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Jeff’s Pics: Nearly 100 Photos from the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade

It’s been a few years since we covered the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I missed it. Aside from an opportunity to snag a lot of really fun photos, it’s also old home week, where I ran into old friends I might not have seen for a while. Missed them, too.

Without further ado … here are all the pictures I took. Hope you see yourself somewhere in the mix. Click on the arrows above.

Photos

Wren Party 2018

The Philadelphia-Delaware Valley chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (translation: Gathering of Musicians in Ireland) carried on a long tradition Wednesday night, holding its 19th annual Wren Party.

The event commemorates the Irish custom of the Wren Boys—ragtag bands of townsmen in motley attire who went door to door playing tunes, dancing and singing songs, all in hopes of collecting money for a community party or dance.

In the early days, they mounted a dead wren on a stick. December 26 is the feast of early Christian martyr St. Stephen, whose hiding place in a bush was given away by the chattering of a wren. Or so legend has it. Hence, the sacrifice of one of those small birds.

That grisly last part of the tradition faded away—thank goodness—a long time ago.

The local Comhaltas chapter commemorated the feast of St. Stephen with a big party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside, with lots of traditional Irish music, dance, holiday treats—and a wren hat parade.

We have pictures from the night’s merriment. Check them out.

Music, Photos

Photos: “A Celtic Christmas” at the Irish Center

If you couldn’t catch Cherish the Ladies and singer Don Stiffe in their Celtic Christmas show at the Philadelphia Irish Center, we have the next best thing: a boatload of photos!

The longtime and well-loved Irish supergroup performed to a packed house. They had a great time, too—so much that they’ve promised to come back again and wow the audience with their Christmas show next year.

Take a look at our photos. Consider them an early Christmas present.

We have a couple of videos, too. Continue Reading

Music, Photos

More Photos! Cherish the Ladies “Celtic Christmas”

Local traditional Irish musician and photographer Bob Glennan took in the Celtic Christmas show featuring Cherish the Ladies and singer Don Stiffe at the Philadelphia Irish Center Saturday night.  Fortunately for us, he brought his camera.

He provided this great set of pics. Take a look.

Photos

Photos! Delaware Valley Irish Hall of Fame 2018

There was a whole lot of love in the ballroom of the Commodore John Barry Arts & Cultural Center Sunday night. A full house of friends and family members joined in honoring the 2018 Delaware Valley Irish Hall of Fame awardees Sunday night.

Honorees included irishphiladelphia.com co-founder Denise Foley, Pearse Kerr, whose lifetime experience included a stint in British custody during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and Sister Frances Kirk, SSJ, renowned as the Delaware Valley chairperson and organizer of Project Children, a program that provided a summer holiday in the United States. away from those aforementioned Troubles for literals thousands of Catholic and Protestant kids. Continue Reading

News, People, Photos

More Than 250 Walked From Darkness Into Light

The Sharpie-written notes on the “Banner of Hope” offered the answer to the question, “Why did you get up at 3 in the morning to do a 5K in the rain?”

“In loving memory of my dear Lori. Love you. This one’s for you.”

“In memory of Paddy, Love, Brigid.”

“Missing you always!” This tiny message appeared under a drawing of a yellow butterfly whose artist added a smudge of orange and two tiny antennae with care.

Some left lists of names; Sinead. Johnny. Keiran. Wee Pat. Eddie.

All of them, messages to people who died by their own hand.

More than 250 people gathered outside Lloyd Hall on Kelly Drive at the top of Boathouse Row starting at 3 AM last Saturday to participate in the “Darkness Into Light” 5K to benefit Pieta House, an Irish organization that provides free counseling to those considering suicide or self-harm. Fox29’s Bob Kelly hosted the opening ceremonies and helped rally the runners and walkers who were already soaked by the persistent drizzle. Continue Reading