How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Trad fiddler Brian Conway will be in West Chester this week.

Trad fiddler Brian Conway will be in West Chester this week.

Here’s something that will make you happy: Blackthorn is doing happy hour at Tom & Jerry’s Sports Bar in Folsom on Saturday night. And you can catch their old bandmate, Seamus Kelleher, the same evening at The Dubliner on the Delaware in New Hope, a whole different part of the Delaware Valley.

It’s a week filled with Celtic delights, often overlapping. Saturday night you can also see and hear poet, musician, and Gaelic scholar Diarmuid Johnson who is presenting his one-man show, The Crooked Road: A Ramble Through History History in Words and Music at The Irish Center, a program sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group. It’s one of many historical performances you’ll have the opportunity to see in March and April as the region celebrates the centenary of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising, which represented a major step forward in Ireland’s fight to become a nation independent from Britain.

On Sunday, the biggest of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade fundraisers is on tap at the FOP Hall in Northeast Philadelphia. Look for Jamison, Raymond Coleman, the Bogside Rogues, Luke Jardel, No Irish Need Apply, John Byrne, the Birmingham Six and Billy McGovern to perform. Loads of raffles, great food and drink, and a DJ–Dan Cronin.

Also on Sunday, the McDade Cara dancers are presenting an afternoon of music and dance at Archbishop Carroll High School. Many of these local dancers have qualified to compete in the world championships of Irish dance so expect some topnotch footwork.

Also on Sunday, Veronica’s Ceili—a tribute to Veronica Bradley, who started the dance—will be held at the AOH Notre Dame Div. 1 hall in Bridgeport/Swedesboro.

If you’re closer to Delaware County, bring your dancing shoes to McGillicuddy’s in Upper Darby where the Theresa Flanagan Band will be providing the dance music on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the band Na Bodach will be at The Dubliner on the Delaware. They say they’re not a rock and roll band influenced by Celtic music but a traditional band influenced by electricity.

Singer Charlie Zahm brings the history lesson closer to home on Wednesday, March 2, when he guides you through the story of Irish American Capt. James Haggerty of the 69th New York—the Irish brigade—a Donegal native who rose through the ranks of the state militia and distinguished himself of the battlefield at Bull Run, where he was killed. The performance takes place at the West Whiteland Township Building in Exton.

On Thursday, March 3, there will be a meet-and-greet with Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshal Paul Doris, a longtime activist with Irish Northern Aid, at Tir na nOg on Arch Street in Philadelphia. The theme of this year’s parade, which is slated for March 13, is the 1916 Rising.

The Brehon Law Society, celebrating its 40th anniversary, will present the society’s “Flame of Justice and Freedom Award” to Lt. Governon Michael J. Stack III at an event Thursday night at Davio’s on 17th Street in Philadelphia.

Also on Thursday, see Jamison’s Frank Daly and CJ Mills performing as Slainte at Con Murphy’s Pub.

Friday is a big night to be Irish. Here’s what’s on:

The Cummins School of Irish Dance will kick off the St. Patrick’s Day parties with Glenside’s “official” party at the North Penn VFW Post on Jenkintown Road in Glenside. The Shantys and a DJ will provide the music, the Cummins dancers will entertain and there will be karaoke and raffles. The $25 ticket includes beer, wine, and food. This is a 21-and-older event.

Since it’s first Friday the Paul Moore Band will be in its usual spot at Brittinghams.

Top trad artists Brian Conway, Mary Courtney, John Whelan and Brendan Dolan will be performing in concert at West Chester University, with special guest, young Irish fiddler Alexander Weir.

Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfetones will be singing rebel songs at the Rising Sun VFW Post in Philadelphia.

Gabriel Donohue will be on stage at The Dubliner on the Delaware.

The Glenside Gelic Club is holding it’s winter fundraiser-–billed as a “winter therapy adult social”—at MaGerks in Fort Washington, with music provided by talented local artist, Raymond McGroary.

Slainte will be at Reedy’s on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia.

And Blackthorn, which opened up this story, will be closing it with their St. Paddy’s Warm-Up at the Clarion Hotel in Essington on Friday night.

Next week looks equally jam-packed with Irish events because, hey, our month has rolled around again. If you have an event, please add it to our calendar. We’re working on getting as many events on there as possible, but there’s only so much a couple of old geezers can do.

Author: Denise Foley

Denise is one of the founding editors of irishphiladelphia.com and a veteran magazine and newspaper writer and editor.

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