It’s the beginning of Ball season in Philadelphia, an Irish tradition started by the various county societies to raise money for causes at “home” dear to the immigrants’ hearts. This Saturday, the Cavan Society starts it off with music and dancing at the Irish Center. You might see the Philly Rose of Tralee, Mairead Comaskey, there. She traces some of her roots to Cavan.
The Cavan event is followed by the Mayo Association Ball on November 7—which includes the selection of Miss Mayo—and the 129th Donegal Ball on November 28, which incorporates the crowning of the next Mary from Dungloe who will compete for the international title in Dungloe, Donegal next summer.
If you’d like to compete in the Miss Mayo Pageant, open to young women 17-27, contact Eileen Barrilli at 215-205-3221. The Mary from Dungloe pageant is open to women of Irish descent 18-29. For more information, contact Meghan Davis—herself a former Philly and International Mary from Dungloe—at 570-574-7966.
Also on Saturday, there’s a tea fundraiser to benefit the Divine Providence Village Rainbow Irish step dancers, a group of developmentally disabled women who have performed in the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade, at Irish Heritage Night at the Phillies, and during the Villanova Intercollegiate Irish Dancing Competition, which is being held at Villanova on October 24 this year. The tea fundraiser will be held at the Painted Cup Tearoom in Upper Darby.
The Villanova competition starts at 11 AM and goes until 4 PM, then at 6 PM, there’s the “Great Irish Show” featuring performers from all the college Irish dancing teams, local dancers, and the Rainbow Dancers, who brought the Villanova dancers to their annual Christmas recital last year.
On Saturday night, musician John Francis Meagher V will be entertaining at The Irish Times in Queen Village in Philadelphia.
On Sunday, catch performer Billy McGovern at the AOH Div. 61 Clubhouse in Philadelphia.
Come Thursday, the house concert at the home of Gabriel Donohue and Marian Makins will be a literal Corker. Cork natives Donie Carroll and Jimmy Crowley will be playing and crooning in the livingroom of Gabriel and Marian’s Center City home.
On Thursday, Slainte—Frank Daly and CJ Mills of Jamison—are on tap at Pub 36 on Frankford Avenue in Philly.
On Friday. American Paddy’s Productions—the same Frank Daly and CJ Mills—are presenting The Samhain Halloween Ball at Curran’s Irish Pub in Tacony. There’s a $500 prize for the best costume, so wear one.
Also on Friday, John Carty, one of the best known Irish traditional musicians today and a practitioner of the Sligo-Roscommon style of fiddling, will be on stage at the Irish Center. He’ll move to Coatesville on Saturday night for another performance.
Jamison will be on stage at Tir na Nog in Cherry Hill on Saturday, October 24.
Father Ed Brady, pastor of St. Anne’s Church in Philadelphia and chaplain of many Irish organizations, will be celebrating his 25th year as a priest on Sunday, starting at 10:30 AM, at St. Anne’s. All are welcome.
Next Sunday, Echoes of Erin, a national concert tour of topnotch Irish entertainers, will make a stop at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington. This is a production of Comhaltas Ceoltiori Eireann, an international organization dedicated to the preservation of Irish music and culture around the world.