MD Ir­ish Fes­ti­val re­turns to Fair­grounds

MD Ir­ish Fes­ti­val re­turns to Fair­grounds

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: LISA HAR­LOW

It’s time to throw on some­thing green and head to the 45th An­nual Mary­land Ir­ish Fes­ti­val Fri­day – Sun­day, Novem­ber 9 – 11 at the Mar yland State Fair­grounds in Ti­mo­nium. Pre­sented an­nu­ally by Ir­ish Char­i­ties of Mary­land, the fes­ti­val cel­e­brates all things Ire­land

lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional mu­sic, dance groups, tra­di­tional food and drink, cul­tural ex­hibits and speak­ers, and a wide va­ri­ety of Ir­ish items for sale.

Ad­mis­sion fees to the fes­ti­val go to sup­port the many char­i­ta­ble causes of the Mary­land Ir­ish com­mu­nity. Last year, Ir­ish Char­i­ties of Mary­land do­nated to more than 25 dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Lit­tle Sis­ters of the Poor, MD Spe­cial Olympics, My Brother’s Keeper, Stella Maris Hos­pice, Wreaths Across Amer­ica, the Po­lice Emer­ald So­ci­ety of Bal­ti­more, St. Mary’s Uni­ver­sity and Sem­i­nary and Metropoli­tan Bal­ti­more Fire Emer­ald So­ci­ety.

Here are some high­lights of the 2018 Mary­land Ir­ish Fes­ti­val:

With many tra­di­tional Ir­ish ven­dors, fes­ti­val go­ers will find hand­made kilts and other cloth­ing, Ir­ish glass­ware and linens, art­work, jew­elry and other gifts. Kids will en­joy the large play area with bouncy cas­tles, ac­tiv­i­ties, and games.

Be sure to bring your ap­petite for the wide se­lec­tion of tra­di­tional Ir­ish cui­sine such as fish and chips, corned beef, lamb stew, ham and cab­bage, and champ (a mashed potato dish), along with wings, hot dogs, beer, whiskey and non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages. This year the Ir­ish Fes­ti­val will have Happy Hour Fri­day from 6 to 8 p.m., when all beer prices will be $5.00.

Speaker ses­sions will fea­ture mu­si­cal and his­tor­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tions on Ir­ish mu­sic, ghost sto­ries, women, the mil­i­tary and more. Ses­sions in­clude Long­ships on the Ir­ish Sea and Be­yond by Leonard Leshuk, Vik­ing Long­ship Com­pany; Penny Whis­tle Lessons by Sean Le­na­han; Saints Just Wanna Have Fun by Tom O’Car­roll; as well as au­thor read­ings and video pre­sen­ta­tions.

Thumper’s Wee Stage will host chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing ma­gi­cian Deb­bie O’Car­roll. She com­bines stage magic and the­ater, highly vis­ual props and col­or­ful cos­tumes with lots of au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion to cre­ate cap­ti­vat­ing pro­grams, al­low­ing kids to be­come a vi­tal part of the per­for­mance.

The “Bold Fe­nian Men” re­turn to the fes­ti­val again this year, with their unique ex­hi­bi­tion of an­tique firearms that were car­ried by both the Ir­ish-Amer­i­can Fe­ni­ans, and the Cana­dian and Bri­tish forces, dur­ing the Fe­nian Raids on Canada, in both 1866 and 1870. They will be dressed in a range of Fe­nian “uni­forms”—in­clud­ing the uni­forms of for­mer Union soldiers, Con­fed­er­ate soldiers, and pe­riod civil­ian cloth­ing.

Mu­sic is a big part of Ir­ish tra­di­tion so it is fit­ting that it plays a pre­dom­i­nant role in the Ir­ish Fes­ti­val with four stages full of lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional acts such as Dublin 5, with their eclec­tic mix of tra­di­tional roots and in­stru­men­tals with an amped up rock twist.

The Scream­ing Or­phans are four sis­ters raised County Done­gal, Ire­land who started a pop rock band, which has been tour­ing the United States and Europe since mid1990s. The band played as Sinéad O’Con­nor’s open­ing act and as her back-up singers on tour across Europe, Amer­ica and Canada.

The Fitzger­alds con­sist of fid­dling and step danc­ing sib­lings from just out­side of Canada’s Ot­tawa Val­ley. Fea­tur­ing 3-time Cana­dian Grand­mas­ter Fid­dle Cham­pi­ons and On­tario Open Step Dance Cham­pi­ons, this unique act fea­tures high-en­ergy fid­dling, step danc­ing, mu­si­cian­ship and au­di­ence in­ter­ac­tion.

For nearly 20 years, Black­wa­ter has been per­form­ing their high­en­ergy brand of Celtic mu­sic to au­di­ences across North Amer­ica

from ses­sions and pubs to con­cert halls and fes­ti­val stages. The band’s mem­bers have a rich tra­di­tion in Celtic, Folk, Clas­si­cal and Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic and have suc­cess­fully merged those in­di­vid­ual in­flu­ences into a unique and dy­namic sound.

The Kil­maine Saints was first started in 2009 by a few mem­bers of the Lochiel Emer­ald So­ci­ety Pipes and Drums as a means to play bag­pipes year round. Along with the bag­pipes, the Saints added a fid­dler, gui­tarist and singer that con­trib­ute to their high-en­ergy live sets. The 45th An­nual Mary­land Ir­ish Fes­ti­val

Mary­land State Fair­grounds, 2200 York Rd, Lutherville-Ti­mo­nium, MD 21093

Fri­day, Novem­ber 9 6 PM – 11 PM

Satur­day, Novem­ber 10 Noon – 11 PM

Sun­day, Novem­ber 11 Noon – 6 PM (Mass – 10:30 AM)

2018 Mary­land Ir­ish Fes­ti­val Tick­ets at the Door:

Fri­day Evening:

Adults (18-64): $15 Se­niors (65 & above): $10 Satur­day – all day:

Adults (18-64): $20 Se­niors (65 & above): $15 Sun­day:

Adults (18-64): $15 Se­niors (65 & above): $10 Chil­dren (un­der 17) and Ac­tive Duty Mil­i­tary w/ ID are al­ways FREE.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to http://irish­fes­ti­ gridser

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