DANBURY, CT — The 2018 Danbury Irish Festival is bigger and better than ever in 2018 at a brand new location, 65 Sand Pit Rd., Danbury. It will be an indoor/outdoor event that will take place rain or shine! With live Irish music all weekend long, Irish dance, cultural activities, Irish food and beer and a children’s area with non-stop entertainment, it’s sure to be a weekend jam-packed with fun for all ages!
The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 21, 22 and 23, 2018 and is presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, the Men’s and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, committee members, and volunteers.
The brainchild of Gerry Curran, former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Festival began in 1995 at Rogers Park in Danbury with the help of Sharon Higgins. Twenty-one years ago, Curran had the dream to bring an Irish music and culture festival to Danbury to raise money to benefit the Irish Club. The festival offers Irish food, fellowship, and fun for people of all ages.
John Feeney, an Irish Gaelic language instructor, heads up the cultural tent which showcases a broad range of Irish heritage and gives festival-goers an up-close experience of Irish traditional music, Gaelic language, history, dance, genealogy, film, theater, and literature through live performances, displays, lectures, and workshops.
Wendy Mitchell heads up the Children’s Tent and has organized a wide variety entertainment and activities for children. The Children’s Tent headline entertainer is Danny Diamond who will present a magic show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 followed by balloon twisting. The Magic of Danny Diamond magic is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, a co-ed day school located on Miry Brook Road by the Danbury Airport. Balloon twisting is sponsored by Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, a new food, coffee and wine hot spot located in the heart of Danbury on Main Street.
The Children’s Tent is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, Bronze Sponsors Peterson Chiropractic and Poprox Productions, who will be face painting and Festival Friends Ridgefield Playhouse, Service Unlimited, Danbury Palace Theater, Absolute Limousine, Eddie’s Pizza & Pasta, Arbonne by Nicole Coleman, Charmio’s, Groovy Brew Organic Body Scrubs, and Lucy Super 7 Studios.
Shop in the Irish Village and get your holiday shopping done early! Peruse gifts, jewelry, Irish instruments, and other authentic, unique gift ideas from the Irish vendors who will sell their wares.
All weekend long there will be displays on Women of the Easter Rising, Book of Kells, Irish crochet, Irish language and classes, Irish family histories, genealogy, Irish blessings, Irish literature, history of the potato famine, Irish traditional music history and classes and much more.
The Greater Danbury Irish Festival will be held at 65 Sand Pit Road, Danbury, on the beautiful grounds of the Portuguese Cultural Center. This year’s festival is sponsored by Gold Sponsors Clancy Relocation & Logistics, McKenney Mechanical HVAC/R Solutions; Silver Sponsors Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, McCollam Insurance Agency, Senator Michael McLachlan, and Westchester Modular Homes; Bronze Sponsors Pembroke Pumping, Mulvaney Mechanical, Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance, Belardinelli Services, LLC, Councilman Phil Curran & Maggie Curran, Law Offices of Lawrence M. Riefberg, LLC, South Street Self Storage, Hull Funeral Home, Earthmovers and Levine Automotive.
Click here for more information.
Entertainment on the Main Stage (inside):
Friday, Sept. 21, 2018:
- Ceili Dancing on the Main Stage
- Green Gates (in the Cultural Tent) 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018:
- The Traveling Danburys 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
- Steve O’Tree and Friends – 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Thorne Academy of Irish Dance – 2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
- Keltic Kick – 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
- Cunningham Brothers – 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
- Ashurst Irish Dance 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.
- Celtic Cross Pipe & Drums – 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.
- Highland Rovers – 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Humble Hooligans– 8:45 – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018:
- Ringrose & Freeman – 12:00 – 1:15 p.m
- Doherty-Petri School of Irish Dance – 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
- Jeff Conlon – 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
- Doherty-Petri School of Irish Dance – 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
- Tiperrary Knights – 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Cultural Tent Entertainment Schedule (outside):
~ Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 ~
- 5:30 – 6:30 PM: Céilí Set Dancing Workshop – Brian Reynolds (inside, on the main stage)
- 7:00 – 10.00 PM: Céilí (Irish Social Dancing) – Green Gates Céilí Band (inside, on the main stage)
~ Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 ~
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Uilleann Piper – Chris Finnegan, Irish Speaker
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Owen McDonnell – Presentation on McDonnell family history
- 3:00 – 4:00 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
- 4:00 – 5:00 PM: Harp Workshop – Regina Delaney, learn to play the harp
- 7:00 – 10:00 PM: Irish Traditional Music Seisiún – Nora Hanley starts with a performance and then rolls into an open seisiún
~ Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 ~
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (guitar & flute, voice) – Chicks-n-Sync
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (fiddle, tin whistle, flute) – Fiddleuisce GDICC musicians
- 3:00 – 3:30 PM: Traditional Irish Singalong – Fiddleuisce and John Feeney
- 3:30 – 4:30 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
- 4:30 – 5:30 PM: Traditional Irish Music (Irish lute, guitar, voice) – Aindriú Ó’Ciardha
- Several Historical Figures from Irish History will be roaming the festival grounds – Liz Popiel.
- Displays on: Celtic Art, Book of Kells, Irish Crochet, Irish Language and Classes, Irish Family Histories, Genealogy, Irish Blessings, Irish Dance, Irish Literature, Irish Traditional Music History, World Meeting of Families in Ireland 2018 and Classes, and more.
Children’s Tent Schedule (outside):
~ SATURDAY, SEPT. 22, 2018, 12-6pm ~
- Face Painting with Miss Angie from PopRox Productions, 12-6pm
- Shriner’s Clowns: Saturday, Sept. 22, 11am-2pm
- Costume Parade led by Celtic Cross bagpiper, Saturday, Sept, 22, 1:30pm
- The Magic of Danny Diamond, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2-3pm
~ SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, 2018, 12-6pm ~
- Face Painting with Miss Angie of PopRox Productions
- Bubble Zone
- Kid’s Karaoke
- Kid’s Crafts
- Carnival Games
- Treasure Hunt
- Make & Shake a Shamrock
- Thumbprint Rainbows
- Irish Village
- Kid’s Crafts & and MORE!
- Tickets are $5 each
- First Prize is $2,000
- Second Prize is $1,000
- Third Prize $500
- Call Sharon O’Rourke at 203-470-7570 for tickets
Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell