Eileen Dahill/North America

Every Irish Fair needs a Welshman

It was great to run into John Dingley from Wales at the Minnesota Irish Fair last weekend. He sat down and chatted with my mom and I for a Welsh minute.


We first met John Dingley in 80’s at an event called the “Festival of Nations.” He was demonstrating his craft as a master glass cutting and engraver. But then again we only have to walk around our block to also see his work on an neighbors wall he built (no mortar) as John is also a stonemason. (His business is called Reticulated Stone) If he disappears for awhile he is down in the state of Iowa at the at the Raptor Center or in Wales singing in a choir. This Renaissance Welshman wears many hats. Several times I have found myself in a discussion about ‘John’ only to find out we were talking about the same John – John Dingley. This is why he is often referred to as ‘The Dingley’ in Minnesota – so we all know whom we are talking about.

At the time he popped into the tea room he was manning the Literary Tent at Irish Fair. He was promoting his first book for youth entitled The Timeless Cavern. Then he was off to revive his one man show John Dingley and the Biggest Pack of Lies You Ever Heard. Elsewhere in the weekend he was in the Speakers Tent and Literary Round Table before he started on his rounds all over again. If you want to stop John Dingley en route between performances you can have a knowledgeable discussion about urban and sustainable agriculture. John was a farmer in mid-Wales before immigrating. Every Irish Fair needs a Welshman.

Note: When not at the Irish Fair ‘The Dingley can be seen building Kestral (falcon) houses in the State of Iowa.