Findings from a recent scientific study of the waters of Scotland’s Loch Ness, suggest the famed Loch Ness Monster may be real—possibly a long-necked plesiosaur that survived from the age of the dinosaurs, or a sturgeon or giant catfish.
Saline resident Jim Peters knows better. “Of course “Nessie” is real, and so is her long lost cousin, Saline’s own Millie the Mill Pond Monster and her family—hubby Angus, and children Patrick and Moira,” he said.
“They’ve been in Scotland visiting Nessie, but they’re starting to make their way across the Atlantic and making good time to arrive in Saline for this year’s Saline Celtic Festival on July 12 and 13,” he added, possibly with his tongue firmly in his cheek. “The Saline River might be a bit of a tight squeeze for them, but once they reach the Mill Pond, they’ll be ready to greet festival visitors and enjoy two days of Celtic fun.”
Last year, Peters and his wife Geraldine took a trip to Ireland and Scotland, and visited Loch Ness. “I looked and looked but all I saw was a model, but I’m sure Nessie was frolicking in the loch, with Millie and her family,” he said.
Millie was “born” on a paper napkin in a beer tent in the early years of the festival, and created by Peters, a retired engineer, in his garage. The “children” followed soon afterwards, and Angus joined them last year. The mechanical marvels that—with the help of Peters and a team of volunteers—rise from the Mill Pond and delight festivalgoers, have fans worldwide.
Peters and his wife recently headed to Europe for a Rhine River cruise. “I thought about taking Millie and putting her behind the boat to scare the heck out of people but she wouldn’t fit on the plane,” he said with a smile. “The Europeans have a few river legends of their own but none as cool as a Loch Ness Monster.”
Peters has made a few tweaks on Millie’s radio controlled smoke systems this year. He also has built a cutout of a unicorn for the Wee Folks area, and made a Viking crew to go inside the “Viking ship” (aka Peters’ canoe). “Last year we had the Lady of the Lake” and “Sword in the Stone” props from the legends of King Arthur," Peters said. "If I could find a way to work Bigfoot into this festival I would do so!”
In addition to Millie and her family of monsters, the Saline Celtic Festival offers music from Black Murray, Crossbow, Thunderwüde, Brother Crowe, House of Hamill, Codgers, Paddy’s Cure, The Barley Saints, Nessa, Saline Fiddlers, and Chelsea House Orchestra; as well as pipe bands, ancient athletics, jousting, historical re-enactments, dance troupes, Highland dance competition, sheep herding, textiles and weavers, Wee Folks Island, clans, and much more.
For complete information, visit www.salineceltic.org.