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Dublin, Ohio's Irish Festival will have Irish eyes smiling

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If you are a Clevelander who is intrigued by all things Irish then you may have the luck of the Irish for you can attend the 27th annual Dublin Irish Festival being held in Dublin, Ohio on Friday, August 1, Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3. Dublin is approximately a 2 hour, 20 minute drive from Cleveland.

Dublin Irish Festival The second largest Irish celebration in the world, the Dublin Irish Festival will feature over 65 music and dance acts and more than 535 entertainers from the United States and Ireland performing on 7 different stages with music ranging from traditional Irish tunes to Celtic rock. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend the event.

Activities at the Festival include storytelling, Irish folklore, hands-on workshops ( where visitors can learn traditional Irish musical instruments like the harp, the pennywhistle and the Bodhran drum, learn about crocheting, knitting and tatting and even learn a bit of the Irish language.

Other activities include dart tournaments, historical talks, a cornhole tournament, musical instrument demonstrations and whiskey ($20), beer ($16) and wine ($16) tasting sessions.

Animal lovers will be thrilled with the opportunity to meet and greet and pet a variety of Celtic Canines (including Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Terriers, Irish setters, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Red and White Setters and Glen of Imaal Terriers). Also be sure to pay a visit to the Bog Ponies exhibit where you can mett and pet these gentle creatures.

And don't miss the chance to see the sheep herding demonstrations being offered throughout the Festival.

Several pipe and drum bands will be performing (including the North Coast Pipe Band) as well as a variety of Irish dancers from various dance academies. Some of the Festivals musical performers include Brigid's Cross, Drowsy Lads, Irish Fiddle Fetish, the Willis Clan and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The Dublin Irish Festival will also be playing host to the Amateur Highland Games competition (on Friday, August 1) where athletes will be competing in events like the caber toss, the stone put, the sheaf toss and throwing heavy weights for distance.

The Festival will also feature Kids' Highland Games where children can try their hand at tossing a caber, shoveling a sheaf and throwing a Braemer Stone.

New this year will be Irish Road Bowling and professional hurley maker craftsmen will be on hand to to demonstrate how hurley sticks (used to hit a leather ball) are made using a 5 step process.

On all three days of the Festival, visitors can take part in a magical fairy tea party in the Participation Stage Tent where they can hear fairy stories being told as they sip their tea and partake of scones. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Times are 6 p.m. on Friday and 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.. There will also be Pirate Parties offered where visitors can hear stories about pirate adventures. Times are 7:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

A multitude of artisans and crafters will be present with Irish items for sale. Of course, there will be food and drink aplenty available for purchase. Some of the traditional Irish food for sale includes lamb stew, bridies, bangors & mash, scones fish & chips and corned beef and cabbage rolls.

On Sunday, August 3, visitors wanting to attend a church service will have several to choose from starting at 10 a.m. including an Irish Mass, a Traditional Mass, an interdenominational service and a Druid service.

Hours for the Dublin Irish Festival are 4 p.m. - midnight on Friday, 11 a.m. - midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 at the gate for adults and $8 for seniors (60+), military and students. Children 12 and under are free.

For more information about the Dublin Irish Festival call 614-410-4545 or get online at www.dublinirishfestival.org.

Site of the Festival, Coffman Park, is located at 5200 Emerald Parkway in Dublin, Ohio. It is approximately a 2 hour, 20 minute drive from Cleveland.

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