Olentangy Valley News

Dublin Irish Festival

Culture of Emerald Isle plays a prominent role

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A piece of Ireland will be offered in Coffman Park Aug. 1-3 with folktales, lessons about music, genealogy, animals and more.

The 2014 Dublin Irish Festival will present the culture of the Emerald Isle from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 1; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 2; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3.

Bands known locally, nationwide and internationally will perform on the stages of the Irish festival and guests will also have a chance to learn about music with workshops.

In the music workshop tent, learning tunes by ear and lessons on Irish guitar, bagpipes, the bodhran, songwriting and the Irish pennywhistle are set throughout the weekend.

The cultural workshop tent, Irish traditions area and spoken word tent also offer history, how-to demonstrations about Irish activities and stories.

Activities for the areas run the gamut from a lesson on pronouncing Irish words and leatherwork to tales of an Irish indentured servant and learning Irish step-dancing.

"In addition to the culture area we have the Irish Authors' Corner which has expanded this year," said Mary Jo DiSalvo a Dublin events administrator.

"We have Brian Boru's Ireland and the genealogy area," DiSalvo said.

"People are showing more and more interest in tracing their family trees."

The sights of Ireland will also grace the festival in the form of animals.

"We have the Celtic canines and we'll feature bog ponies too," DiSalvo said, adding the animals will be the in area near the Coffman House and barn on the festival grounds.

"The presentation tent has been expanded because people like to learn more about these things," DiSalvo said.

"It's all sponsored by the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center of Dublin," she said.

"OSU veterinary doctors will be in that area to talk about canine first aid," said Sara O'Malley, a Dublin events assistant.

Canines at the festival will include the Irish setter, Irish terrier, Irish water spaniel, Irish wolfhound and the kerry blue terrier.

The bog ponies are a rarity.

They often carried peat, also called turf, used to warm houses.

The bog ponies are now endangered and only 200 currently exist.

"We're excited about expanding the festival footprint," DiSalvo said.

"It gave us more room for more culture and to spread out."

People can get a taste of Irish religion during Sunday morning services with an Irish mass, traditional mass, druid service, Episcopal U2Charist service and interdenominational services.

Entry into the Dublin Irish Festival is free on Sunday, Aug. 3, until 11 a.m. with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the Dublin Food Pantry.

Festival visitors can also take a piece of Ireland home with them.

Hundreds of vendors will be on hand with art, kilts, clothing and other items.

"Don't forget the Emerald Arts Isle and Marketplace," DiSalvo said.

"In the shopping area we focus on having things from Ireland that people can't get anywhere else.

"A lot of people do their Christmas shopping there. People come for the music, dancing, shopping and culture."

For more information about the many activities offered at the Dublin Irish Festival or a full schedule of events, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.

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