Columns, How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week


Blackthorn with Eileen Ivers: They have fun and they're carriers too. See them at Canstatter's this weekend.

Whether you’re heading to the shore or just planning a cookout in the backyard or heading over to Canstatter’s in the northeast to spend Memorial Day with Blackthorn, take some time out this weekend to remember the men and women who gave their lives to make and keep us free. That’s what it’s all about.

Burning Bridget Cleary has been everywhere in the last few weeks, and they’re back (sort of) in the area, playing at the Shawnee on the Delaware Celtic Festival in the Poconos on Saturday and at Mayfair in Allentown on Memorial Day.

The Sunday Irish Radio Shows fundraiser is in full swing—tune in to 800-AM (you can hear it live on the Web too) between 11 and 1 on Sunday as the Philadelphia Donegal Association takes your pledges over the phone. There are lots of great prizes you can win just by making a donation to keep Irish music on the radio in the Delaware Valley.

The previously mentioned Blackthorn event at Canstatters—it’s where I first hear this rocking Celtic group—goes on rain or shine thanks to a tent. If you’ve been to a Blackthorn concert, you know it’s fun. If you’ve never been to Blackthorn concert, what’s wrong with you?

We’re going to look ahead to next weekend because there’s plenty going on you need to know about. June 6 is the big day—the Irish-American Festival at Penns Landing, with Blackthorn, Paddy’s Well, The Hooligans, and Round Tower, 11 dancing groups, and plenty of vendors and food, all on the waterfront in Philadelphia. The festivities start at noon. A Mass will be celebrated at the Irish Memorial at the waterfront right before the gates open.

It’s also the big day for AOH Notre Dame Division 1 which holds its big Irish festival at St. Michael’s Picnic Grounds in Mont Clare.

And you can enjoy both those events and still be in time to have your picture taken with one of the Budweiser Clydesdales at McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia. The oldest Irish pub in the city is turning 150 and they’re having a big blast between 5 and 8 PM with all kinds of beer and Irish comfort food—all for $45. But tickets are going fast, so check out our calendar for the details.

And check out the calendar for information on Satharn na nGael, a Gaelic Saturday immersion weekend for those who are interested in the Irish language. If you register by May 29, you get a discount. This all-Irish-all-the-time day is being held at the Irish Center on June 12.

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