It’s your lucky weekend! The 46th Annual Maryland Irish Festival is returning to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium this Friday to Sunday, November 8-10. Presented annually by Irish Charities of Maryland, the festival celebrates all things Ireland ⎯ local, regional and international music, dance groups, traditional food and drink, cultural exhibits and speakers, and a wide variety of Irish items for sale.
Admission fees to the festival go to support the many charitable causes of the Maryland Irish community. Last year, Irish Charities of Maryland donated to more than 25 different organizations, including Charles Carroll House, Friends of St. Vincent Cemetery, Hibernian Society, Little Sisters of the Poor, My Brother’s Keeper, Stella Maris Hospice, Irish Northern Aid – BALTIMORE, Wreaths Across America, the Police Emerald Society of Baltimore, St. Mary’s University and Seminary and Metropolitan Baltimore Fire Emerald Society.
The festival includes many traditional Irish vendors offering handmade kilts and other clothing, Irish glassware and linens, artwork, jewelry and other gifts. Kids will enjoy the large play area with a moon bounce, crafts and games along with the Wee Folk Stage hosting children’s entertainment and music and dance instruction.
Bring your appetite for the wide selection of traditional Irish cuisine such as fish and chips, corned beef, lamb stew, ham and cabbage, and champ (a mashed potato dish), along with wings, hot dogs, beer, whiskey and non-alcoholic beverages. This year the Irish Festival will have Happy Hour Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., when all beer prices will be $5.00.
New to the Maryland Irish Festival is the Guinness Sweet Shoppe, featuring dessert specialties including the signature Guinness Mega-Float: Guinness Stout poured over rich chocolate Perrydell ice cream in a fudge and malt ball rimmed glass with a white chocolate dipped pretzel, Guinness brownie, a Kirchmayr Chocolatier Irish whiskey truffle, topped with whipped cream and shamrock sprinkles.
Festival-goers who are feeling lucky can enter the fun, free competitions. These include red hair, green eyes and freckles contests; a limerick competition; Ireland photography contest; and a family-friendly Celtic tattoo competition.
Music is a big part of Irish tradition so it is fitting that it plays a predominant role in the Irish Festival with local, national and international acts on multiple stages throughout the Cow Palace. Here are some highlights of the 2019 musical acts:
The Screaming Orphans are four sisters raised County Donegal, Ireland who started a pop rock band, which has been touring the United States and Europe since mid-1990s. The band played as Sinéad O’Connor’s opening act and as her back-up singers on tour across Europe, America and Canada.
Còig is one of Atlantic Canada’s most exciting Celtic traditional groups made up of four accomplished multi-instrumentalists. With the fiery Celtic high-energy style as its musical core, Còig easily shifts between century-old tunes of past generations to original and upbeat compositions, featuring the band’s range of over a dozen instruments like fiddles, piano, guitars, banjo, mandolin, viola, bouzouki, whistles, and more.
The ShamRogues have been entertaining crowds all over the East Coast since 2009 with their unique brand of Irish music and dance. The band has attracted fans of all ages and walks of life with their electric fiddles and banjos. Having performed a series of sell out shows in Ireland over the past several years, the ShamRogues have definite Irish credibility.
The Kilmaine Saints was founded in 2009 by a few members of the Lochiel Emerald Society Pipes and Drums as a means to play bagpipes year round. Along with the bagpipes, the Saints added a fiddler, guitarist and singer that contribute to their high-energy live sets.
The 46th Annual Maryland Irish Festival
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
Friday, November 8 6 PM – 11 PM
Saturday, November 9 Noon – 11 PM
Sunday, November 10 Noon – 6 PM (Mass – 10:30 AM)
2019 Maryland Irish Festival Tickets at the Door:
Adults (18-64): $15
Seniors (65 & above) $10
Saturday – all day:
Adults (18-64) $20
Seniors (65 & above) $15
Adults (18-64) $15
Seniors (65 & above) $10
Children (under 17) and Active Duty Military w/ ID are always FREE.
For more information, go to http://irishfestival.com/.