It’s time to throw on something green and head to the 45th Annual Maryland Irish Festival Friday – Sunday, November 9 – 11 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. 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 Little Sisters of the Poor, MD Special Olympics, My Brother’s Keeper, Stella Maris Hospice, Wreaths Across America, the Police Emerald Society of Baltimore, St. Mary’s University and Seminary and Metropolitan Baltimore Fire Emerald Society.
Here are some highlights of the 2018 Maryland Irish Festival:
With many traditional Irish vendors, festival goers will find handmade kilts and other clothing, Irish glassware and linens, artwork, jewelry and other gifts. Kids will enjoy the large play area with bouncy castles, activities, and games.
Be sure to 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.
Speaker sessions will feature musical and historical presentations on Irish music, ghost stories, women, the military and more. Sessions include Longships on the Irish Sea and Beyond by Leonard Leshuk, Viking Longship Company; Penny Whistle Lessons by Sean Lenahan; Saints Just Wanna Have Fun by Tom O’Carroll; as well as author readings and video presentations.
Thumper’s Wee Stage will host children’s entertainment including magician Debbie O’Carroll. She combines stage magic and theater, highly visual props and colorful costumes with lots of audience participation to create captivating programs, allowing kids to become a vital part of the performance.
The “Bold Fenian Men” return to the festival again this year, with their unique exhibition of antique firearms that were carried by both the Irish-American Fenians, and the Canadian and British forces, during the Fenian Raids on Canada, in both 1866 and 1870. They will be dressed in a range of Fenian “uniforms”—including the uniforms of former Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, and period civilian clothing.
Music is a big part of Irish tradition so it is fitting that it plays a predominant role in the Irish Festival with four stages full of local, national and international acts such as Dublin 5, with their eclectic mix of traditional roots and instrumentals with an amped up rock twist.
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.
The Fitzgeralds consist of fiddling and step dancing siblings from just outside of Canada’s Ottawa Valley. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling, step dancing, musicianship and audience interaction.
For nearly 20 years, Blackwater has been performing their high-energy brand of Celtic music to audiences across North America from sessions and pubs to concert halls and festival stages. The band’s members have a rich tradition in Celtic, Folk, Classical and Contemporary Music and have successfully merged those individual influences into a unique and dynamic sound.
The Kilmaine Saints was first started 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 45th Annual Maryland Irish Festival
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
Friday, November 9 6 PM – 11 PM
Saturday, November 10 Noon – 11 PM
Sunday, November 11 Noon – 6 PM (Mass – 10:30 AM)
2018 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.s141542.gridserver.com.