The Manchester Irish Festival
The Manchester Irish Festival is a two week celebration of Ireland, a country fondly known as the Emerald Isle. From 7 to 20 March 2008, the Manchester Irish Festival offers an exciting program of events including music, theater, comedy, sport and dance as well as themed parties. Events featuring renowned international acts alongside local talent will take place throughout the city.
St. Patrick’s weekend on 15 and 16 March is the highlight of the Manchester Irish Festival. For the first time since 1940, St. Patrick’s Day has officially been moved by the Vatican to 15 March 2008. The reason for this change is that 17 March falls on the Monday of the Holy Week prior to Easter. St. Patrick’s Day will revert to 17 March in 2009.
Visitors to the St. Patrick’s weekend of the Manchester Irish Festival can look forward to a family oriented weekend of Irish music and dance, as well as fun fair rides in Erwood Park, Levenshulme Village, Manchester. The Union Music Lounge in Levenshulme is planning a full weekend session of live Irish bands and acts, kicking off with the Liverpool Trad Irish band “Innesfree”. The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club will be presenting the Magners Irish Cider Barrel of Laughs Irish Special on Saturday evening. Audiences will be treated to an evening of Irish-style fun and laughter, with three stand-up comedians from the international circuit as well as a disco until 2 am.
The M19 Bar invites families to join in an afternoon of traditional Irish music and dance featuring talented Irish musicians playing on a variety of instruments including harp, whistle, keys and fiddle. Guest musicians and dancers are welcome to join in the afternoon’s festivities. In the evening the M19 Bar is hosting traditional Irish band “Lyra Celtica” with BBC Folk Musician of the Year accordion player, Lynn Tocker, renowned bodhran player Frank McGuire and guitarist Mark Canning. Other events planned for the St. Patrick’s weekend include a St. Patrick’s night Hooley at Hennigan’s Sports Bar, Jim McClouskey and his band at the English Martyr’s Parish Center and The Ryans at the Southern Hotel. Irish boy band, Westlife, will be appearing at the M.E.N. Arena. The Southern Hotel and Conors Irish Bar invite rugby fans to join them to watch big-screen live coverage of Ireland versus England in the Six Nations Rugby Tournament starting at 3 pm.
Clearly, the Manchester Irish Festival is packed with fun and entertainment for the entire family and is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the traditions and culture of the people that call the Emerald Isle home.