How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

We hope you’re in the holiday spirit. Last week, almost every event featured a Christmas connection. It’s even more so this week.

Here’s what’s on:

Saturday, December 7

Ready for a brisk run or walk? Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 87 is hosting the Tommy “Wengo” Wenger Memorial Jingle Bell 5K Run and 1K Walk and the Annual LAOH Children’s Christmas Party. The race steps off at 9 a.m. at St. George Elementary School, 2700 East Venango Street in Philadelphia.

Santa Claus will be riding along on Fire Engine 81, “The Pride of North Catholic.” Registration is $25, and $15 for kids 10 and under. Cost of admission includes a pancake breakfast, t-shirt and jingle bells for your sneakers so you can music wherever you go. Text your email or home address to Jim Carr at 215-620-6547, and they will send you a registration.

Later in the day … we can’t think of a better way to get your Christmas holidays off to a great start than with Celtic Christmas in Bensalem. The show starts at 5 p.m. at Bensalem Performing Arts Center, 4319 Hulmeville Road in Bensalem, Lower Bucks County.

Celtic Christmas in Bensalem features the high-stepping moves of Celtic Flame School of Irish Dance and the Bucks County Dance Center, along with the Celtic Christmas Band—an all-star ensemble led by fiddler and producer C.J. Mills, with Laura Elbahtimy on keys and vocals, Bob Hurst on accordion and vocals, Michael Anthony Thompson on guitar and vocals, frequent Mills musical partner Seamus McGroary on guitar, tenor banjo and vocals, Kevin O’Shea on guitar and vocals, Ray Coleman on guitar and vocals, Dan Schram on bass and vocals, Martin Bradfield on drums and percussion, and George Leigh on trumpet.


Also on Saturday, starting at 8 p.m., it’s the 131st Annual Donegal Ball. The event is held at the Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in Mount Airy. There will be live music, Irish dancing by McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance, and a DJ—but the highlight of the evening will be the crowning of Mary from Dungloe 2020. Cash bar and dinner (provided by the great Irish Coffee Shop) from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 8

Also at the Irish Center, it’s the Ceili Og—a young people’s afternoon of Irish folk dance—a great new event sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group. It starts at 3 p.m.

The dancing will be led by Rosemarie Timoney, beginning right after the end of the Next Generation Session in the Fireside Room. This could become a monthly event. More details here.

Monday, December 9
Out at Sellersville Theater, catch Irish Christmas in America, produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of the Irish supergroup Téada. The show starts at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:30. It’s a family-friendly show featuring Irish ballads, instrumental tunes and some great Irish dancing. The theater is at 24 West Temple Avenue in Sellersville. Further details here.

Wednesday, December 11

See the New York Tenors at The Miraculous Medal Shrine, 500 East Chelten Avenue in Philly, for their “Spirit of Christmas” show. The Tenors include “Ireland’s Favorite Son,” Andy Cooney. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7. Tickets here.

Friday, December 13

Round out your week with Donegal Philadelphia Christmas Bag Bingo! The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 1 West Ardmore Avenue in Ardmore. You could win a handbag (or handbags, if you’re lucky) by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Longchamp and many more. It costs $30 to play. BYOB and food.

And that’s it for now. Check in next week for more details on How to Be Irish.

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