McBride, whose been organizing it for the last 17, it means something else. "This marks my retirement," McBride said.

More than two dozen vendors were selling everything from shot glasses and bag pipes to Welsh cookies and alpaca scarves. There's a little something for everyone, but for Joan, who's closing the chapter on this part of her life, it's bittersweet. "It's been my baby for seventeen years," she said while fighting back tears.

She said it's hard to leave, which is understandable because the festival has provided a great deal of joy for so many. That includes members of the Scottish Society, who were displaying their custom family kilts. Local bands were also on tap to provide some traditional Celtic folk music, but that wasn't all.

There was a German Shepherd named Maeyeux there. She's currently training to be a seeing eye dog and, if all goes well, will be paired up with someone in about a year. Her handler, Melissa Post, has trained four seeing eye dogs and said there's nothing stronger than the relationship that  can develop between the dog and it's owner. "The bond becomes very tight. So much so that when the dog retires it's very hard for the person," she said.



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