Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Irish Summer Festival coming back to uptown

From a press release that just moved across our desk:

The third annual Charlotte Irish Summer Festival returns to Uptown on Saturday, August 15 at Third and Tryon streets. The event, celebrating all things Irish, will feature live entertainment, vendors, a Kids Corner and new attractions including Irish Dance Lessons, RiRa Dunk Tank, Dublin Dog Oasis, Tullamore Dew Putting Green and an onsite genealogist to help attendees trace their Irish roots.

“With such a thriving Irish community and support from the City, it’s our goal to continue to grow Charlotte's Irish Summer Festival into a destination event with visitors from all over the country,” said Ireland native and festival founder Kevin Devin, who is also co-owner of Connolly’s on Fifth. “In this economy, we couldn’t do it without community and sponsor support so we are particularly thankful to all of our partners.”

Official festival partners include: NewsTalk 1110 WBT: Official Radio Partner; Courtyard Charlotte City Center: Official Hotel Partner; Hawk Recycling: Official Green Partner; Guinness and Budweiser American Ale: Official Beers; Red Bull: Official Energy Drink; Zingo: Official Safe Ride Home.

Featuring authentic Irish dancers, music, food, drink, crafts and games, festivities kick off at noon and run until midnight. Admission is free from noon until 5pm with a $10 cover charge after that. Onsite donations will benefit the Festival's charity partners, Classroom Central and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Classroom Central will have bins at all entrances collecting school supplies and the first 100 attendees who donate will receive an official Charlotte Irish Summer Festival item.

With something for all ages, free daytime activities include: Kids Corner with moon bounce, face painting, games, Irish dance lessons, Corn Hole tournament and performances by the Rince na h’Eireann and Walsh Kelley Schools of Irish Dance.

New additions to this year’s festival include: an art exhibition, RiRa Dunk Tank, Tullamore Dew Putting Green, Dublin Dog Oasis, Gaelic Football Hurling challenge presented by the Charlotte Gaelic Football Club, Highland Games Exhibition and an attempt to break the world record for longest choreographed Irish Dance with the help of two local Irish dance schools.

The afternoon and evening entertainment lineup includes bands on the main stage with performances by Dublin City Ramblers, The Prodigals, Vertigo, Trad At Heart, McLean Avenue, The Fighting 86’s, My Three Kilts and Jimmy Brown and The Badly Loved.

"The Charlotte Irish Summer Festival is becoming an integral part of our summer calendar," said Moira Quinn, SVP of Communications for Charlotte Center City Partners. "Cultural events like this enrich our lives and bring energy to the urban core, helping to make our Uptown a memorable and inviting place to be."