The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
164 Eastland Road
(There is also a main entrance on Bagley Road)
Friday, July 18, 2014
5:00 p.m. to Midnight
Saturday, July 19, 2014
1:00 p.m. to Midnight
1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
It started back in 1982 and each year has gotten bigger and better than ever. I am of course talking about the 32md Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival which begins today at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio.
The festival features 31 bands performing on five indoor and three outdoor stages (two tents and a gazebo), as well as three pipe bands, three area Irish dance schools and three Irish plays by Irish playwrights and presented by The Cleveland Irish Players, Cincinnati Irish Players and Current Theatrics. There will also be workshops and presentations throughout the weekend.
New this year for the festival is Temple Bar and Museum that is modeled after the Temple Bar District of Dublin. Located in the Fairground’s Building #16 the Temple Bar is a combination tavern, entertainment complex with stage, beer garden and exhibit area all rolled into one. Visitors are invited to stop by for a drink, stroll through the museum area, listen to a variety of plays and groups, relax under an umbrella table in the beer garden or just hang out. Skilled artists have spent hundreds of hours of work painting murals of various Dublin shopfronts to add an additional Irish feel to the area.
In the museum area there are over 200 exhibits that highlight the land, events, people and places of the Emerald Isle that include: Remembering Patrick Kavanaugh, Holy Places of St. Patrick, The Bard of Armagh, Seamus Heaney, Irish Vampires, The Fighting 69th, Brian Boru, Visiting Howth, The Irish & Cancer, Exploring the Burren, Irish Folklore & Ghosts, Biking Ireland and Bodies in the Bog as well as such Irish luminaries as, The High Kings, Dervish, Solas, Frances Black, Goitse, Slide, Christy Moore, Derek Warfield, Donal Clancy, Mary Bergin, Clannad, Full Set, We Banjo 3, Liz Carroll, Eleanor McEvoy, Finbar Furey & many more. It is the hope of the festival organizers that all will feel welcomed in this Public House and get a true taste of Irish hospitality.
There are also a slew of things for the children to do at the festival from seeing children’s plays, to crafts to learning Irish dance to story tellers and if you like dogs, be prepared fall in love again as fourteen breeds of dogs from the tiny Glen of Imaal Terrier to the massive Irish Wolf Hound will be represented. Check out the Tir Na Nog “Land of Our Youth” children’s area as well as the “Space Walk” and Crafts areas.
The real focal point of the festival is of course the music. Each year the festival gathers some of the brightest stars of traditional as well as modern Irish music. There is something for everyone to like no matter what your musical taste are. This year’s performers include: Black 47, Ronan Tynan, The High Kings, Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Brigid's Cross, Scythian, Dermot Henry, StepCrew, The Kilroys, Bernadette Ruddy, Malachi Cush, The New Barleycorn, Dennis Doyle, Damien Dempsey, Marys Lane, Dervish, James Kilbane, Lost State of Franklin, Guaranteed Irish, Fintan Stanley and Donal O'Shaughnessy.
For the entire schedule of performances, go to http://clevelandirish.org/schedule_claddagh.php
The second reason to attend the festival is of course the food which features a variety of international cuisine featuring ten outstanding local food vendors with food choices that includes: Hamburgers, Italian Sausage Sandwiches, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, BBQ Pork Sundaes, Grilled Steak Sandwiches, Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwiches, Chicken Pita, Bloomin’ Onions, Hand Cut French Fries, Cabbage and noodles, Chicken Paprikash, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, Fried Cheese, Elephant Ears, Guinness Cheese Dip, Fried Pickles, Rueben Egg Rolls, Smashed Potatoes, Fresh Fruit Cup, French Fries, Guinness Bangar, Cheeseburger, Jameson Bread Pudding, Guiness & Bailey’s Cupcakes, Irish Egg Rolls, Irish Nachos, Jameson Burger, Bread Pudding, Corn Beef and Slaw, Bangers and Mashed, Fish and Chips, Roast Lamb Dinner, Fresh Cut Gyro, Grilled Pork Skewers, Lamb Burgers, Chocolate Dipped Banana, Irish Sausage and Chips, Soda Bread, Irish Sausage Sandwich With Grilled Onions, Corn Beef Sandwich, Winston’s Toasted, Meat Pie, Bridie, Sausage Roll, Bratwurst with Grilled Onions and Cheddar Cheese, Whisky Chicken Sandwich, Cheese Fries, Scones, Brown Bread, Cookies, cheery Cake, Irish Crème, Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza, Italian Sub Sandwich, Kettle Corn, Cinnamon Kettle Corn, Caramel Corn, Cheddar and Caramel and Irish Pride (Green, Orange and White) Corn.
To slake your thirst you can choose from coffee, Bewley’s Irish Tea, Soft Drinks, Water, Iced Tea, Lemonade, Harp, Guinness, Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Smithwicks.
Once you have eaten, drank and listened to Irish music be sure to take time to visit the over 50 vendors that will be selling everything that your Irish heart desires including hats, soccer gear, shirts, signs, perfumes…fact is you name it, they either will have it on hand or can readily get it for you.
So bring the entire family and immerse yourself into everything Irish from the food to the music to the drink to the bakery. It is a glorious time for the clan to share.
For more information, go to http://clevelandirish.org/index.php.