Olentangy Valley News

Dublin Irish Festival

All things Irish will fill Coffman Park Aug. 1-3

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The Dublin Irish Festival will fill Coffman Park offering music, dancing, culture and other Emerald Isle activities Friday through Sunday, Aug. 1-3.

The annual festival will fill expanded grounds this year, giving a multitude of offerings and more breathing room and organizers suggest visitors plan wisely to fit everything in.

"Go online and look at the schedule to find out what you most want to do with your time," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, a Dublin events administrator.

A new permanent bridge over Indian Run that leads to new Coffman Park space will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1.

"It's a stone bridge reminiscent of Ireland," DiSalvo said.

"We'll have a bridge naming and it will be Festival Founders Bridge during festival weekend to honor the visionaries of the festival that started on a tennis court and now has 38 acres of festival grounds."

Admission to the festival is $12 at the gate, but DiSalvo said tickets can be purchased for $10 online in advance.

A $2 discount on admission at the gate is available with a special Pepsi can that can be found in central Ohio stores.

"Anyone can get in free to the festival Sunday before 11 a.m. by bringing in a nonperishable food item for the Dublin Food Pantry," DiSalvo said.

The tickets offer great value for all the activities offered, including seven stages that will feature live performances, DiSalvo said.

"There are six local dance academies this year and bands throughout the weekend," she said.

"Sunday morning the bagpipe showcase is not to be missed.

"We have Sharon Shannon and Skerryvore for the first time this year," DiSalvo said.

"The Red Hot Chili Pipers are returning on Friday and Saturday night after they did so well and were fan favorites in 2013."

The Willis Clan, a family of 12 children that can dance, sing and play instruments, will take a break from America's Got Talent to appear at the festival, DiSalvo said.

"The very first Celtic rock band that came to Dublin is making its farewell performance at the festival," she said of Black 47.

But music and dancing aren't the only offerings at the festival.

"For shopping we've got a newly expanded Temple Bar area and new artists in the Emerald Isle: painters and leatherworkers," DiSalvo said.

"In the cultural area there are four stages ... and we've got what we call participation stages and the fairy tea parties and pirate parties."

Also in the cultural area will be a chance to research genealogy, Celtic canines and bog ponies.

"We've got a weekend of Irish sports programs," Di-Salvo said.

"We've got kids games, two sheep-herding demonstrations that were so popular last year ... there is a hurling demonstration and darts seminars" and tournaments, she said.

In addition to Sunday morning religious services, contests for the reddest hair, greenest eyes and most freckles will be held in the Wee Folk area Sunday afternoon.

A best legs in the kilt contest for adults is also slated for Sunday afternoon, DiSalvo said.

For information about the Dublin Irish Festival, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.

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