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Highlights of the Eisteddfod Week

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Dan Williams Dan Williams | 09:40 UK time, Thursday, 29 July 2010

With the Eisteddfod only a few days away and so many things happening on the field during the week, I thought a 'highlights' blog might help you plan your week and sample all aspects of the festival. For some extra info take a look at our 'Eisteddfod essentials' on our Eisteddfod site.

The Field

The National Eisteddfod Pavilion on the site in Ebbw Vale

With more than 200 stalls over the field ranging from university stalls, charities, organisations and various shops selling goods from t-shirts to jewellery there's a lot to see. You can also pick up the occasional free biro.

The Pavilion - The big pink Pavilion tent is where all the main events take place during the Eisteddfod, from solos to choirs, evening concerts to the ceremonies. This really is the heart of the Eisteddfod.

Theatre Y Maes (The Theatre) - This is the home for many plays and productions from around Wales throughout the week.

Y Lle Celf (Art Space) - As the site this year is on an old steelworks the organisers have integrated parts of the old site into the Eisteddfod. The unique example is the site for the visual arts gallery which is in the basement of the old steelworks. Read more on its transformation in Laura Chamberlain's blog post.

Top tip for the week - Towards the end of the week the male voice choirs' competitions are held in the Pavilion. This sparks a great moment in the food courts towards the end of the afternoon (normally when everyone is sheltering from the rain) when the choirs burst into song. It is quite a magical moment that can only be captured at the Eisteddfod.

Main Ceremonies

New Archdruid - The newly appointed Jim Parc Nest (T. James Jones) has taken over the Archdruid duties from the late Dic yr Hendre. T. James Jones won the Crown twice in 1986 and 1988, as well as the Chair in 2007. Last year Selwyn Iolen stood in for Dic yr Hendre during his illness.

Crowning - The first ceremony of the week is the Crowning of the Bard on Monday. The Crown is awarded to the winning poem of up to 200 lines not in strict verse. This year's Crown was designed by Suzie Horan, the winner of the Craft and Design gold medal in the 2008 National Eisteddfod in Cardiff. One of the adjudicators, Iwan Llwyd, died in May this year. He was crowned himself in the Rhymney Eisteddfod of 1990. It will be interesting to hear on Monday whether Iwan had cast his adjudication on the pieces before his death.

Prose Medal - While the Eisteddfod is in full swing by now, the main ceremony on Wednesday is the Prose Medal Ceremony. This is awarded for a volume of work this year on the theme of 'Regeneration'.

The Chair - Arguably the highlight of the week when it comes to the ceremonies. After last year's disappointment where no one was awarded the chair (it was left empty as there was no worthy winner according to the adjudicators), let's hope someone takes the coveted prize on Friday afternoon. This year's chair was donated by Glamorgan University. Read more about it on one of my previous posts.

Take a look at last year's chair ceremony highlights where the chair was controversially left empty:

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If you don't get chance to go to the Eisteddfod, you can catch all the action on our Eisteddfod website where we'll be streaming the ceremonies and competitions during the week. Just go to bbc.co.uk/wales/eisteddfod/2010.

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