A Hundred Thousand Welcomes (Cead Mile Failte)
Visit the Irish Heritage Center in March, 2017
- Meet the 2016‑17 Ohio Rose of Tralee, Kathleen Rose O’Donnell, Bryan Rasmussen and Ashley Speaker, former Ohio Rose.
- In the Irish Pub, The Xavier University Irish Dance team
- The Amazing Irish Fiddler Eimer Arkins, from Corofin, Co. Clare
- Harmonica Danny Boy ‑ Jim Tarbell “Mr.Cincinnati”
- Fun on Irish Center Stage‑ Dancer Vicki Meehan and Merry Plough Boys
Cincinnati boasts its very own Irish Heritage Center, now in its eighth year in Columbia Tusculum, housed within the 44,000 square foot former McKinley School building. Come and revel in the center for “All things Irish”, just like “being on the old sod”.
Starting on Friday, March 3rd, at 7:30 p.m., the world famous Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones will delight all ages with a spectacular show full of traditional songs and music with a contemporary beat. Audiences will be dancing in their seats! It’s the perfect kick-off with this band from Ireland to start the festival!
On Saturday, March 11th, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is followed by a festival of all that is Irish within the Center. There is live Irish music featuring popular groups such as The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club, Clark and Jones, Ceol Mhor, Green Key, The Irish Piper - Gerry Fritsch, The Bonnies, Irish Tenor Mick McEvilley, Harpers Robin, Jerome Scott, Riley School of Irish Music; plus Story Tellers from the Irish American Theater Company - Frank McGoron, Keith Gavigan, Kate Lester and Kent Covey; and Irish Dancers including The Erickson Academy of Irish Dance, The McGing Irish Dancers and The Xavier Irish Dance Team.
Take the opportunity to meet, greet and have a photo-op and selfies with St. Patrick himself, who will be in attendance. Join in the sing-a-longs with Mary Lou and the Song Birds. Enjoy the Irish Thatched Roof Pub, filled with all Irish and local libations and great craic (Irish for fun). Visit the Irish Kitchen for delicious Guinness Stew and treats.
Pirate Seamus O’Malley visits the Children’s Room and takes all on an adventure tour. Children’s Room is open from 3-6 p.m., full of fairy and pirate magic, crafts and games. There is a Blarney Castle, Jiggy Piggy and a Children’s Parade when the wee ones can show off their best Irish Costumes. Children’s parade is at 6 p.m. The 2016-17 Ohio Rose of Tralee, Kathleen O’Donnell, will entertain with her hoop dancing as well.
A special “perfect Pour Contest” takes place in the Irish Pub at 7:30 p.m., sponsored by the Guinness Storehouse. Sign up to participate in this limited opportunity - call 513-533-0100. Bring your friends to cheer you on.
An art exhibit features the photos and paintings of Pat and Ruthie Conley. Stroll along the Irish halls where you can find the flags of your family’s county. The Quiet Man, a favorite Irish film, will be shown. Brilliant story tellers entertain tots, children and adults. Enjoy some arm chair travel to Ireland in the library. Hear the stories of the Irish in Cincinnati in the museum with historian Patrick Mallory.
The Irish Center’s secret of success is its people: the volunteers, members and donors who have dedicated time and talent to create a fully functional center that is now the home for all things Irish. The Irish Government itself has donated funds to the Irish Center’s mission, as has Culture Ireland, an agency whose mission is to showcase Irish Culture beyond its island home.
Over the years, the Irish American Theater Company has produced consistently good productions winning accolades and awards. In 2015, they hosted The Acting Irish International Theater Festival, a weeklong festival of theater from US/Canada and Ireland on the Irish Center’s Stage. Every day a different play was presented, bringing hundreds of visitors and performers to Cincinnati.
On Friday, March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day itself, the festival continues at the Irish Center starting at 2 p.m. with a Mass said by Dublin born Father Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh. Following Mass are more great entertainment, art, dancing, music, song, stories, children’s activities, Irish food, shopping; and great camaraderie and friendships, old and new, are renewed and kindled in the many IHC rooms.
The March Festival Closing Act is Wednesday, March 22nd, at 6:30 p.m. when the current chapter of Notre Dame’s Hesburg Alumni Lecture Series is presented at the Irish Heritage Center. Entitled, “The Fighting Irish - 19th Century Irish Life in the Midwest,” such lectures are presented annually to ND alumni chapters throughout the country. The IHC is cosponsoring this event which is free to the public. Reservations are a must, however, to assure space is available for all.
For more information and/or tickets for these wonderful events, call the Irish Heritage Center at 513-533-0100, or visit the center at 3905 Eastern Avenue, 45226. The Irish Center is a not-for-profit tax exempt Charitable Foundation, to which contributions are tax deductible under IRS Sec. 501 (c) 3.