North Texas Irish Festival Celebrates Celtic Culture
March 3-5 in Dallas’s Fair Park
Largest celebration of Irish culture in Southwest harkens back to its roots of music and merry-making.
The 35th Annual North Texas Irish Festival returns to Fair Park March 3-5, this year celebrating the legends of the past and the legacy that continues to draw tens of thousands of fans to Dallas for everyone’s favorite celebration of music, dance and Irish culture. Presented by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, a non-profit that fosters the great tradition of Irish culture in North Texas, this largest cultural festival in DFW is also revered as one of the best Irish festivals in the U.S.
Music, dancing, whiskey tastings, blacksmithing demonstrations, horse displays, Celtic storytelling, animal res cue groups, Shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, dozens of activities for kids and child – friendly entertainment, and chef demonstrations are all found at this family – friendly festival that includes 13 stages of entertainment.
Headlining performers at the 35th Annual North Texas Irish Festival include: Barrule, a band from the Isle of Man that does”Manx” music, the Celtic world’s best – kept secret; Breaking Trad, with their first appearance at North Texas Irish Festival; Brian McNeill, described as Scotland’s most meaningful contemporary songwriter; Brock McGuire Band, named “Traditional Irish Band of the Decade” by the Irish American News; High Kings, Ireland’s Folk Band of the year; The Elders, music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock; Máire Ní C hathasaigh and Chris Newman, North Texas Irish Festival favorite musicians for more than 20 years; The Town Pants, with their Celtic roots rock; and We Banjo 3, with their Irish Music with old – time American and bluegrass influences. The music goes on all weekend and encompasses myriad approaches to Celtic music from traditional jigs and reels to pub ballads to Celtic rock.
Dancers will delight audiences with continuous performances on the dance stage. The colorful traditional and modern Irish dancers with their hand – embroidered dresses and fast foot – tapping rhythms are not to be missed. In addition, there will be dance workshops throughout the weekend, and everyone is encouraged to get into the spirit of Ireland at Saturday night’s Dance” Céilí,” a traditional Irish party led by local dance instructors.
The North Texas Irish Festival brings together a wide variety of exhibitors, workshops and demonstrations. Pick up a few culinary tricks for modern Irish cuisine (and sample it!) at the Chef Stage. Urchin Street will offer a special place where kids can find entertainment, education, play and fun, including crafts, music, dance, storytelling, magic and mystery. Storytellers — or” Shanachie” – will perform traditional Irish stories in the way that the Irish learned of their history for hundreds of years. Love animals? The North Texas Irish Festival hosts animal rescue groups where you can find your new best friend – or, if you already have one, bring your pet into the festival to enjoy it with you for a $1 donation. Equestrian shows, blacksmithing, sheep herding and other demonstrations will be performed in various areas of Fair Park.
Hours, Admission and Location
Gates open on Friday evening, March 3, at 6 p.m. Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10:30 a.m. t o 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4; and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.
Tickets will be available online in February at www.ntif.org. Admission is FREE on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $10 after (50% off coupons online at www.ntif.org). A one – day ticket is $20 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday at the gate, while a two – day ticket is $25 and a weekend pass is $30. Discount tickets will be available at area Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores in February. Children 11 and under are FREE when accompanied by adult family member. Seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off all gate prices.
Dogs are allowed in on a short leash with a $1 requested donation t o animal rescue groups supported by the festival. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.
Parking is available in and around Fair Park, or attendees can take the DART (take the Green Line!) to the front entrance of Fair Park and the North Texas Irish Festival. Detailed directions a nd parking tips are available at www.ntif.org.
The public can call (214) 821-4173 or visit www.ntif.org for more information or to volunteer to work at the festival.