Dublin Villager

Dublin Irish Festival

Activities aplenty planned for the wee folk

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Leprechauns aren't the only wee folk welcome at the 2014 Dublin Irish Festival.

The three-day festival Aug. 1-3 in Dublin's Coffman Park has plenty of children's activities planned, from a climbing wall and inflatable castle to fairy tea parties and crafts.

"We have the Wendy's Wee Folk area with storytelling on leprechauns and fairies and the Pot O' Gold Playland with a climbing wall, bouncies and an inflatable castle," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, a Dublin events administrator.

Activities in the Pot O' Gold playground can be accessed with a $10 wristband and the space will be increased this year because Coffman Park has grown.

"The Pot O' Gold Playland has expanded," said Sara O'Malley, Dublin events assistant. "We opened the Pot O' Gold Playland to give more breathing room. We wanted to enhance the guest experience."

"That will make it a lot more enjoyable to spread things out," DiSalvo said. "We hope guests will see we tried to make it more safe and secure."

In the Wendy's Wee Folk area, children will have a chance to craft crowns, the Celtic alphabet and learn about culture.

On the Wee Folk stage, storytellers will spin folktales of Ireland, the Children of Lir, fables and other tales.

"One of the entertainers are the Irish Liddlers," DiSalvo said, adding the group is made of young fiddlers.

"It seems that they're very popular to people because they're young Irish musicians," she said.

"The Willis Clan is also performing again and it's a family of dancers, singers and musicians. It's fun for people to see young talent."

Children will have a chance to display their athletic talent with the Kid's Gaelic Games from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Greenfields Sports area.

"When we first started the Gaelic Games, they were mostly adult competition," DiSalvo said. "Now there are more people participating, including kids. Kids on Saturday and Sunday can learn the caber toss, sheaf toss and hurling."

While the adult caber toss utilizes a wooden pole the size of a telephone pole, games and the objects will be adjusted for children. "We modify the sheaf toss for kids and use a stuffed sheep," O'Malley said.

Also on the agenda for children are Fairy Tea Parties at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1 and 12:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2 and 3; and Pirate Parties at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 1 and 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3.

"Last year was the first year for the Fairy Tea Party," Di Salvo said of the event that includes tea, scones and fairy stories. "Because they were so popular, we added more tea parties and added pirate parties as well."

Pirate Parties will serve up "grog" and stories of pirate adventures.

Seating is limited to 60 for each fairy and pirate party. Registration is $5 and must be completed before the festival begins online at dublinirishfestival.org.

For more information about children's activities, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.

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