If you are a Clevelander who is intrigued by all things Irish then you may have the luck of the Irish, for you can attend the 28th annual Dublin Irish Festival being held in Dublin, Ohio on Friday,July 31, Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2.
The second largest Irish celebration in the world, the Dublin Irish Festival will feature over 65 music and dance acts and more than 535 entertainers from the United States and Ireland performing on 7 different stages with music ranging from traditional Irish tunes to Celtic rock. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend the event.
Activities at the Festival include storytelling, Irish folklore, hand-on workshops (where visitors can learn traditional Irish musical instruments like the harp and the Bodhram drum in addition to the banjo, guitar and fiddle), learn about crocheting and knitting and see Irish linen and woolworker demonstrations. Other activities include dart tournaments, a Bagpipe Showcase and learning a bit if the Irish (Gaelic) language.
Animal lovers will be thrilled with the opportunity to meet and greet and pet a variety of Celtic Canines (including Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Terriers, Irish Setters, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Red and White Setters and Glen of Imaal Terriers). Also be sure to pay a visit to the Bog Ponies exhibit where you can meet and pet these gentle creatures. And don’t miss the chance to see the sheep herding demonstrations being offered throughout the Festival.
Several pipe and drum bands will be performing (including the North Coast Pipe Band from Cleveland and the 87th Cleveland Pipe Band) as well as a variety of Irish dancers from various dance academies. Some of the Festival’s musical performers include Brigid’s Cross, Gaelic Storm, Tannahill Weavers, Whiskey of the Damned, Socks in the Frying Pan and Dublin Silver Band.
The Dublin Irish Festival will also be playing host to the Amateur Highlands Games competition where athletes will be competing in events like the caber toss, the stone put, the sheaf toss and throwing heavy weights for distance. The Festival will also feature Kids’ Gaelic Games. And be sure to check out the Irish Road Bowling and the amateur boxing showcase.
On all three days of the Festival, visitors can take part in a magical fairy tea party where they can hear fairy stories being told as they sip their tea and partake of scones. Cost is $5. Times are 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be Pirate Parties offered where visitors can hear stories about pirate adventures. Times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. A multitude of artisans and crafters will be present with Irish items for sale. Of course, there will be food and drink aplenty available for purchase. Some of the traditional Irish foods for sale include lamb stew, bridies, bangors & mash, scones, fish & chips and corned beef and cabbage rolls.
On Sunday, August 2, visitors wanting to attend a church service will have several to choose from starting at 10 a.m. including an Irish Mass, a Traditional Mass, an interdenominational service and a Druid service.
Hours for the Dublin Irish Festival are 4 p.m. – midnight on Friday, 11 a.m. – midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 at the gate for adults and $10 for seniors (60+), military and students. Children 12 and under are free. For more information about the Dublin Irish Festival, call 800-245-8387 or get online at www.dublinirishfestival.org.
Coffman Park (site of the Irish Festival) is located at 5200 Emerald Parkway in Dublin, Ohio. Dublin is 139 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 2 hour, 20 minute drive.