How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Welcome to another scintillating episode of “As the Philly Irish World Turns.”

Aside from all the other features on our heavily populated events calendar, there are five events in particular this coming week to which we’d like to draw your particular attention.

First, on Saturday, it’s the third annual Havertown Irish Festival, behind the Manoa Shopping Center, 1305 West Chester Pike in Havertown. It’s sponsored by Acme Markets.

Much like all the other Irish and Celtic festivals this summer, the Havertown event features plenty of entertainment, food and drink, fun for the kids (and everybody else). Music includes a day of tunes from a variety of Irish and Celtic bands, including the John Byrne Band, Dylan McGuire, Scott McClatchy Band, Shades of Green and Poehemia. If you’re into bagpipes, look for appearances by Philadelphia Emerald Society Pipe Band and Brian Boru Pipes and Drums. There’ll be appearances by Irish dance schools and plenty of crafters selling their Irish-themed goods. Continue Reading

Food & Drink

These Scones are the Berry Best

Strawberry season has just arrived where I live in the northeast.

The season is over almost as quickly as it arrives, so I grab as many as possible and eat, bake, or freeze them as fast as I can.

As the Fourth of July approaches, they’re especially colorful in red, white and blue scones, treats you can actually eat from morning to night—lathered with a little butter or clotted cream for breakfast or brunch or with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert.

You’ll find similar scone recipes in Favorite Flavors of Ireland; order signed copies at Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

A busy weekend ahead for Irish goings-on. Let’s get right down to it.

On Saturday, it’s time for the Charlie Dunlop Memorial Fund Golf Outing at Cobbs Creek Golf Course, 7400 Lansdowne Avenue in Philadelphia, with a shotgun start of 1 p.m.

The Charlie Dunlop Memorial Fund helps people who have run into financial difficulty due to illness, death, or loss of income through no fault of their own. The fund has helped 65 families or individuals over the past six years, to the tune of more than $150,000.

There will be prizes for closest to the pin on all par threes and longest drive on 7 and 11. Entry fee is $100 per player, and includes light snacks, dinner, golf and prizes.

For information contact John Cullen 610-213-5370 or Paddy Rooney 610-789-6969. Continue Reading

Arts, Music, Videos

Dave Curley in Concert

There’s not much that can top the pleasure of spending a Sunday evening in early June listening to Dave Curley performing live for the Philadelphia Ceili Group. And the crowd gathered at the Commodore John Barry Arts & Cultural Center last week got to bask in the experience firsthand. It won’t be the same as being there yourself, but Irish Philadelphia captured a few of Dave’s songs on video which we bring to you here.

Hailing from Corofin in County Galway, Dave is a triple threat in the world of Irish music: a multi-instrumentalist, a singer and a dancer. For the past several years, he’s been touring with the groups SLIDE and RUNA, and more recently he’s been performing with fellow SLIDE bandmate, Mick Broderick (the duo released an acclaimed CD that can be found on his website).

But Dave Curley performing solo is a treat for the ears that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re able to be in the York County vicinity tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th, be sure to catch him at the Penn-Mar Irish Festival. At the very least, watch the videos and be sure not to miss him the next time he’s in the area!

Arts, Photo Essays, Photos

Irish Writers Photo Exhibit Makes Its Debut at Neumann

Beyond the Words: Portraits of Irish Writers, photographer Robin Hiteshew’s exhibition at Neumann University, drew an audience of many admirers for its opening reception Tuesday night.

It was an eye-opener for the visitors who dropped by to spend time with Hiteshew’s photos of writers and poets such as Seamus Heaney, Moya Cannon, Michael Longlay, Ann Enright, and Mike McCormack, author of Ireland’s Novel of the Year, “Solar Bones,” who was in attendance.

The work represents 39 years’ worth of work for Hiteshew, who most times found complete and generous cooperation from his subjects—and other times needed to nudge a little. It was all worthwhile, as his exhibition will attest. Continue Reading

Photo Essays, Photos

Phillies Irish Heritage Night 2019

It’s a cinch that more than a few lined the outfield railings of Citizen Bank Park Wednesday night to get a close-up view of the Phillies-Diamondbacks game. Probably just as well—the home team lost.

They were mostly proud parents with their cell phone cameras at the ready, as Irish dancers from several Philadelphia-area schools took to the warning track of CBP to put on a high-stepping pre-game exhibition.

The reason? It was the Phillies’ annual Irish Heritage Celebration.

The Irish traditional band Fig for a Kiss also put on a well-received exhibition of their own at Pass and Stow restaurant. (More cell-phone cameras.)

Not to be outdone, we had a camera of our own.

These photos are the result.

Music, People

Joe Reavy: Reflections on “a Great Run”

Irish musicians throughout the world are familiar with the music of Philadelphia’s Ed Reavy. That so many know his work is largely a tribute to his son, Joseph M. Reavy, 91, recipient of Mid-Atlantic Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution Award, conferred June 8 at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Region’s Hall of Fame Banquet. It was Joe Reavy—a talented multi-instrumental musician in his own right—who collected and transcribed his father’s many tunes into a thick book of sheet music.

He is characteristically self-effacing when he talks about the project.

“I don’t want to put myself in the forefront,” he says. “This is my father’s music. I published it so people would know it. He had an unbelievable musical memory, but my father did not write out the music. Of course, I read music and so I did most of the work, unless it was very, very technical stuff, and then I would call on someone else to help with it. Musicians—especially among advocates and people who loved his music—welcomed this (compilation) because they could put it in front of other musicians who maybe didn’t know too much about Irish music. I spent two years’ time with my father; almost every week we worked on it.

“It was just wonderful working with him. I learned so much. Even though he didn’t know how to write out the music, he knew how to talk about music. He had the greatest memory for tunes.” Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Summer’s here and the time is right for Irish and Celtic events of all kinds.

We’ll start with what is shaping up to be a very busy Saturday.

Kilt Fest, a celebration of all things Celtic, debuts at the Trifecta Sporting Club, 4666 East Bristol Road in Feasterville, Bucks County. It’s the first time on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware for this event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Strap your kilt on for the Kilted Fun Run, which starts the day (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.). Kilts are mandatory for this one, though for nothing else during the day.

Gaelic sports continue the festival at noon, running through 5 p.m., with kids’ Highland games from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Irish dance goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And there’s music, including na Bodach and the Kilted Rogues, both of which combine Scottish and Irish elements, together with entertainers like C.J. Mills and Seamus McGroary. Also: food and vendors throughout the grounds.

Sounds like a great time. Continue Reading