Southern Illinois Irish Festival

Southern Illinois Irish Festival

By Lisa Batson

The 17th annual Southern Illinois Irish Festival, October 4-6, will feature two days of Celtic Fair activities and an opening night Irish concert in Carbondale. This year's Irish Festival starts on Friday night, October 4, with a concert featuring the traditional music trio “Open the Door for Three”. Their concert in Carbondale will take place at The Loft & Terrace at the Garden Grove Event Center, behind University Mall at 1215 East Walnut (formerly known as Sportsblast). Tickets will be $10 at the door. The concert starts at 8:00 pm and will be outdoors on the terrace if weather permits. The venue offers a full bar for those 21 and older.

This year’s Celtic Fair will take place at Turley Park throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, with two stages of music and dance, Scottish Highland games, an Irish Children’s Village and children's activities, Liam the Extra-Large Leprechaun, the Medieval Combat Society, Saluki dogs, Professor Play, chair massages, a bouncy castle, a bagpipes demonstration tent hosted by Sean Folsom, Celtic merchandise vendors, food and drink, and much more. Saturday hours are 10-6, and Sunday hours are 11-5. Admission at the park entrances will be $5 each day, with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Beer and wine will be sold in special areas.

Saturday’s Celtic Fair performers include “Open the Door for Three”, Carbondale’s Irish band “The Dorians, Johnston City Scottish duo “Roisín Dubh”, dancers and musicians from St. Louis Irish Arts, St. Louis Irish duo “Kevin Buckley & Ian Walsh”, local favorites “Blackberry Blossoms”, and local violinists “Heartstrings”.

Sunday’s performers include “Celtic Roots, American Traditions” lineup includes local favorites “Wil Maring & Robert Bowlin”, “Banjovi”, “The Dorians”, “Roisín Dubh”, “The Voyageurs”, and “After Barbed Wire” (the Farmer’s Market buskers).

More details and updates are available on the Festival website. Look for the full Festival program on newsstands the week of the Festival. Volunteers willing to help out on the Festival weekend should contact Sarah Kroenlein at 618-521-9251.

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