The festivities for the 2018 Dublin Irish Festival will begin Friday, July 20, with a kickoff event at 6 p.m. at the Giant Eagle Market District store, 6700 Perimeter Loop Road.

This year's Irish Festival will be held Aug. 3-5 at Coffman Park, 5600 Post Road.

Prior to the three-day event, a taste of the music, food and beverages will be on tap at Giant Eagle. Dancers, musicians and food will be part of the kickoff, said Mary Jo DiSalvo, a Dublin events administrator.

"It's just like a mini-sampling of what's to come," she said.

This year's kickoff will feature the sights and sounds of Irish culture, including the Dublin Scioto High School group Irish Fiddle Fetish, local musical group Mad Maudlin and Irish dancers from the Regan Rankin Holland Academy of Irish Dance, said Sara O'Malley, a Dublin events specialist.

This is the fifth year Giant Eagle has partnered with the Irish Festival, she said.

"They help this festival run in many ways," O'Malley said.

Cash only sales of Irish Festival tickets will be available at the kickoff event at a discounted price.

Beginning July 23, tickets and drink tokens will be sold through Aug. 2 at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road.

Registration also is open through 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at 13 S. High St. for the festival's IGS Energy/Dublin Irish Festival 5K & Kids Dash. The kids dash will begin at 6:45 p.m. and the run/walk will begin at 7 p.m.

Founded in 1988, the Irish Festival typically attracts more than 100,000 guests and features seven stages for international, national and local entertainment.

The festival also features cultural activities and children's activities. Several market places throughout the festival grounds will feature clothing, art, jewelry, musical instruments and items for the home.

The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. to midnight Aug. 3, 11 a.m. to midnight Aug. 4 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 5. For more information, visit www.dublinirishfestival.org.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah