How to be Irish in Philly this week, you may ask?
Funny you should ask!
Let’s start Saturday with a really big event, one of the highlights of the year: The Philadelphia Fleadh—pronounced “flah,” not “flea”—to be held at the spacious Pennsylvania Army National Guard Armory & Readiness Center, 2700 Southampton Road in Northeast Philadelphia.
This event, now in its seventh year, runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be 13 bands and performers, including the Bogside Rogues, the John Byrne Band, Seamus and CJ, Ray Coleman and more, playing on several stages—that ought to keep you going for a long time. If you’re into traditional Irish music, you can take part in—or just listen to—traditional Irish music sessions. Local dance school Celtic Flame will host a dance competition, the Feis (“fesh”) at the Fleadh. Or you can strap on your own dancing shoes at a ceili.
Come hungry and be ready to spend some money on some cool Celtic stuff. There will be plenty of food and drink, plus vendors. The kids will find plenty to do, too, with face painting, a bounce house, balloon critters, and more.
Also Saturday, starting at 7 p.m., check out Fitzpatrick’s Annual Celebrate Irish Dance Show. (The 2 p.m. show is sold out.) It’s at Council Rock High School North in Newtown, Bucks County. It costs $20 to get in. Sounds like a terrific show!
If you’re interested in knowing more about your Irish heritage, here’s a great start: the John McDevitt Irish Genealogy Group at the Philadelphia Irish Immigration Center, 7 South Cedar Lane in Upper Darby. Patrick Corey facilitates the group. It starts at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Call 610-789-6355 for info.
You can also spend A Donegal Evening at the Immigration Center Wednesday at 5:30. The event is intended to publicize the Donegal Connect initiative, which will take place from September 27 to October 6 in one of Ireland’s loveliest locales, Donegal. It’s billed as “a 10-day celebration of Donegal and an invitation to come back to experience what the county has to offer.”
If you want to go to Donegal, this promises to be an immersive experience, with a focus on culture, heritage, food, music, genealogy and sports—along with info on employment (sign me up) and business development opportunities. You’ll also learn about air travel, car rental and accommodation discounts, along with visits to Donegal’s wonderful iconic attractions. The Immigration Center event is free.
If you miss the Wednesday night event, you can catch it Thursday night at Tir na nOg Bar & Grill, 1600 Arch Street in Center City, starting at 5:30.
But the really big story on Thursday night is Beoga—one of the hottest traditional Irish bands around. The Philadelphia Ceili Group is presenting Beoga in concert at the Philadelphia Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Beoga, which is Irish for lively, features bodhrán player and unofficial spokesman Eamon Murray, Séan Óg Graham (guitar/accordion), Damian McKee (accordion), Liam Bradley (piano/keys), and Niamh Dunne (vocals/fiddles).
Tickets are as low as $22 for PCG and Irish Center members.
Online Tickets: Current member of Ceili Group or Irish Center – $22. General Public: $25.
Online reserved seating: $35. These tickets are limited and only available online.
Day of show tickets: $30 (no member discount applies).
Available at: www.philadelphiaceiligroup.org
Doors open at 7. The show starts at 8.
That’s it for this week—but that should be plenty.
See you next time!