Aug 16, 2011

Irish Fest and more....

Bagpipers on their way--Make a hole!

I have some extra time on my hands since DH went to play poker tonite.  So a bonus post on the Dublin Irish festival.

For anyone not familiar, Dublin is near Columbus, OH and has one of the biggest Irish fests in the country! How come me, who is very Irish, never heard of it until 2 years ago?  No idea but since I'm Irish and DH loves the culture (and obviously the people since he married in), we decided to go.  
Beer Booth!
It is absolutely HUGE compared to the one here in Pittsburgh.  There are 7 stages for musical acts alone, plus culture displays, vendors, tons of food and lots of things for the  kiddies to do.  Our trip to Dublin was our second one.

This year we decided to stay until Monday instead of Sunday because we just didn't see everything.  Not so sure this was a good idea as it was one of the hottest, most humid weekends of the year.  However, we soldiered on. 

We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Dublin, which is 2 miles from the festival.  Gottta love a new hotel AND they had a shuttle that dropped us off and picked us up!  That means Melissa could drink instead of being the driver! :)  I had planned ahead for DH and inquired about a wheelchair for him in case his leg got sore or his arms (from crutches).  They were very accommodating and DH was stubborn and only agreed to a wheelchair the last day. 

I'll spare you the complete gory details of each day but we had a blast despite the heat trying to wear us out every day.  We really enjoy the musical acts they bring each year, especially the Tartan Terrors, which are one of our fave bands ever!  They never disappoint!  If you want to see a band of fine musicians, dancers, and comedians--check them out.  Not to mention a world-class bagpiper who is very easy on the eyes!
Tartan Terrors in Action!

Another band we really enjoyed were Different Drums of Ireland. We hadn't seen them before and they were very different.  As you can see by the pic below, they were big drums and then some!  Traditional Irish music and modern Irish mixed with other cultures.  Really enjoyed these guys!
Different Drums of Ireland--BIG drum!
In between shows, DH and I shopped around at the vendors' booths.  We always seem to find great stuff here.  This year we came home with pottery, beautiful photography, jewelry (for me!), and other little trinkets.  I got my BFF a good gift (which I can't spoil because it hasn't been delivered yet!).   I have to give a shout out to our man Shay at Blarney's Celtic Jewelry.   We always look at his beautiful jewelry every time we see him but this time we finally bought something.   DH bought me a beautiful necklace and earrings in the shape of an Celtic knot.  Something pretty I can wear every day.  Shay designed the pieces and was kind enough to sign them for me after DH bought them.   I'm looking forward to seeing you guys again in Pittsburgh!

whiskey tasting
The other fun thing at the festival is the tastings!  This year there were 3: Beer, whiskey and mead.  First time for the mead which DH and I promptly signed up for.  My grandparents brought some delicious mead back from Ireland with them but we have never been able to find anything as good since.  The mead at the festival was local and it was okay.  They had all sorts of flavors from watermelon (ew) to mango (yum).  It was fun to learn a bit more about it.  DH has a friend at work who tells him he should just make it himself and I kind of agree!   I also did the whiskey tasting, since it's my fave hard liquor.  It was Bushmills (I'm a Jameson girl) but it was still pretty good.  Someone from Bushmills came in to explain how everything is made and what it was all about.  I was definitely buzzed after that tasting--it was time to hit the food booth!

The only snag in our weekend came on Sunday afternoon when it finally decided to pour down rain.  Luckily it stopped after 45 minutes.  They did shorten the festival but since DH had a wheelchair that day and we wanted to return it, one of the organizers offered to drive us over to the concert stage for closing ceremonies.  Traveling in style---yes we do.  The best part was when one of the security guards questions our driver and he said "I've got a cripple here" and pointed to DH with his leg brace!  LOL

We met some great people who we hope to see next year (waves to Rob and Jessica and Marleigh).  Even if they are Ohio State fans (WE ARE PENN STATE).  Just sayin'  :)

One of my fave quotes from DH:  "You know what.  Next year I am having a shirt made that says 'I see Pale People'.  I have never seen so many in one place!"   He was actually in the minority with that one. 

If you've read this far, thank you!  Get yourself over to the festival next year if you're close by or come to the Pittsburgh Irish Festival which will be at the beginning of September!

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