For the first time in its history, the North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) will be held in Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 30 - Sept., 2023. Many early Welsh settlers made their home in this midwestern state and there is much to explore.

This year’s event features world-class Welsh entertainment and seminar presentations, a theatre production written and directed by a BAFTA-Cymru winning playwright and actor, vendors, community singing, and an opportunity to visit the Archive for Welsh America in Wymore, Neb.

Known as the “Land of Song,” music is an important part of Welsh culture. NAFOW is excited to welcome musical guests Gwawr Edwards, Rhys Meirion, Steffan Lloyd Owen, Dylan Morris, Leisa Dafydd and Triana. Urdd, Wales’ largest national youth organization, is sending four winners of the youth Eisteddfod, a music and poetry competition. The Grand Concert and 91st National Gymanfa Ganu, a hymn-singing festival, will be under the direction of award-winning Welsh composer Robat Arwyn.

Daytime activities include a presentation of the play Carwyn, written by Owen Thomas, directed by Gareth Bale and starring Simon Nehan. Well-known Welsh poet, TV presenter and former National Poet Ifor ap Glyn headlines the seminar lineup with presentations on the “History of the Welsh Language in 10 Words;” and “The Black Chair” about Welsh-language poet Hedd Wyn, who was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I. Nebraska native and former TV talk show host Dick Cavett will Zoom in to the festival and share memories of interviews with Welsh celebrities. Additional seminar topics will focus on language, history, music, genealogy, and politics in Wales today.

The festival will be held at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in the heart of downtown, with additional events held at the Nebraska State Capitol building and Saint Paul United Methodist Church. Hotel reservations can be made now at a discounted rate of $114 - $134 per night.

Thursday attendees will have the opportunity to visit Wymore and the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project, home of the Archive for Welsh America, as well as the Bethel Cemetery and the Homestead National Historical Park. An add-on overnight tour to the Welsh settlement of Arvonia, Kan. leaves the morning of Monday, Sept. 4. The full festival schedule and registration details will be available on the website no later than March 1, 2023.

For additional information and updates, visit www.nafow.org.