How To Be Irish in Philly This Week
Want to know how lucky you are? You didn’t slide down a wet, grassy hill this week and break your leg and dislocate your ankle. That means you can be Irish all over the place this week—and especially next month when two great festivals take place. Me (I’m the one who took that tumble), I’ll just have to sit around and wait to get reports and pictures from those of you who have two working legs and know the joys of being Irish.
If I’m going to live vicariously through you, this is what I want you to do:
On Saturday, August 30,check out Beltaine’s Fire at the Barrington Coffee House and Café in Barrington, NJ. This California group marries an authentic Celtic sound with hip-hop. Really. Not kidding. And they’re good. This is not a fusion we ever expected to hear, but it works.
Genealogy buffs, take note: Starting on Wednesday, September 3, the Federation of Genealogical Societies is holding its annual national convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at11th and Arch. There’s lots to learn no matter what ethnic group you’re from, but the Irish offerings are plenty. Here’s a rundown:
September 4, 2:00 – 3:00 “Introduction to Irish Genealogy: Where Do I Start?”by Eileen O’Duill
September 5, 8:00 – 9:00 “Matchmaking and Marriage Customs in 19th Century Ireland” by Sean O’Duill
September 5, 9:30 – 10:30 “An Overview of Genealogical Sources at the National Archives of Ireland” by Gregory O’Connor
September 5, 3:30 – 4:30 “Researching in Ireland: Planning Is the Key to Success” by Eileen O’Duill
September 5, 5:00 – 6:00 “Tracing the Irish in the American Civil War” by Dennis J. Ahern
September 6, 8:00 – 9:00 “The Language Your Ancestors Spoke: Appreciating Irish Gaelic” by Sean O’Duill
September 6, 11:00 – 12:00, “Lesser Known Genealogical Sources at the National Archives of Ireland” by Gregory O’Connor
There’s an Irish Quiz scheduled for Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. (no charge to registrants), with a focus on Irish immigration and history.There are also a number of Irish-themed exhibits, including Archive CD BooksIreland, Eneclann, FindMyPast — applicable for Irish living in England orWales, Irish Family History Foundation, Past Homes Limited, TIARA (TheIrish Ancestral Research Association), and Tourism Ireland.
This is a rare opportunity to jump-start your family history search, or pick up points for fine-tuning it. It’s taking a broken leg to keep me from attending.
Make some room on your calendar to hear the high-energy Glengarry Bhoys, appearing on Thursday at the Sellersville Theater.
And you absolutely have to go to Coatesville next Friday night. On the bill, Lunasa’s flute player Kevin Crawford, piper Cillian Vallely and guitarist Paul Meehan. This is a rare trio performance of three fabulous musicians. I saw them last year at thePhiladelphia Ceili Group Festival and they brought down the house. If they could make the lame walk – actually, I think they could make the lame dance—I’d be there.
There’s lots more to come on the horizon. Make your plans now for the Ceili Group’sannual traditional music and dance festival the weekend of September 12 and the AOH’s N. Wildwood Irish Festival the following weekend. I may be holding a pity party for myself in there somewhere, so I’ll keep you posted. And meanwhile, check out our calendar for all the important details. It’s able-bodied.
Send pictures and reports! I’m immobile for 6-8 weeks!