Don’t let a little chance of rain spook you. Hey, what does Hurricane Schwartz know? Tomorrow is a great day to head out to Cherokee Day Camp and Festival Grounds in Bensalem for the Philadelphia Fleadh. There’s fabulous music on five stages from Jamison, No Irish Need Apply, The John Byrne Band, the Bogside Rogues, the Shantys, the Paul Moore Band, the Kilmaine Saints and more. There’s a feis open to all dance schools, a ceili sponsored by Comhaltas, and loads of kids’ activities and kids under 12 get in free! It’s a great family outing.
How to Be Irish in Philly
Tomorrow morning at 4:15, a group of runners and walkers will brave the rain, the chill, and the dark to do a 5K course, all to raise money for an Irish organization that helps those who are considering suicide.
The “Darkness Into Light” 5K will be duplicated around the world, from Canada to Ireland to Australia, anywhere Ireland’s diaspora live. It’s a major fundraiser for Pieta House, which offers free counseling for those in the depths of despair. Pieta House opened its first North American branch last August in New York. Local supporters hope to open a Pieta House in the Philadelphia area. Read more about it here.
A wee bit of a light week as we welcome the flowers of May.
The 35th anniversary of the death of Irish Hunger Striker Bobby Sands will be commemorated on Thursday at Tir na nOg , 1324 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. No details on what’s going to be happening, but it starts at 8 PM. There’s sure to be music.
Also on Thursday, the duo, Slainte, will be playing at Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway in Philadelphia.
This Sunday, April 24, Irish organizations from all over the region will converge on Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the lost battle that ultimately won Ireland its independence from British rule.
It starts with a flag-raising at The Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut Streets at 10 AM followed by a procession to Independence Hall at 5th and Market Streets where the Proclamation—Ireland’s “Declaration of Independence”–will be read out loud.
Whoever came up with the idea of turning Mick Moloney, Robbie O’Connell and Jimmy Keane into a group, hurray for you.
These three traditional Irish musicians have been at the forefront of Irish music for more years than they care to count. And they’re coming to the Irish Center on Saturday night for a concert sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group.
Singer and musician Mick Moloney, a Limerick native, is an honorary Philadelphia. He pursued his graduate studies at Penn in 1973 and stayed on for several years to revive the Irish music tradition in the city. He’s also the architect of two topnotch groups, Cherish the Ladies and The Green Fields of America. He is a Natational Endowment of the Arts Heritage fellow.
Put up your dukes! This Saturday quite a few people will be doing just that at the Young Irelands Gaelic Football Club’s “Fight Night” fundraiser at The Irish Center in Philadelphia. There will be a real ring, real referees and real fighters. And yes, real blood. It’s real boxing. It happens.
You’re a lover, not a fighter? Well, Jamison is The Red Rooster in Philly on Saturday night. You’ll love their brand of Celtic rock. They’re also the only band in Philly whose fiddler is sometimes airborne. Said fiddler CJ Mills will also be at Reedy’s on Frankford Avenue on Friday, April 15, as part of Slainte, with Frank Daly, his Jamison bandmate.
You have two ways to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising this weekend and another mid-week.
On Saturday, Cherish the Ladies will be at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia playing tunes that celebrate this major event in Irish history. At least two local performers will be joining them onstage: Gabriel Donohue and Marian Makins, who produced a special song honoring one of the women of the revolution, Countess Constance Markievicz, which has been getting air time both in the US and Ireland.
On Sunday, the annual Easter Rising commemoration takes place at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon at the graves of Joseph McGarrity, considered the financier of the rising, and Luke Dillon, who was part of a bombing campaign in England and Canada. This ceremony will be followed by an event at Oaks Ballroom in Glenolden with music by The Spirit of 16 and food and drink.
In some ways, we’ve entered a post-St. Patrick’s Day lull. In other ways, with the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, we’re heading into another period of celebration, with multiple events. You can read more about them here.
As for the rest of this week, a reminder that we’re up to our keisters in traditional Irish music sessions. You can get details on many of them on our calendar. With the exception of the sessions conspicuously not on our calendar. (Hey, you guys: free advertising! Get off your keisters and post them!) BTW, “keister” is ancient Irish Gaelic. It means “buns.” (OK, now we’re totally making this up.)