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Activities

*Events and Activities subject to change

ANCIENT CELTIC AXE THROWING

We are partnering again with Ace Axe Throwing to bring you the sport of Ancient Celtic Axe Throwing! This year, guests 16+ wearing closed-toe shoes will get to try their hand at axe throwing for free with festival admission!

A TASTE OF IRELAND

New this year, festival visitors will be able to sample and purchase foods and snacks made in Ireland! Take home items like Guinness chocolate & fudge, Keogh’s potato chips, Mileeven Honey with Jameson, soda bread & scone mixes, Butlers candy bars, Irish teas & coffees, and so much more!

*NEW* ROYAL COUNTY DOWN MINI GOLF

Royal County Down Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. Can’t make it to Ireland to play? No problem! Join us as we play a round on our brand-new mini golf course, made especially for the Pittsburgh Irish Festival!

*NEW* CULTURAL COTTAGE: IRISH CUISINE

This year’s Cultural Cottage reflects the importance of food in Ireland. This cuisine has evolved
from centuries of social and political change, and the mixing of the different cultures in Ireland,
additionally founded upon the crops and animals farmed in its temperate climate. Consequently, the potato, after its widespread adoption in the 18th century, became just about the only food the poor could afford (which was the vast majority of the population). By the 21st century, traditional Irish dishes (many prepared here at the Festival!) included Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, boxty, coddle, colcannon, soda bread, and scones. Modern Irish food still uses similar traditional ingredients but they are now being cooked by chefs with world influences and are presented in a modern artistic style. Look for handouts at the Cottage detailing more on the history of Irish Cuisine, The Great Hunger, and on Belleek Parian China, the basis of this year’s display!

CELTIC COUSINS

It is always exciting to experience the ancient and contemporary connections between Ireland and Scotland. Enjoy Pittsburgh’s finest clan representation, as Scotland visits the Pittsburgh Irish Festival! Featuring music, dancing and a bit of Highland gaming, join us in welcoming our Celtic Cousins to the Festival!

SESSION TENT

Musicians, bring your instrument and get into the Festival for free. Join other musicians and play your favorite Irish songs throughout the weekend!

STEEL CLOVER’S INSTRUMENT DEMONSTRATIONS AND CELTIC OPEN MIC

This area has been capturing the hearts of many over the past several years. Steel Clover provides an interactive experience to both adults and children looking to experience playing an instrument. Musicians and singers get a chance to sing and play Celtic songs in during the open mic and the music and instrument demonstrations are wildly popular at the festival. This experience takes people to a new level of thinking about music. Guests get to “feel the musical experience, not just look and listen.”

LIVE ART DEMONSTRATIONS

Details on this year’s live art coming soon!

RUSTY RAIL BREWING CRAFT BEER

With every sip, craft beer allows you to experience the passion, authenticity, excitement, creativity, and camaraderie that goes into brewing. Our official craft beer partner this year is Rusty Rail Brewing. They’ll be bringing various craft products that are sure to please even the pickiest beer drinker!

IRISH AUTHORS’ CORNER

Learn about Ireland and its lore while meeting visiting authors at this year’s Irish Festival.  Buy a book and get it autographed.  Hear the authors’ tales during the weekend at the Hedge School.

DELIGHT IN DANCE AND MUSIC PERFORMANCES

View continuous entertainment in 4 performances areas, presented by adult and children’s dance ensembles, all colorfully costumed and skillfully choreographed. In addition, our contemporary and traditional Irish musicians will bring you to your feet as they continue the party as only the Irish can!

FEAST ON IRISH CUISINE AND CELTIC BEVERAGES

Relish the mouthwatering sights, aromas and tastes coming from our Irish kitchens! From a bite to a hearty meal, we serve Irish sausage, Irish stew, boxty pancakes, corned beef and cabbage,
Shepherd’s Pie, potato soup, fish, colcannon, ham and cabbage, and much more! Our desserts are plentiful and delicious. And don’t forget to visit our numerous pubs for a Celtic beverage
including Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, Magners Irish Cider, and more!

DISCOVER YOUR IRISH FAMILY TREE

Trace that elusive Irish ancestor by visiting the Genealogy Pavilion. Learn how to search locally and online for long-lost family here and on the Auld Sod. Forms and reference books are on-site to guide you as you begin or restart the process of climbing your Family Tree.

IRISH DOG AREA

Visit with the dogs native to Ireland! Meet all Irish breeds: Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, Glen of Imaal, Irish Red and White Setter, Kerry Beagle, Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. Email us at pghirishfestival@gmail.com to include your dog in the festivities.

CULTURAL HEDGE SCHOOL STAGE

Presented by the Irish Design Center, one of the most popular areas at the festival is the Hedge school.  Based on the infamous Penal Laws, hedge schools developed in Ireland in response to the bans placed on educating Irish natives about their history, traditions, and culture. As a result, lessons were taught in secret in a barn or in the shadow of a hedge. We are proud to offer on-going educational sessions in the areas of history, legends, music, language, dance, sports, and symbols of Ireland.

LEPRECHAUN’S LANDING (CHILDREN’S AREA/IRISH ARTS, CRAFTS, & GAMES)

For our wee folk! Take home a hand-made souvenir, enjoy an Irish story, sing-a-long, find a fairie, and even dance an Irish jig!

IRISH MARKETPLACE

A favorite area of the Festival is the Irish Marketplace where unique shopping booths display a panorama of Irish items for sale. Take home a specialized clothing article, piece of art, interesting trinket or souvenir. Guaranteed Irish, we feature over 50 specialty booths. Don’t forget to visit our Festival’s award-winning t-shirt booth!

MEET PITTSBURGH’S IRISH ORGANIZATIONS

Members will be on hand with lots of information and an invitation to join them!

CULTURAL BEVERAGE TASTINGS

This year, for our guests 21 and over, beverage tasting will be included in the price of your Festival admission ticket! Visit our Cultural Beverage Tasting area as we experience the charm, depth and diversity of flavor found in Irish and “Celtic Cousin” whiskeys and mead. Each booth will feature professionally curated tastings conducted by a whiskey master, Protector of the Peat, or mead maker. You will compare and contrast the unique qualities of legendary brands. This area is brought to you by Kingview Mead. Check back for a complete list of featured brands.

IRISH MASS – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 AT 10 A.M.

Join us for our annual Irish Mass on Sunday, September 8 at 10 a.m. at our Celtic Spirit Stage.

OTHER FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Storytelling from Alan Irvine, Celtic Harper – Dennis Doyle, traditional step and ceili dance workshops and performances, Irish instrument and cultural area demonstrations, strolling bagpipers, Gaelic sports demonstrations, and Irish names with Sean. You’ll never know what’s
around each corner at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival!

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