How to Be Irish in Philly This Week
Christmas moves into high gear this week in the Irish community. Here’s how we roll:
The Peter J. Hanlon Jingle Bell Run gets started at 7:30 AM at St. George’s at Venango and Edgemont. The annual event honors a former officer of AOH Div. 87 and raises money for charity.
Bring the kids to meet Santa, play games, and do arts and crafts at the Rose of Tralee’s Santa’s Workshop and Christmas celebration in the Irish Center’s cozy Fireside Room. Meet the reigning Mid-Atlantic Rose of Tralee Mairead Conley.
The Celtic Tenors will be performing that evening at the War Memorial in Trenton.
If you’re in the gift-giving mood already, consider phoning in your pledge to help keep the WTMR 800-AM Sunday radio shows on the air. I’ll be there taking calls and I’ll toss in an extra $5 for every call I get! So, call me! (Imagine me making that little call-me thing with my hand.)
Then head on over to Finnigan’s Wake on Spring Garden Street in Philly for a day of Irish music, dancing, food, and vendors (think Christmas shopping). You might see me there too, but don’t expect me to give you $5. BYOMoney.
Also on Sunday, in Cochranville, PA, St. Malachi’s Church is giving the first of two performances of its candlelight Celtic music event, with Celtic gifts and free appetizers. The second performance is December 11.
Catch the preview performance of “Dublin Carol,” by Conor McPherson, at the Amaryllis Theatre on Sansom Street in Philadelphia. On Broadway, everyone’s favorite CSI actor, William Peterson (Grissom), played the lead role. This is just one of a half dozen or so Irish plays coming to Philadelphia this year, creating an unofficial Irish Theatre Festival. The play, a decidedly Irish take on the Dickens’ classic, runs for two weeks and tickets cost only $10!
Philly’s newest Irish organization, IN-Philly, will hold its Christmas party at Tir na Nog at 16th and Arch in Philadelphia starting at 6 PM. Guests of IN-Philly members get a discounted rate. Not a member? Here’s your chance to join up while everyone is feeling very jolly (not that they’re not always jolly), meet some new people, and network in a Christmassy way.
The Philadelphia Ceili Group’s Christmas Ceili is also this night. Bring your instrument, your dancing shoes and a batch of Christmas cookies and have a blast. Actually, you don’t have to bring any of those things—just yourself. But if you want to bring Christmas cookies, no one will stop you.
Saturday, December 11, you can catch a movie (“Wizards of the PCT,” a documentary about a group of wild hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail, along with music from the performers who did the soundtrack, including Damion Wolfe, Camp Arawak, and The Helots) at Jenkintown’s McSwiney Club.
Up in Bethlehem, enjoy a delicious dinner and some delicious harp music from local harper Ellen Tepper at McCarthy’s Tea Room.
Slide, an Irish group who do traditional music “with attitude,” will be at the Zellerbach Theatre on Saturday night.
Burning Bridget Cleary is on tap at the Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville, one of the region’s most Irish towns.
Then, on Sunday, Irish Christmas in America comes back to the Irish Center featuring one of Ireland’s best traditional bands, Teada, with singer Seamus Begley. Not to be missed.
See our calendar for all the details!