dublin irish festival ohio

38.) Dublin Irish Festival – August 5, 2011

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Even though I went to occasional festivals as a youngster, my festival “career” didn’t begin until I came back from a fabulous road trip vacation in Ireland…

…where I took the Guinness tour…

…climbed the Blarney Castle (and kissed the stone)…

…almost got blown off the Cliffs of Moher

…and enjoyed the landscape of the Burren.

I returned to the States with a travel bug that wouldn’t die. And it was then that I started exploring area festivals and blogging about them.

One of the first festivals I attended after my trip turned out to be an Irish festival and I was super excited to be reminded of my wonderful experiences. But perhaps my expectations were too high because I was pretty disappointed with it and future Irish festivals…

…until, that is, I went to the Dublin Irish Festival.

Taking place at Coffman Park, an area of 27 acres, the Dublin Irish Festival celebrated its 24th year with over 100,000 festival goers, continuing as the second biggest Irish festival in the world.

This includes Ireland, in case you’re not that impressed!

From the moment I entered the festival…

…I felt that I was celebrating this event with people…

…lots of people.

It took me over two hours just to make my way through it all, speeding up towards the end only because I was losing light. And, honestly, this wasn’t because of all the people…

…it was because there was just so much stuff!
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So I hope I’m able to do the festival justice by presenting some of the great things the festival offered to Irish visitors, Irish-Americans, and Irish lovers alike in an easy-to-read fashion…

Things to Do

One thing that should be clear is that the Dublin Irish Festival was family friendly…

…whether by helping you hunt down your family roots…

…or enjoy the festival with those you came with.

Activities to be enjoyed were held…

…at a dancing stage…

…various cultural stages…

…a corn hole field…

…and a Kubb pitch.

There were tastings…

…museums…

…and a Celtic Canines area…

…where family members could behold the size of the wolfhound

…or learn about the Glen of Imaal Terrier.

And this doesn’t even touch on what was available for kids!
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For the wee lads, they had…

…sandboxes…

…craft centers…

…toddler zones, playgrounds…

…and an entire kiddie wonderland!

Merchandise

There were plenty of opportunities to look a little more Irish…

…thanks to shirts, kilts and other Irish-themed clothing.

Vendor paths and market places sold common Celtic festival merchandise…

…like jewelry, license plates…

…and family crest key rings…

…to some more unique items like candy, Welsh cookies

…armory and tombstones.

You could buy stone carvings and leather products…

…as well as various Irish instruments.

…and this was just a fraction of what was available.

If it was green or had a clover…it was most likely there!

Food

Even with all the varied food of…

…fried alligator, funnel cakes…

…and alien corn…

…the Irish theme held its own in the food courts.

There were bakery products…

…corned beef, stews…



…and more fish and chips than you could shake a stick at.

I admit that I did some stick shaking of my own…
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…in order to get this beautiful golden basket of fried goodness.

But although I joined the masses by buying this popular item, I didn’t have a chance to partake in the festival’s highly coveted beverage…


…AKA beer.

But this was simply because I was too busy documenting the festival…
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…and I didn’t have time for any consequential delays.

Entertainment

As a reward for reading all the way through this festival posting, I’ve saved the entertainment section for last.

The Dublin Irish Festival had 7 stages available with 65 acts and more than 500 performers.

Sometimes the show was so pact…

…that I had to document it while moving.

Other times, I was fortunate enough…

…to be able to sit back and relax in the music’s comforting melody ( performed by Killashandra)…

…or be overtaken by its energy (The Fuschia Band).

In the end, even after being there more than two hours, I knew I hadn’t seen it all. There were more acts to see, people to chat with and food to eat.

But I didn’t mind.

After making some new friends at the festival…

…I was ready to go back.

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