North Texas Irish Festival Celebrates 40 Years of Irish Culture – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Irish eyes will smile as the North Texas Irish Festival returns to Fair Park in Dallas from March 4-6.
In 2020, the North Texas Irish Festival ended just days before the pandemic halted. The festival was a virtual event in 2021. This year’s event is all about togetherness.
“The main reason we do a festival like this is to bring people together,” said Sheri Bush, president of the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc., the organization that produces the festival. “The people of Ireland are just gregarious and charming, witty and full of song and dance and you need people to be able to share that with and we’ve missed that personal connection so much over the last two years. “
The theme for the 2022 festival is “40 Shades of Green”, a celebration of 40 years of Irish culture in North Texas and the dedicated volunteers who carry on the traditions of the festival. “Ireland encompasses so many ideas and feelings for so many people,” Bush said. “That tapestry is there and in 40 years we’ve woven it pretty well.”
Masks are recommended but not required for indoor spaces. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the festival. “We try to be mindful of the precautions that we need to put in place, but we also feel that at this point everyone’s mental health and the need for a song is also very important,” Bush said.
Irish music has always been at the heart of the festival and this year the festival features national headliners like Tommy and Saundra O’Sullivan, Ed Miller and Piper Jones Band. Regional artists include 5 Second Rule, Beyond The Pale, Emerald Accent and The Selkie Girls. “We have so many genres of music, if you can’t find someone you like, there’s a problem because we have something for just about everyone, up to and including kids,” said Bush.
The festival welcomes two new groups. Skerryvore are a contemporary Scottish traditional music group who have toured the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. “Eight guys in kilts, bagpipes and guitars – what more could you ask for?” says Bush.
Úlla is a band from Austin, made up of Irish expatriates and American musicians who love trad-Celtic music. “It’s very exciting traditional music,” Bush said.
Irish dancers of all ages will perform on a dedicated dance stage and throughout the festival. Many of these dancers compete at the world championship level. “Step dancing is so much fun to watch,” Bush said. “It’s a wonderful art form to watch and it’s intricate and it’s difficult, and it looks so simple at the same time.”
The North Texas Irish Festival isn’t just family friendly; he is also a friendly dog. Dogs are welcome at the 5K North Texas Irish Festival Fun Run at 8 a.m. on Saturday as well as at the festival itself. A $1 donation supporting the SPCA is requested. The festival will also host animal rescue groups.
Dogs must be kept on a short leash and pet owners are asked to pick up after their furry family member. “Bring a dog friendly,” Bush said. “You can put a shamrock bandana on them or not. We are not picky. Just bring them in and let us pet them.
No one will go hungry at the festival. In addition to bowls of Irish stew, shepherd’s pie and funnel cake, there will be a chef’s stage, where some of North Texas’ top chefs will create their own modern takes on traditional Celtic cuisine. “We have great leaders coming up,” Bush said. “Sit back and enjoy their presentation, then share them.”
A full range of drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be served and the festival is a great opportunity to jump into some holiday shopping. “There are lots of good food vendors, lots of things to drink. We also have many retailers. We have so many good goods there. And it’s homemade stuff for the most part,” Bush said. “Christmas is coming, folks, so get shopping!” »
Bush can’t wait for the sights and sounds of the festival to once again fill Fair Park. “Ireland and the whole Celtic group really tends to be very inclusive,” Bush said. “They want to attract you. They want to make you feel part of things. They want to show you their culture and show you their history in songs, in their tunes and in their dance.
Learn more: https://www.ntif.org/