The festival features an Irish dance competition in the newly renovated field house. There will be hundreds of competitors in colorful traditional costumes.
Enter the Haggis Heads, the musical line-up with its high-energy collision of Celtic and rock styles.
There will also be traditional and contemporary Irish music, set dancing, cultural exhibits, Irish shopping village, food, a 5K-road race to benefit ALS, cultural and agricultural displays, children’s activities, rides, and an Irish shopping and craft village.
There will be Gaelic football and hurling matches with teams of all ages from New Haven, Boston and Philadelphia. Members of the Celtic Learning Project, dressed in 13th century Celtic garb, will tell stories.
Food will include Irish baked goods; breakfast sandwiches consisting of Irish bacon, egg and cheese in the morning; the Tea House features tea, scones and soda bread; Italian and Thai favorites, as well as hot dogs, burgers, chicken, kettle corn and ice cream.
On Saturday both the O’Keefe and Lenihan Schools of Irish dance will perform. On Sunday, hundreds of dancers will participate in a competition that prepares many of them for world-class events. Some of the dancers will come from as far away as Texas, Wisconsin and Canada.
The festival will sponsor its annual 5K road race to benefit the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association on Saturday. A 0.7-mile kids’ fun run at 10:30 a.m. is followed by the road race and 2-mile fitness walk at 11 a.m. Sign-up for all begins at 9 a.m. Race director is Joe Riccio 203-481-7453 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the race is available at www.ctirishfestival.com.
Performers include Enter the Haggis, MacTalla Mor, John Whalen, Calley McGrane, Cliudan, Kitty Kelly, Liz McNicholl, Celtic Interlude, The Moonshiners and the Gaelic Highland Pipe Band.
Children’s activities will include games and races, petting zoo, pony rides and agricultural activities such as shepherding and sheep shearing. A wristband for a full day’s access to an extensive collection of inflatable rides is available.
Admission: Adults $12 ($10 in advance); children younger than 16 are free.
Admission after 7 p.m. Saturday is $15.
No pets or coolers
Advance tickets are available by contacting email@example.com or at the Irish American Community Center, Venice Place, East Haven, or The Playwright Restaurant, 1232 Whitney Ave., Hamden.
The festival is presented by the Irish American Community Center.