How To Be Irish in Philly This Week
2/09/how-to-be-irish-in-philly-this-week-212/ciara/” rel=”attachment wp-att-7513″>
If you’re new to this area, you may not realize this: September is waaaay more Irish than March. And this September is more Irish than usual.
We started out with the national Gaelic Athletic Games in Philly this year, moved to the Philadelphia Ceili Group Festival of Irish Music and Dance last week—along with the Mercer Irish Fest in New Jersey—and this week we have the Gloucester City Shamrock Fest in Gloucester City, NJ, the Commodore Barry Day on the New Jersey side of the Commodore Barry Bridge, and the opening day of the AOH Irish Fall Weekend in N. Wildwood, NJ.
Yes, it’s halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, and around here we need to do a lot to keep our spirits up through the fall and winter.
Blackthorn is performing at Xfinity Live for a Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day event on Friday at 9 PM—totally free, along with parking. Nice!
They’ll also be on the main stage at the Haverford Music Festival in Havertown (someone needs to explain that one to me) on Saturday, an all-day fest with all kinds of music.
On Friday night, catch Timlin and Kane at Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill and the Shantys at the Glenside Pub.
Monday, it’s golf for charity day. In Plymouth Meeting, you can tee off at the Ciara Kelly Higgins Benefit for Cerebral Palsy, which is followed by a dinner, raffles and auctions, The Paul Moore Band, and comic Joe Conklin at the Plymouth Country Club. It benefits 9-year-old Ciara, who is adorable. She was born prematurely and suffers from a form of cerebral palsy, though if you know this feisty little girl, “suffers” may be too strong a word. But her therapy is expensive and her family needs the help.
In Cherry Hill, NJ, on Monday, The Claddagh Fund holds its first annual celebrity golf tourney at the Woodcrest Country Club. The foundation, helmed by the Dropkick Murphy’s lead singer Ken Casey, raises money for underfunded charities serving children, veterans, and recovering substance abusers in the Philadelphia area.
On Wednesday, bring a batch of business cards to the Fairmount Boathouse on Boathouse Row in Philadelphia for the “welcome back” networking reception sponsored by the Irish American Business Chamber and Network. The Chamber promotes business between the US and Ireland as well as business connections between its members.
Those of you who missed the great folk singer Sean Tyrell at the Irish Center last week can catch his one-man musical show, “Who Killed James Joyce?” at the Falvey Library at Villanova University on Thursday. I saw him last week and it was a funny, informative, and moving show that sent me to Google to find some of the Irish poetry Sean set to music.
Boxing fans: The traditional first event of the N.Wildwood Fall Irish Festival is a boxing match, and it’s no different this year. At the Irish Music Tent at Spruce and Olde New Jersey you can catch the action between the Harrowgate Boxing Club of Philadelphia and the Holy Family Boxing Club of Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thursday, September 20.
The music, frivolity, parades, food, vendors and the like start on Friday, September 21, one of the busiest days of the week, Irish-wise.
At the Irish Center, you can take your pick: the 2012 All-Ireland Football Championship rally which will feature drinks, light refreshments, and music to cheer on your favorite team. It’s Donegal Vs. Mayo this year and there are plenty of people in the region who trace their roots back to those two counties, so count on some heated cheering. Then you also have Peter Campbell and Daoimnhin Mac Aoidh—performing as the Fiddle Cases—making those fiddles sing, hopefully in another room, far, far away from the pep rally. They’re also scheduled to appear at West Chester University on Sunday night. Since they’re both Donegal fiddlers, I guess we know who they’ll be rooting for.
Head back to the Irish Center at 10 AM on Sunday to actually watch the game. Wear your helmets.
You can also see Blackthorn again at La Costa in Sea Isle City both Friday and Saturday. I know I’ve said it before, but I liked it better when Blackthorn was in Wildwood during the Irish Weekend. It really sweetened the musical lineup and spread that mayhem over a wider area.
Jamison is in N. Wildwood, playing at Casey’s on Third on Friday night, and at Keenan’s Irish Pub on Saturday, and then back to Casey’s on Sunday. You can catch The Broken Shillelaghs at Tucker’s Pub in Wildwood on Friday night.
Next weekend also starts a new session at Maloney’s Pub of Ardmore, with John Byrne of the The John Bryne Band launching a 6:30 Sunday trad and ballad session.
Coming up: The Bethlehem Celtic Classic and the McDade School of Irish Dance 50th anniversary celebration. But more on those later. Check out our calendar for other upcoming events, including many more events at Villanova, and the Vallely brothers, Cillian and Niall, coming to the Coatesville Irish Music Series on September 30.