How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Blackthorn's Michael Boyce at a prior Penns Landing fest.

This is one jam-packed weekend if you like rugby, Irish music, dancing, and fun. Surely, one of those things will entice you out either to the 2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championships in Chester on Saturday and Sunday, the Irish festival in Mont Clare throughout the entire weekend,  or the Irish Festival on Penns Landing on Sunday.

Notre Dame is one of the teams competing over the weekend at the Philadelphia Union’s waterfront soccer stadium during the sevens—so-called because the team is made up of only 7, rather than 15 players, which amplifies the action. The matches will be televised by NBC, but only if you go out can you also enjoy the Saturday night concert by the Dropkick Murphys.

Speaking of Notre Dame, the AOH Notre Dame Division 1 annual Irish festival is this weekend too. The fun starts Friday night at St. Michael’s Picnic Grounds under the pavilion in Mont Clare, PA. Enjoy the music of Jamison, the Belfast Connection, Misty Isle,  the Bogside Rogues, and a ceili with Tom McHugh, Kevin and Jim McGillian.  There’ll be food, vendors, pipers, Irish dancers, $2 pints all weekend long and tickets are only $15 for the entire weekend. Doesn’t get any better than that. Oh, wait, yes it does. All proceeds from this annual festival go to support AOH charities.

It’s year 13 for the Penns Landing Irish Festival which draws thousands to the Delaware River for free music and entertainment along with plenty of vendors selling beer, food, and Irish stuff. This year, Blackthorn, the Hooligans, and Jamison will appear on the main stage. There will be nonstop Irish dancing and kids activities.

The events simmer down during the week (though there’s a session every night somewhere) until Friday, when the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion and the Rosenbach Museum present the world premier of “Stoker’s Dracula,” adapted and performed by Philadelphia actor Josh Hitchens. The story by the Irish writer will be told by candlelight in a dark room. Sounds like spooky fun!

Also on Friday night, catch Philly-based, Dublin-born singer-songwriter John Byrne with jazz vocalist Lili Anel at Milkboy Café on Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore. Byrne has received accolades for his debut album, “After the Wake,” and Anel, who grew up in New York but now makes Philly her home, was recently honored as best female singer/songwriter and best female jazz vocalist in the prestigious New York Music Awards.

As always, there’s more information on our calendar, the cutest, most cuddly calendar in the entire Delaware Valley.

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