Dublin Irish Festival
Culture, music take center stage Aug. 3-5
Volunteers for this year's Dublin Irish Festival listen to a presentation by Festival Director Alison LeRoy during a pre-festival training session Saturday, July 28, at the Celtic Rock Stage tent. The festival runs Friday through Sunday, Aug. 3-5 in Dublin's Coffman Park. Buy This Photo
Activities and items on view at the Dublin Irish Festival range from bagpipes and bog ponies to Celtic dancing and kilts.
The Dublin Irish Festival, slated for Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5, in Coffman Park, will celebrate its 25th year with more than 60 entertainment acts, art, beverages, food and several other items with roots in the Emerald Isle.
The festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 people from far and near.
"The festival being here for 25 years has really put us on the map," said Sara O'Malley, Dublin events assistant.
"People come from all over," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, Dublin events administrator.
"People have gotten engaged, gotten married and renewed their vows at the festival," DiSalvo said. "It means something special."
For the 25th year, the festival will offer a few new activities.
"We have Irish authors and the Irish art exhibit," O'Malley said, noting that the festival will also host the International Highland Games Federation Women's World Championships.
"That's a really cool thing for us. Sixteen athletes are competing ... one of the athletes last year broke a world record."
The Highland Games are a festival mainstay in the Tansky Sawmill Toyota Greenfields Sports Area and include events such as braemar stone, caber toss and sheaf toss.
The events are similar to modern-day track and field events such as the shot put.
The caber toss has athletes trying to throw a log the size of a telephone poll so it turns end over end.
In the cultural area, re-enactors are a key attraction, said Alison LeRoy, festival director.
"In the cultural area one of the most popular things to see is the re-enactors," LeRoy said.
"These are actors; this isn't their normal daytime job," she said.
"We have the 10th century Brian Boru area and a couple of years ago we brought in Vikings. It's neat to see what life was like in the 10th century."
The cultural area also has music exhibits.
"You get to talk to some of the best instrument makers around," LeRoy said.
"You can pick up the instruments and touch and feel them. You can talk to the people who make the instruments."
Irish dancing and music are a big draw for the festival, but LeRoy said the shopping area is also very popular.
"This year we added a dress-maker," she said. "That's one of the different things you wouldn't expect to see at the Irish Festival."
For visitors hoping to catch some Irish music, LeRoy said chairs are provided throughout the festival to relax.
"We want you to come to the festival and you don't have to bring your own chairs," she said.
"A good percentage (of the park grounds) is shaded between the tents and the beautiful green park we have.
"We have over 8,000 chairs. Most people will be able to find a seat."
Tickets to the Dublin Irish Festival are $9 online until Thursday, Aug. 2, and $7 for seniors, military and students.
At the gate, tickets are $10 or $8 for seniors, members of the military and students with a valid ID.
The festival will run from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 3; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 4, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5.
Gates for the festival open at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 5. for Sunday services and breakfast.
Admission until 11 a.m. Sunday is free with the donation of the non-perishable food item to the Dublin Food Pantry.
For information about activities and parking, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.