WATERTOWN – Area residents will have a chance to celebrate “the wearing of the green” during the 29th Annual North Country Goes Green Irish Festival this weekend. All events will take place in and around the Dulles State Office Building on Washington Street.
The celebration features a wide variety of continuous live entertainment, including Irish singers, step dancers, musicians, magicians and story tellers.
Friday’s events will get under way with Irish music at 4:30 p.m., an official flag raising and opening ceremonies at 5 p.m., the annual Miss Ireland Pageant beginning at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, and judging of the Donegal beard growing contest at 7 p.m. on the 11th floor. Enjoy a variety of entertainment from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.
Saturday’s events will kick off with the annual Shamrock Run, hosted by the YMCA, which will offer a 2.2-mile walk / run course and a 5-mile run course. Registration will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Dulles State Office Building. Both events will begin at 10 a.m. in front of Alghrim Dental Offices. Race results will be announced during the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival in the Dulles State Office Building.
For additional information about the Shamrock Run, visit www.watertownymca.org.
The fun will continue at the Dulles State Office Building with Irish step dancing and live band performances beginning at 11 a.m.
A highlight of this year’s festival will be a concert by Girsa at 7 p.m. Saturday, presented by the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival and the Disabled Persons Action Organization.
Girsa has captured the hearts of audiences with their melodious voices, electrifying musicianship and witty banter. Their energetic and enthusiastic performances of traditional Irish music, song and dance have been met with outstanding acclaim. Maeve, Deirdre, Blaithin, Bernadette, Pamela and Emily bring a creative mix of fiddle, accordion, banjo, tin whistle, bodhran, guitar and piano to their shows. Their first two CDs received rave reviews, and their third CD is currently in the works.
Tickets for the performance cost $15 each and include admission to the Irish Festival all day Saturday. Advance tickets are available by visiting Kinney Drugs store locations in Watertown. For more information, call the DPAO at 782-0044.
After an Irish Mass at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, festivities will continue with entertainment beginning at noon Sunday and a parade through the streets of Watertown at 1 p.m.
For the wee folk, there will be activities in the Celtic Kids Zone, featuring Irish storytelling, songs, magic and crafts from noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday on the 11th floor.
Festival admission is $6 for adults and free for children younger than 12. All children must be accompanied by a parent. A $1 military discount is available with ID. This is a Yellow Ribbon event.
Sunday is family day, when admission will be $6 for families and $2 for individuals.
Food and souvenirs will be available for purchase throughout the festival.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit Project Children, an organization that brings Catholic and Protestant children from Northern Ireland to spend six weeks with families in the North Country. The festival also helps to fund local scholarships.
For more information, visit www.ncirishfest.com.