Gilleoghan Dancers Will Kick Up Their Heels At This Weekend’s Irish Fest
Gilleoghan Dancers Will Kick Up Their Heels At This Weekend’s Irish Fest ~ By Wendy Mitchell
The newly opened Bethel dance studio, Gilleoghan Irish Dance, will be performing at this weekend’s Greater Danbury Irish Festival.
Gilleoghan Irish Dance officially opened in early June at 170 Greenwood Ave. Owners Philip Owens and Terry Gillan, award winning champion Irish Dancers, offer a well-rounded program that includes Irish dance, Irish music and language and much more.
This weekend the troupe will kick up their heels for The Greater Danbury Area’s Irish Festival. The festival is held each year at the Charles Ives Center in Danbury. The Hibernians began the festival in 1995 as a way to raise funds to purchase a cultural center. According to their website, in 1995 Jerry Curran came up with the idea for the festival, Sharon Higgins got the backing of the membership and Mayor Gene Eriquez offered a baseball field in Rogers Park to host the event.
The first year two years it rained and the field flooded. In 1999 the festival was moved to the the Ives Center at the west-side campus of WCSU. The Hibernians have been running the food tent themselves since 1998. Visitors can see many historic displays covering Irish topics, purchase items from irish vendors and of course enjoy the many talented musicians, dancers and entertainers under the cultural tent.
This year is the 17th annual event and will host the popular band the Mighty Ploughboys, as well as the internationally acclaimed all-girl rock/pop band, the Screaming Orphans. Gilleoghan dancers will perform Friday evening, followed by traditional Irish music and local band Chicks-n-Synch, featuring Immaculate High School music teacher Julie Sorcek. Eileen Ivers, who the New York TImes calls “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” will perform on Sunday with her band Immigrant Soul.
Attendees can enjoy traditional Irish foods form Corned Beef & Cabbage to Irish Soda Bread and of course lots of Irish beer.
To follow is a schedule of events for the weekend:
Friday, September 23
6-7 PM Gilleoghan Irish Dance – Step Dancing & Céilí
7-8 PM Eisteach – Traditional Irish music
8-9 PM Chicks-n-Sync – Celtic music
Saturday, September 24
1-2 PM Uillean Piper – Jerry O’Sullivan
2-3:00 PM Harper –Regina DeLaney
3-3:30 PM Harp Workshop – Regina DeLaney (Harps Available)
3:30-4 PM Learn a little bit of Irish – John Feeney
4-4:30 PM Storyteller (Adults) – Leslie Keogh
4:30-5 PM Tin Whistle – Rita MacAuliffe
5-5:30 PM Gray School of Irish Dance-Dance Workshop
6-10 PM Céilí – Green Gates Céilí Band
Sunday, September 25
11-1 PM Fiddle, Whistle, Flute, Singing, Singing (Irish) and Speaking(Irish) Competition*
1-2 PM Uilleann Piper-Matt Connelly
2-3 PM Harper – Regina DeLaney
3-4 PM Accordion – John Whelan
4-5 PM Irish Ballads – Singer/Guitarist Fiona Molloy
4:30-5:30 PM Traditional music – Shamrogues
*Register anytime Friday & Saturday or before 11:00 am on Sunday in the Cultural Tent.
Seisiún tent will be open all day Saturday and Sunday for any musicians andaudience. A Seisiún leader will be there between 2-5 PM both days.
Displays on: Book of Kells, Irish Crochet, Irish Language and Classes, Irish Family Histories, Danbury Dancers (céilí), Dance Costumes & History, Irish Blessings, Literary Displays; Cultural Quiz Display; Mary Garden, Potato Famine, Irish Traditional Music History and Classes and many more.
For more information and to purchase discounted advance tickets, click here.