Malad Valley residents invite everyone to the Malad Valley Welsh Festival to celebrate the rich Welsh heritage that has contributed to the quality of life in the settlement of this beautiful valley.
Welsh pioneers were the first to settle in the Malad Valley in the 1860s. One of their many Welsh traditions was an annual cultural arts event called an eisteddfod, with roots going back 900 years.
Eisteddfod was celebrated locally for many years until World War 1. In 2005, after a 90 year break, this annual cultural event, now called the Malad Valley Welsh Festival, once again became a reality.
Today, Malad Valley, Idaho, has the largest per-capita concentration of people of Welsh ancestry outside the country of Wales itself. For that reason, many residents of the Valley enjoy reestablishing their Welsh roots.
History of Welsh Culture in Malad (from Wikipedia):
Malad began largely as a Welsh Mormon settlement whose settlers brought their Welsh traditions with them. In addition to the Mormon majority, some of the leading families in the community belonged to either the Presbyterian Church or the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These two denominations each built a place of worship in the town. Some of the minutes from early town meetings were taken down in both English and Welsh. The city is very proud of its Welsh heritage. Malad lays claim to having more people of Welsh descent per capita than anywhere outside Wales. Malad celebrated its Welsh heritage by holding an annual “eisteddfod”, patterned after the music and poetry contests held in Wales for over 900 years. The eisteddfod was an all-day event with people coming from all over southeastern Idaho. The event featured music, songs and storytelling of Wales. The custom continued until 1916 and the outbreak of World War I. With the goal of renewing the old eisteddfod tradition in Malad, in 2004, the annual Malad Valley Welsh Festival was established.