How to Be Irish in Philly This Week
If a pretty girl truly is like a melody, then Friday, June 20, will be quite a musical evening at the Hyatt Regency on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia. The Rose of Tralee Pageant, sponsored by the Irish Immigrational and Pastoral Center of Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization based in Upper Darby that provides assistance and social services to Irish immigrants in the Philadelphia area. The event is also the IIPCP’s main annual fundraiser.
Philadelphia’s current Rose, Colleen Gallagher, 22, an actress and singer who grew up in Bryn Mawr, will turn over her crown to another young woman who will travel to Ireland this summer to compete in the International Rose of Tralee pageant. It’s one of Ireland’s largest festivals.
Also on Friday evening, there are not-to-be-missed performances by the Pearl River Ceili Band and local traditional musician Caitlin Finley at the Irish Center. The event is a fundraiser to send the young people to Ireland to compete in the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann—otherwise known as the world championships of Irish music—in Tullamore, County Offaly, in late August. These kids are the future of Irish traditional music in the US—let’s get out and support them.
On Sunday, after the Mass at the Irish Memorial, head down to the Penns Landing waterfront for a day of Irish frivolity with bands like Blackthorn and Paddy’s Well, Irish food (like shepherd’s pie from Mike Driscoll’s Finnigan’s Wake) and vendors. (You can also see and hear Caitlin Finley playing with her band, Pat the Budgie.) This annual festival is one of a number of ethnic events at Penns Landing this summer (and we like to think it’s the most fun because it’s, well, Irish).
There are more major events coming up that we’ll tell you about next week. Or you could look them up on our calendar, which sees all, knows all, and tells all. What a blabbermouth.