How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Drew Reid of Brother, with his digeridoo, will be at the Mid-Winter Festival.

Drew Reid of Brother, with his digeridoo, will be at the Mid-Winter Festival.

The annual Celtic Spring Concert, featuring a bevy of local musicians including Timlin and Kane and fiddler Haley Richardson, is Sunday at Sacred Heart Church in Camden, NJ. Proceeds from the event benefit the Heart of Camden Housing Corporation which is working to revive the city just across the river from Philadelphia. One of its current projects: Turning a three-story wreck of a building at the corner of Jasper and Broadway into a writers’ retreat center.

Jamison will be rocking Ryan–that’s Archbishop Ryan, 11201 Academy Road in Philadelphia–this Saturday,a fundraiser for the school.

Continuing this week: Long Live Little Knife, a play produced by the Inis Nua Theatre Company; Oscar, an opera about Oscar Wilde, at the Kimmel Center; and Misalliance, a rarely performed play by George Bernard Shaw on stage at Walnut Street Studio 5.

On Saturday, grab your instrument (or not) and join in (or not) at the newest session in town at the AOH Notre Dame Div. 1 in Swedesburg. This is an authentic Irish tradition in which musicians jam just for the fun of it. That’s the part you ought to join in for—the craic. No one will stop you if you want to dance.

On Sunday, catch Seamus Kelleher at The Hattery, 18 State Street, Doylestown, for music (and laughs—he’s a funny guy).

On Thursday, bring your Irish with you for an Irish conversation group at Villanova University. This is not for beginners. You need to know something more than “Slainte!”

Then, on Friday, it’s the opening night concert for the annual Mid-winter Scottish and Irish Festival in Valley Forge at the Valley Forge Convention Center. Charlie Zahm and Tad Marks, Angus and Drew of Brother, Albannach, and Jamison will perform from 8 till oh, who knows when?

Everyone (except maybe Albannach) will be up bright and early the next morning for the music that starts at 10 AM (11 AM on Sunday). Among the performers: Searson. Brother, the John Byrne Band, the Screaming Orphans, RUNA, Rathkeltair, the MacLeod Fiddlers, the Brigadoons, Oliver McElhone, Timlin and Kane, Belfast Connection, and the Sean Fleming Band. There will also be dancers, whisky tastings, Irish and Scots Gaelic language workshops, an introduction to the bagpipe (“Hello, chanter!”), fencing, juggling, Scottish and Ceili dancing, pipe bands, and loads of vendors you’ll love, whether you’re in the market for a kilt, a bag of haggis chips, or some sparkling Celtic jewelry.

This event has been brightening the winter for 22 years. Don’t miss it. (We don’t.) Check our calendar for all the details and look for another story on the Midwinter Festival by Friday.

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