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Ireland's Ambassador to open the 14th annual Hooley on the Hudson

Her Excellency Anne Anderson, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States
Ed McCann

It was announced today that Her Excellency Anne Anderson, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, will raise the Irish flag prior to the opening ceremonies for the 14th annual “Hooley on the Hudson,” a day-long Kingston Rondout waterfront celebration of all things Irish.

On Sunday, August 31, the Hooley on the Hudson, a free and family-friendly celebration of our region’s Irish heritage, kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and goes through 9 p.m. The Labor Day Weekend event features three stages for non-stop entertainment and food & craft vendors galore.

Sponsored by The Ulster County Ancient Order of Hibernians and the City of Kingston, the event-filled day includes a “Parade of Dignitaries” and more than 20 bands, including the internationally acclaimed Irish band, Black 47, who will be making one of its final appearances before retiring after 25 successful years. There is also a separate stage for storytellers.

All this will be preceded by a Saturday evening reception to honor Ambassador Anderson – Ireland’s 17th Ambassador to the U.S. Ms. Anderson has previously served as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, the European Union, France, and Monaco, and is the first woman to hold each of these positions.

The reception – a fundraiser for the construction of the new Irish Cultural Center – will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at The SteelHouse Restaurant, 100 Rondout Landing, Kingston.

With her focus on economics and a goal of increasing tourism and cultural exchange between Ireland and the United States, Ms. Anderson will travel from Washington, DC to Kingston in support of the construction of the proposed new Irish Cultural Center on Abeel Street in the city’s Rondout district – a neighborhood that thrived as a melting pot of European immigrants in the 1850s.

The Irish Cultural Center of the Hudson Valley (ICCHV) will be built on land formerly occupied by the headquarters of the D&H Canal Corporation – the site where, for decades, waves of Irish, German, Polish, and Italian immigrants walked up Company Hill Path to the Pay Master’s Office to collect their weekly wages.

Though demolished in 1936, the Renaissance Revival-style building that once stood on the site inspires the exterior design of the new center; a fifteen-thousand square foot building overlooking the historic Rondout Creek with classroom, performance, and retail space on three floors.

Says ICCHV president Robert Carey, “We think of the center as a mini university open to the entire Hudson Valley - a place for anyone interested in Irish culture and history to experience – and celebrate – the best in traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, literature, crafts, and sports.”

Scheduled speakers at the reception include New York State Congressman Chris Gibson, state Assembly member Kevin Cahill, and Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo. Guests will enjoy live music and authentic Irish foods. Event attendees include members of the Irish and Irish-American communities in the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Albany -- including celebrated actor and author Malachy McCourt and Nancy Carey Cassidy, daughter of former New York State Governor Hugh Carey.

The mission of the Irish Cultural Center Hudson Valley is to preserve and promote Irish arts, culture and history for a new generation. For more information about Saturday’s welcome reception, please contact info@icchv.org or visit www.icchv.org or call 845 389-4673.

For information about Sunday’s festivities please visit Hooley on the Hudson