ANNOUNCEMENT: Aran in the US at NAFOW 2018, 30 Aug - 2 Sept 2018!

With a trumpet fanfare, I am very VERY pleased to announce that Aran Jones will be a featured seminar speaker at the North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW), to be held in the Alexandria, Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. from Thursday, August 30th through Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 (Labor Day weekend)!

Aran will be presenting seminars on “Will Welsh Win or Lose the 21st Century?” and “Welsh as a Global Language” (each twice), plus three SSIW “taster sessions,” plus generally hanging around being his friendly supportive self. :slight_smile:

NAFOW is the biggest annual gathering in North America of folks who love Wales. We in the Washington DC Welsh Society are the hosts this year, and we’re expecting 600-800 attendees. We are super excited and have been planning for months!

In addition to Aran – as if you needed more – we will have:

Seminar speakers including: Menna Elfyn! Mal Pope! Recently-retired Lord Chief Justice Thomas! Textile artist Cefyn Burgess (his stuff is amazing)! Author Jerry Hunter! And tons more…

Concerts by: TRIO (three very talented young Welsh male singers)! Eschoir (young Welsh male voice choir based in London)! Moch Pryderi (local Welsh folk band)!

Gymanfa Ganu: A day-long Welsh hymn sing that is the single biggest event of the weekend.

Plus more, so much more. :slight_smile:

Please join us at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center for this fantastic Labor Day (U.S.) weekend. Full details and registration forms available at

Did I mention that Aran’s going to be there? :slight_smile: If I somehow forgot, take a look at the interview that I did with him that appears in the March 2018 issue of Ninnau, the North American Welsh newspaper.


Looking forward to this so much… :slight_smile:

@Deborah-SSi - have we emailed this? :slight_smile: Can we give it a few different shots, to make sure that as many as possible of our American learners are in the loop? :slight_smile:


Huh. This might make me actually go to a NAFOW . . . :open_mouth:


Oh how exciting! The festival was already on my radar to hopefully get to this year, but now I have an extra incentive! :smile:


Precisely the kind of response I’m hoping for!!

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Maybe we should have a ‘who’s coming, and where shall we socialise?’ kind of thread… :slight_smile:


Not a bad idea. There is a “Say Something in Welsh Meet-up” scheduled at noon on both Saturday and Sunday, but it doesn’t give any additional details (like where).

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So, the SSIW meetups aren’t a social opportunity quite like Aran has in mind, I think. The meetups, which will probably be re-labeled “taster sessions,” are for Aran to demonstrate the SSIW method & for people to share with each other tips on learning & learning resources. At least that’s how we’ve used them in the past!

The locations of the meetups won’t be available until shortly before NAFOW happens – we still have to get rooms assigned to everything!

I’ll start a “who’s coming” thread pretty soon. The “let’s socialize!” planning can wait a bit, I think. There are a couple obvious locations – bar at the hotel, and bar at the only nearby restaurant in walking distance (Clyde’s Mark Center).


Okay, I think I’m in! After all, I will have been to bootcamp by then . . .


That’s terrific! But just so nobody is scared away . . . there is NO expectation that people attending NAFOW speak any Welsh at all (though enough people do that you’ll be able to get some practice in), and pretty much everybody can push their way through the Anthem, with or without the lyrics that are always printed in NAFOW programs!

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[quote=“tahl, post:10, topic:11592”]
there is NO expectation that people attending NAFOW speak any Welsh at all [/quote]
Oh, definitely not!

[quote=“tahl, post:10, topic:11592”]
(though enough people do that you’ll be able to get some practice in) [/quote]
That’s what I was thinking about . . .


Less than two months now to our big event – the North American Festival of Wales in Washington, D.C. (ok, actually in the close-in suburb of Alexandria, Virginia), featuring among other great events SSIW’s own Aran Jones as a seminar speaker and general hanger-arounder!

Have you registered for the fun yet? If not, go here:

Who’s coming??


Time for another email ping, @Deborah-SSi? :slight_smile:

I can even add a sweetened “hook” for an email ping . . . SSIWers of the world, how about coming to NAFOW in Washington, D.C. . . . and competing in the NAFOW Eisteddfod?!

You have a wide choice of seven (7) different competitions in singing or poetic recitation - suiting all ages and different levels of proficiency in Welsh.


  • Welsh Learners Recitation (for those “not fully conversant”): Nant y Mynydd by Ceiriog
  • Welsh Recitation: Hyn Sy’n Fawl by Euros Bowen
  • English Recitation: A Marriage by R.S. Thomas

There are four singing competitions – Solo Hymn Singing, Solo Voice (Youth), Solo Voice (Adult), and Solo Voice (Semi-Professional). That last one comes with a generous cash scholarship for travel to compete at next year’s National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst!

Full info and the entry form:

All competitions are on Sat., Sept. 1, and are time-limited to help you enjoy the rest of the Festival

Enter today, or contact the NAFOW Eisteddfod Committee with questions (email, or call 412-215-9161). Pass the word!


Gwych. @Deborah-SSi! :star2:

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I wish I could go to this, but it just isn’t possible this year. Aran comes to the US and I’m going to miss it. I’m really disappointed :frowning2:

Oh no! Can’t you break a leg, tell the other thing that you broke a leg, and then make it to NAFOW despite your broken leg?

[Just thinking out loud here :wink: ]

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I like your creative thinking - I’d do it if I could! O ddifri, fyddai dim byd yn fy ngwneud i’n hapusach, ond mae sawl reswm pam alla i ddim yn mynd eleni. (How’s that for using my newly acquired Level 3 skills? :wink: )


Maybe it’s time to change your name, wear a mask and get a fake passport made?

[It’s a real pity it’s not going to work this time - ond llongyfarchiadau mawr IAWN ar dy Gymraeg gwych!]

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Can’t join us at NAFOW over Labor Day weekend, 30 Aug - 2 Sept 2018? (Why? why? whyyyyy?) Well, if you’re at the Eisteddfod this week, drop in to the Cymry Gogledd Amerig booth and show your support for the Welsh over here in North American. I’m not there, but a bunch of other folks helping to put on NAFOW are!

Tickets still available! Registration and all the info at

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