Iconic Stonehenge Reimagined with Straw at the Saline Celtic Festival


Photo by Robert Anderson on Unsplash

In the City of Saline, history is about to be re-written, or rather re-built, with a bit of straw and a hefty dose of Celtic inspiration. The annual Saline Celtic Festival is set to enthrall attendees with its unique addition - Strawhenge, a playful, half-scale replica of Britain's iconic Stonehenge.

Strawhenge is the brainchild of Saline local, Jim Peters, a retired engineering designer known for his love for cryptozoology, and for bringing mysterious creatures and structures to life. Peters was the mastermind behind Millie the Mill Pond Monster, a mechanical marvel inspired by Scotland's famous Loch Ness Monster, which has thrilled festivalgoers for 25 years.

In past years, Peters and his team have even constructed a captivating crop circle in a local wheat field. This year, they've turned their creative energies towards recreating Stonehenge, the enigmatic ring-shaped Neolithic structure that has intrigued historians and tourists for centuries.

To be built with the aid of local farmers and their heavy machinery, Strawhenge will feature roughly 12 tons of straw arranged into a semi-circle of super-rectangular straw bales weighing up to 1,000 pounds each. While the Saline Celtic Festival 'henge' will be made of straw instead of stone, Peters promises at least one 'Druid' to pay homage to the original ceremonies held by Druids at the real Stonehenge.

Peters noted that although the festival's new location at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds offers more room for such creative endeavors, Strawhenge's alignment will mimic that of the original Stonehenge in Britain. "Our Strawhenge will be properly aligned per the winter and summer solstice, as in Britain. However, the alignment is for Britain, not Michigan, and the summer solstice on June 21 will have been over by festival time," Peters explained.

Even with the inherent challenges, the excitement about the new addition is palpable. "We’re absolutely thrilled to build Strawhenge, and provide festivalgoers with such an exciting and unique experience," Peters enthused.

The festival will run from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 7, and 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 8, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. Attendees can look forward to an array of engaging activities from Celtic bands, music and dance, Highland Games, jousting, pipe and drum bands, and Wee Folks activities. Millie the Mill Pond Monster, now in dry dock, will also be on display for admirers.

For more information, visit the Saline Celtic Festival website or their Facebook page. Those interested in volunteering can email salinecelticvolunteers@gmail.com.

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