Search This Blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

Irish Ceili Dancing in the New Year in Worcester and Watertown


Irish ceili dancing gets underway early in the New Year in Massachusetts. Starting on January 3, 2011,  the Hibernian Cultural Center in Worcester offers free dancing lessons for ceili, set dancing, and old time waltzes ever Monday night, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. 

On Sunday, January 23, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann has its semi-monthly ceili dance at the Canadian American Club in Watertown, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m..  Musicians and dancers are invited to attend this session, which features ceili, set and old time watzes.

For year round details on Irish events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Boston


Celebrate New Year's at some of Boston's best Irish pubs and most stylish restaurants owned and operated by the Glynn Hospitality Group.  For tickets, click here.

For more Irish pubs, hotel lounges and restaurants in Massachusetts, visit IrishBoston.org

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cherish The Ladies Perform Irish Christmas Celebration at Blackstone River Theatre on December 17


The world-renowned Irish traditional music ensemble, Cherish the Ladies, is performing its holiday show, An Irish Christmas Celebration, at the Blackstone River Theatre on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the evening of the show.

Led by flutist Joannie Madden, Cherish the Ladies has been one of the world's top Irish traditional bands over the past 25 years, playing for audiences around the world.

For a full schedule of concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, click here.

For year round Irish music in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boston tourism group releases holiday Travel & Culture Guide


The Boston Irish Tourism Association has released its winter issue of Travel & Culture Guide, a selection of cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region.

This issue features profiles of local Irish-Americans Helen Brady of Boston Symphony Hall and Tom Butler of Massport; details on upcoming Christmas concerts; and a preview of St. Patrick's Day activities in 2011. 

Also included are dozens of Irish-American cultural groups, Irish pubs and gift shops as well as hotels, travel agencies, concert venues, hotels, museums throughout Massachusetts.

The Guide is distributed free at local visitor centers on Boston Common and the Prudential Center; at the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Boston City Hall, and Lawrence State Heritage Park. And it is available at the Hibernian Cultural Center in Worcester, the Irish Cultural Center in Chicopee, AOH Hall in Watertown, Sons of Erin Club on Cape Cod, Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI and Boston College's Gaelic Roots program.

BITA is a cultural tourism organization that promotes the state's Irish-American culture, history and heritage year round to the convention and visitors industry.  It has nearly 100 members, and works closely with tourism agencies in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Quebec City, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ireland to promote travel and cultural exchange between these destinations. 

For more details, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Win Tickets to A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Providence and Boston


The Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a pair of tickets to see A Christmas Celtic Sojourn at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence on Thursday, December 16, and at the Emerson Majestic Theatre in Boston on Friday, December 17, 2010.

To enter the contest click here

Now in its 8th year, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn is a journey back to how Christmas was celebrated in rural Ireland, complete with Irish traditional singing, music, dancing and storytelling.

The popular show is hosted by Brian O'Donovan, whose radio program show, A Celtic Sojourn, is on WGBH-FM every Saturday.

 For a full list of performers and show times for A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, click here.

For a complete list of Irish cultural events year round, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Celtic Harpist Patrick Ball Performing at Blackstone River Theatre on November 20


World renowned Celtic harpist Patrick Ball is performing his new solo musical theater piece, The Fine Beauty of the Island, at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the concert.  For more details call 401 725-9272.

The performance tells the story of Ball's journey in search of the origin and meaning of an enchanting tune he heard one night in an Irish bar in San Francisco. This tune led him back not only to a Blasket Island community and culture “whose like will not be seen again,” but to a long-neglected corner of his own past.


For a full schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, click here.

For year round Irish cultural events in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Irish Box Player Joe Derrane Being Honored at Fairfield, CT Concert on November 13


Boston-born accordion player Joe Derrane is being honored by his peers in Irish traditional music at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at the Fairfield Theatre in Fairfield Connecticut.

Among the musical legends slated to play in Derrane's honor: fiddle champion Seamus Connolly, folklorist, author and singer Mick Moloney, flutists Joannie Madden and Seamus Egan, uilleann piper Jerry O'Sullivan, accordion players Billy McComiskey and John Whelan, plus dozens of other great musicians.

Music critic and Irish Echo columnist Earle Hitchner is the Master of Ceremonies. 

Proceeds of the concert benefit the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society in Fairfield, a non-profit group dedicated to teaching and performing Irish music and dance. For tickets call 203 259-7672.

For year round information on Irish music in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and scholar Pierre Clavel discuss City Hall activism during the Reagan Years at Boston University on November 4


Boston University presents a discussion on city hall activism during the Reagan Administration that features author Pierre Clavel of Cornell Univeristy and former Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn

The forum takes place at BU's School of Hospitality Administration, 928 Commonwealth Avenue, in Room 110 at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2010.  It is co-sponsored by BU's Department of Sociology and Dept of Applied Social Sciences, graduate programs in city planning and urban affairs.  For directions click here.

Clavel, a professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University, is author of the newly published book, Activists in City Hall: The Progressive Response to the Reagan Era in Boston and Chicago.

Flynn was mayor of Boston from 1984 to 1993, then was appointed as US Ambassador to the Vatican by the Clinton Administration.  He is author of several books, including a biography of Pope John Paul II.

For more information and to register to attend this event, contact Don Gillis in the Sociology Department at dgillis@bu.edu or 617 358-0653.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Canada’s Top Irish Dancers Performing in Celtic Christmas Show on Prince Edward Island



Christmas Blaze – A Celtic Kitchen Party is opening for the holiday season at the Confederation Center for the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  The show starts on Thursday, November 25 and runs through Saturday, December 18, 2010.

Among the performers is the group Talamh an Eisc, an innovative and exciting dance troupe led by famed Irish dancer and choreographer Shawn Silver of Newfoundland.  Talamh an Eisc, which means “Land of the Fish” in Irish, is a touring dance show that showcases the authenticity and artistry of Irish traditional dance as it has been performed in Newfoundland Labrador for generations.

Christmas Blaze also features some of Atlantic Canada’s leading performers, including fiddle master Stephanie Cadman, singers Catherine O'Brien and Joey Kitson and actor Wade Lynch.  Donald Fraser is musical director.

Silver, who is also artistic director of Idance, Inc., says the show “evokes a time and place steeped in legend, lore and enchantment. It is exactly what a Celtic Christmas show is meant to be: authentic, live, beautiful and moving.”

The show runs Thursdays through Sundays at 8:00 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on select Saturdays.  For more details visit Confederationcentre.com

Tickets range from $20-$35 and can be ordered online or by calling 902 629-1197.

Known as The Gentle Island, Prince Edward Island was named one of the world’s top ten islands by Conde Nast Magazine.  For more information visit TourismPEI.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Foliage is at its Peak in Central Massachusetts for Halloween Weekend

Pumpkin Patch, Central Massachusetts

The beautiful fall colors are moving across the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts and the central part of the state is at its peak this weekend.  Come spend the day snapping photos of beautiful fall scenery.

Central Massachusetts is synonymous with apple & pumpkin picking.   You can find a complete list of "pick your own" farms and orchards can be found at MassGrown.


Be sure to travel along Routes 16, 122 & 140, making stops at the  Blackstone Valley Heritage State Park and Purgatory Chasm as well as driving  through the Quabbin Reservoir State Reservation and across the Windsor Dam. 


Suggested driving route:   Quabbin Reservoir Run

In the next installment of the state's foliage alerts, we'll be moving across the state, along with the color, to highlight Greater Boston and the eastern parts of Massachusetts.

For more tourism information, visit MassVacation.com.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Singer Pauline Wells Headlines Tribute to American Veterans at Wilbur Theater in Boston on November 12


Boston-based Irish-American singer Pauline Wells is leading a musical tribute to American war veterans at the Wilbur Theater in downtown Boston on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Wells is being joined by the Boston Irish band, Devri, the Boston Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, led by Jim Barry, and the Pipes and Drums band of the New York City Police Department's Emerald Society.

Tickets to the show are $30 - $40 and can be ordered online at Ticketmaster.

The show benefits a local charity, Cops for Kids with Cancer.

For year round Irish music in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Novelist Dennis Lehane Speaking at Boston Public Library on November 4


Best-selling author Dennis Lehane is reading from his new book, Moonlight Mile, at the Boston Public Library on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.   The reading, part of the Lowell Lecture Series sponsored by the Lowell Insitute, is free and open to the public.

Born and raised in Dorchester, Boston's largest neighborhood, Lehane is first generation Irish-American whose nine novels explore the grittiness, drama and humanity of Boston neighborhoods.

Moonlight Mile, published by HarperCollilns, is a sequel to Gone, Baby, Gone, and brings back the popular fictional characters Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. 

For a full schedule of lectures at the BPL, click here.

For year round cultural activities in the Boston area, visit IrishBoston.org.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Author Rosemary Herbert's Book Party at Green Briar Irish Pub in Boston on October 18



The Green Briar Pub in Boston's Brighton neighborhood is hosting a book party for local author Rosemary Herbert, who just released her first mystery novel, Front Page Teaser, featuring fictional tabloid reporter Liz Higgins.

The book party - free and open to the public - takes place on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m..  Books will be sold and autographed by the author, and there is live music, free hors d'oeuvres, and a cash bar.

The Briar is a fitting place for a book launch, since some of the story's action takes place at the Irish pub's famous Monday night traditional music session led by ace fiddler Larry Reynolds and members of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann

Front Page Teaser is published by Downeast Books and is available online for $14.95.  Herbert was a long time book review editor of the Boston Herald and an authority on mystery writing.

The late, great mystery writer Robert B. Parker called Hebert "a compelling new voice in crime fiction."

For more Irish cultural events year round in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Irish Film Festival Boston presents screening of A Shine of Rainbows on October 21



Irish Film Festival Boston is presenting a screening of A Shine of Rainbows, a film by Vic Sarin starring Aidan Quinn and Connie Nielson, at the Patriot Cinemas Loring Hall Cinema, 65 Main Street, in Hingham, MA on Thursday, October 21, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $9 and can be ordered online.  The film is rated PG.

For year round Irish events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Irish Singer Paul Brady Performing in Boston area on October 22


Paul Brady, acclaimed singer and songwriter from Northern Ireland, is performing at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

The concert is presented by World Music/CRASH Arts, a non-profit group that brings in the best of world music to the Boston area.  Tickets are $28 and can be ordered online.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is also raffling off a free pair of tickets.  To enter the contest click here.

Brady's beautiful renditions of 19th century Irish ballads like Arthur McBride and Lakes of Pontchartrain have ensured his place as one of the leading interpreters of Irish music in his generation.  And he is also a highly regarded songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by Santana, Bonnie Rait, Tina Turner, and Phil Collins.

For a complete schedule of concerts by WorldMusic/CRASHArts, click here.

For year round Irish music and culture in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Annalivia Performing at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, October 16

One of Boston's newest acoustic ensembles, Annalivia, performs this Saturday, October 16, 2010 at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI.  The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

The band combines an Anglo-Celtic singing and fiddle repertoire with Appalachian and Cape Breton traditions.




For a complete schedule of concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, click here.

For year round Irish and Celtic concerts throughout New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boston Tourism Officials Helping to Win USA Bid for World Cup Soccer Matches in 2018 and 2022


The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is leading the charge to make the United States a host country for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Soccer tournaments, and Boston one of the host cities. 

Here are excerpts from its marketing campaign:
"With just under two months to go before a decision is made on the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup™, Boston needs  you to join us in signing "The Game Is In US" petition to demonstrate that Boston has the most support to bring the FIFA World Cup™ back to the United States and our region.

"The FIFA World Cup™ is the largest sporting event in the world.

"Though Boston is one of the 18 cities to be included in the United States bid, ultimately not all 18 cities will host games if the United States is selected.  Competition to serve as a host city is fierce and we need more signatures to move up on the city leaderboard .

"Whether you are a soccer player, a coach, a fan, or someone that just loves Boston, now is the time to show that the citizens of Boston and New England are passionate about soccer and our destination, and are dedicated to bringing the FIFA World Cup™ back to the U.S. and to Boston. Sign the petition today and encourage everyone you know to do the same, and when the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ is in Boston, declare proudly "THE GAME IS IN BOSTON and I helped make it happen!"

TO SIGN THE PETITION, CLICK HERE.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Paperback edition of Irish Thunder: Life and Times of Micky Ward available October 19 from Globe Pequot Press




Micky Ward came up on the hard streets of Lowell and fought his way up through the ranks of the boxing world, earning a place in history through his three epic duels with fighter Arturo Galli.

Bob Halloran's book, Irish Thunder, the Life and Times of Micky Ward, is coming out in a new paperback edition on October 19 from Globe Pequot Press.

In December, Ward's life will be on the big screen with the release of The Fighter, staring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.



Since hanging up the gloves, Micky Ward is now training other young fighters and also has a charitable organization to help children and their families.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Brings his Irish Swagger Back to Boston



The first-year coach of the University of Notre Dame Irish football team, Brian Kelly, has returned to his Boston Irish-American beginnings this weekend as his team takes on the Boston College Eagles.

Born in Everett, Mass, Kelly grew up in Chelsea, a working class city bordering Boston, and spent his formative years in the Bay State. His father, Paul Kelly Sr, served as an alderman on the Chelsea City Council.

After attending St. John's Prep School in Davners, MA, Kelly attended Assumption College in Worcester, where he played football and became a three-year defensive coordinator for the team upon graduating in 1983. He's been a football coach since then, working his way around the country and leading the University of Cincinnati football program to a 34-6 record from 2007-09.

Kelly has been described as "a winner everywhere he goes" in a profile published by the Worcester Telegram. 

In an interview with ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach, Kelly described a painting hanging in his office entitled The Original Fighting Irish:

"You don't see faces.  You see blue-collar.  You see a bit of a swagger.  You see toughness.  Growing up as an Irish Catholic in Boston, that's what I remember Notre Dame being.  That's been one of our goals every day - to get that fight back in the Fighting Irish.  It's good because that's who I am anyway."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Celtic Thunder - Irish Singing Group - Performing in New England Venues October 3-9




The popular Irish vocal group Celtic Thunder, a perennial star of Public Television, is performing in New England concert venues next week, as part of a 70-show North American tour.

The group is playing in Hartford, CT (October 3), Manchester, NH (October 4), Springfield, MA (October 6) and Boston, MA (October 9) before heading west across the United States. 

The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) is raffling off free tickets to the shows in Manchester, Springfield and Boston!  To enter the contest, click here.  BITA will notify winners directly and also post results on the web site so be sure to check back.

Celtic Thunder is on the Decca Record Group label and is hailed as Billboard's Top World Music Artists, with over 600,000 recordings sold.

For year round Irish music in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Massachusetts Irish Group Commemorates Irish Famine Ship - Brig St. John - that Sank off Cohasset Coast in 1849




Local Irish-Americans are commemorating the 161st anniversary of the Brig St. John tragedy this Sunday, October 3, in Cohasset, Massachusetts.

The annual ceremony is organized by Division 9 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  It begins with a Catholic mass at 1:00 p.m. at St. Anthony's Church, 129 Main Street, in Cohasset, followed by a laying of a wreath at Cohasset Central Cemetery and a reception at the parish hall.

The Brig St. John was travelling with 104 passengers and 16 sailors from Galway to Boston Harbor on October 6, 1849, when it encountered a nor'easter that was wrecking havoc along the coast.  The storm pushed the boat south as the Brig tried unsuccessfully to anchor near Minot Light. 

As hundreds of people watched horrified from the shoreline, the ship was swamped by a 50-foot wave and it crashed against the rocks of Grampus Ledge.  Of the 120 people on board, only eleven survived.  Forty-five bodies were recovered from the ocean, and were buried at Central Cemetery.

In 1914 the AOH erected a 19 foot Celtic Cross at the gravesite, where the wreath-laying ceremony takes place.

Local author Paul A. Fiori has written a book on the tragedy entitled On Grampus Ledge: The Wreck of the Brig St. John on October 7, 1849.

For more information on this event, please call Dr. Bill O'Connell at 781 585-8181.

For year round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.  For details on other Irish landmarks, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

US-Ireland Alliance Celebrates 10th anniversary of George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program


The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, an innovative education initiative that sends top American students to Ireland and Northern Ireland for a year of intensive study, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The program was created by Trina Vargo, founder of the US-Ireland Alliance and a former staffer to the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  It is named in honor of former US Senator George Mitchell, who spearheaded the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland during the Clinton Administration. 

Modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship program that has selected generations of bright American students to study in the UK, the Mitchell program has already sent 120 students to Ireland.  "An average of 300 Americans apply each year for up to twelve scholarships, making it extremely competitive," Vargo said in a recent article in Global Post by Conor O'Clery.

For more details on the Mitchell Scholarship, including an assessment of the first ten years, click here.

The deadline for applying for the 2012 class of Mitchel Scholars is October 5, 2010.  For more information, including an online application, click here.

For a full look at the US-Ireland Alliance and its work in business, public service and the arts, visit its web site.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Northern Ireland is Showcased at Grand Central Station in New York City, September 27-30


Tourism Ireland, the tourism agency representing Ireland's thirty-two counties here in North America,  is showcasing Northern Ireland this week at Grand Central Station in New York City.

The week-long promotion - entitled Northern Ireland - Ready to Discover - is designed to alert Americans to "the natural beauty, rich culture, complex history and lively cities" of Northern Ireland.

There's a daily schedule of activities at Grand Central Station, including Irish music and dance performances, theatre, culinary demonstrations, films, and presentations on the famous cruise ship Titanic, which was built in Belfast.

And travel agents are on hand to answer questions about planning a trip to Northern Ireland this year. 

If you can't make it to New York City for the show, here are two American-based travel companies we highly recommend: Inroads Ireland has Go North itineraries that are off the beaten track, and Isle Inn Tours has independent vacation plans for intrepid travelers.

For complete information on visiting Ireland, visit DiscoverIreland.us.  

For year round information on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill Performing at Berklee College of Music in Boston on October 9


County Clare fiddle player Martin Hayes and Chicago guitarist Dennis Cahill are performing two concerts at the Berklee College of Music on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tickets to the 9:30 show.  To enter the contest click here.

Tickets to the show are $30 and you can order them online from Ticketmaster.

The concert takes place at David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, in Boston's Back Bay.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Historian David McCullough is Recipient of 2011 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Award in Holyoke


American historian David McCullough has been awarded the 2011 John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Award which is given out annually each March by the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade committee in western Massachusetts.

The prestigious award was first bestowed on John F. Kennedy in 1958, and later named in his honor.  Other recipients over the years include Cardinal Richard Cushing, House Speaker Congressman John McCormack, actress Maureen O'Hara, philantrophist Thomas J. Flatley, Congressman Richard E. Neal , Senator Ted Kennedy, and Raymond L. Flynn, former Mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican. 

The March 2010 recipient was Dan Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland and owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 McCullough, a native of Pittsburgh of Scots-Irish descent who now lives in Massachusetts, is a two-time winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and has been called a "master of the art of narrative history."

His most recent book, 1776, has sold over 3 million copies.  His previous work, John Adams, is one of the most widely-read American biographies of all time, and was made into a seven-part mini-series on HBO in 2008.

In accepting the award, McCullough wrote "what an honor, and how thrilled I am, not to say my whole family," to accept the invitation.

For a list of parades in Massachusetts and New England each March, click here.

For year round Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Hampshire Highland Games - a festival of Celtic Culture - opens in Loon Mountain, NH, September 17-19




The 35th annual New Hampshire Highland Games gets underway this weekend in Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire, from Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19, 2010.

The festival is a pride-filled gathering of Scottish musicians, dancers, pipers, athletes and artisans, with over 60 Scottish clans and societies in attendance.  There is continuous music, as well as athletic games, bagpipe bands and fiddle competitions. 

Among the performers this year: fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, the Brigadoons, harpist Maeve Gilchrist, and the Skara Brae Dancers.  For a full schedule of events, click here.

According to the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development, the Highland gathering is New England's largest Celtic Festival. 

For year round information on Irish and Scottish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mass Tourism Agency Launches Fall Foliage Web Site to Track Brilliant Colors

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has launched a handy new fall foliage web page that lets visitors find peak foliage dates, optimal driving routes and seasonal events across the state from September through early November.

Sample driving routes include the Mohawk Trail in western Mass, Quabbin Reservoir Run in Central Mass, By Land & By Sea tour North of Boston, the Minuteman Trail in greater Boston, the Cranberry Course on the South Shore, the Southern Pass in the New Bedford/Fall River area, and the Cape Codder, covering Cape Cape.

The driving routes are integrated with a series of fall events, including outdoor festivals, harvest activities, Halloween activities, cultural events, heritage tours and more.

MOTT Executive Director Betsy Wall said that " Fall in Massachusetts is spectacular and shouldn't be missed."

Visitors can sign up to the Fall Foliage email alert to receive updated information on the foliage schedule and events happening on any given day.

For more information on year round travel opportunities in Massachusetts, visit MassVacation.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bus Stop opens at the Huntington Theatre in Boston on Friday, September 17



The Huntington Theatre Company kicks off its 2010-2011 season with William Inge's great American comedy Bus Stop, which opens on September 17 and runs through October 17, 2010.

A snowstorm strands a bus outside of Kansas City, causing its passengers to seek shelter at a roadside diner.  The evening is filled with bluster, heartache, laughter and the search for love.  The play was adapted into a film starring Marilyn Monroe.

The Wall Street Journal called playwright William Inge "one of this country'shalf-dozen greatest playwrights."

After the performance on Friday, the Huntington Theatre is hosting its popular "35 Below" wrap party, featuring local indie/rock band Mean Creek.

To purchase tickets online to Bus Stop, click here.

For a full schedule of the Huntington Theatre Company, click here.

For year round cultural events in great Boston, visit IrishBoston.org.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tenor John McDermott Headlines Irish Music Festival in Massachusetts



Famous Irish tenor John McDermott is capping off a three-day Irish Music Festival at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, on Sunday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $40.00 and can be ordered online.  You can also enter to win a free pair of tickets by visiting the Boston Irish Tourism Association.

The legendary singer, who lives in Toronto, first came to prominence as a member of the famed Irish Tenors, and since then has had an equally acclaimed career as a master interpretor of classic Irish melodies as well as American patriotic songs. 

McDermott's show caps an exciting three-day Irish music festival at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury Beach, a colorful seaside resort north of Boston.  

The Blue Ocean Music Hall opened in November 2009 and has quickly become one of the premier concert venues on Boston's North Shore. For directions, click here.

Blue Ocean Music Hall
4 Oceanfront North
Salisbury, MA 01952
978 462-5888
info@blueoceanhall.com

For year-round information on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blue Ocean Music Hall Brings Black 47 to Salisbury Beach on Saturday, September 18


Irish punk rockers Black 47 make a special appearance at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts on Saturday, September 18, as part of a three-day Irish Music Festival taking place from September 17-19, 2010.

The band, led by Larry Kirwan, gives a hard-driving, working-class edge to traditional Irish tunes as well as original compositions.

Tickets to the 8:00 p.m. show are $20 and can be ordered online.

You can also enter to win a free pair of tickets by visiting the Boston Irish Tourism Association.

The Blue Ocean Music Hall opened in November 2009 and has quickly become one of the premier concert venues on Boston's North Shore. For directions, click here.

Blue Ocean Music Hall
4 Oceanfront North
Salisbury, MA 01952
978 462-5888
info@blueoceanhall.com

For year-round information on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eileen Ivers Kicks off Three-Day Irish Music Festival in Salisbury Beach on September 17



The Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts is hosting a three day celebration of Irish music on September 17, 18, 19, 2010.

The "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day" festivities get off to a great start on Friday, September 17, with international fiddle star Eileen Ivers and her band Immigrant Soul.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Ivers is an All-Ireland fiddle champion and musical star of the hit dance phenomenon Riverdance.  Her band matches her virtuosity and energy by incorporating traditional Irish music with strains of world music, rock, blues, jazz and folk music.

Tickets to the 8:00 p.m.show are $30 and can be ordered online

You can also enter to win a free pair of tickets by vsiting the Boston Irish Tourism Association.

Ivers is followed on Saturday, September 18 by Celtic punk rockers Black 47, and on Sunday, September 19 by Irish tenor John McDermott.

The Blue Ocean Music Hall opened in November 2009 and has quickly become one of the premier concert venues on Boston's North Shore. For directions, click here.

Blue Ocean Music Hall
4 Oceanfront North
Salisbury, MA 01952
978 462-5888
info@blueoceanhall.com

For year-round information on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burren Pub Hosts 5K Road Race and Music Fest to Benefit MS, September 12


The Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville is having a road race followed by a music festival this Sunday, September 12, starting at 11:30 a.m.

The 5K race around Somerville  will raise needed funds for research and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.  The fee is $25.00, and you can register for the race online.

Following the race, check out the outdoor music festival at the Burren, featuring face painting, outdoor bar, food and music by the Dave Foley Band,  Red Square, and Scattershot.  The ten dollar fee goes to the National Multiple Schlerosis Society.

One of America's most famous traditional Irish music pubs, the Burren features live traditional music seven nights a week.  The pub was started in 1995 by musicians Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costelloe.

For year round details on Irish events, pubs, gift shops and cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Win Tickets to Great Big Sea's Boston Performance on September 17



The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off three pairs of tickets to see Great Big Sea perform live at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Boston on Friday, September 17, at 8:00 p.m. 

To enter your name in the contest click here.

Since forming 18 years ago in the pubs of St. John's, Newfoundland, the Celtic folk rock ensemble has played in concert halls around the world.   The band combines original songs and compositions with the folk music of Newfoundland, which is itself rooted in Irish and Scottish traditional music and sea shanties.

You can also purchase tickets to the show, ranging from $24.50 to $33.40,  by visiting Ticketmaster.  The concert is presented by LiveNation

For a complete list of shows at the Orpheum Theatre, click here.

For year round details on music and cultural activities throughout the New England states, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bennington Irish Festival Kicks off this Weekend



Seamus Connolly

An international cast of Irish musicians and dancers take the stage this weekend at the 1st annual Bennington Irish Festival in Vermont.  The two-day festival runs Saturday and Sunday, September 4-5, and features over 30 hours of top-shelf Irish traditional music, ballad singing and Celtic rock.

Ten-time All Ireland fiddle player Seamus Connolly, uilleann piping master Jerry O'Sullivan, Nashville singing star Maura O'Connell and the McPeake Family from Belfast are just some of the artists performing.  For a full schedule of performances and activities click here.

Tickets to the show are $30 per day or $50 for a two-day pass.  The festival runs from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. both days.  The festivities take place at Colgate Park, a beautiful outdoor facilites nestled in the beautful hills of Vermont.

The festival also offers an array of cultural displays, children's activities, dance and instrument workshops, as well as vendors, food courts and nearby lodging.

For more information, visit BenningtonIrishmusicfestival.com or call 802 447-3900.

For year round information on Irish cultural events in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newport Irish Festival Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend in Rhode Island


The 13th annual Newport Irish Festival takes place this Labor Day weekend, September 4-6, at Commerical Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island.

Featured artists this year include Eileen Ivers, the powerful fiddle player from the Bronx who has redefined Irish fiddling in her generation; Shana Morrison, blues singer and daughter of Van Morrison; and local favorites,Pendragon.  For a full schedule of performers, click here.

The festival features five stages and an array of exhibitions, cultural tents, food pavilions and children's activities throughout the weekend.  The festival opens at noon each day. Tickets are $17 per day or $35 for a three day pass, and are available online or at the gate.

The festival is located at the Newport Yachting Center in downtown Newport, with easy access to major highways.  For directions click here.

For year round Irish cultural activities in New England, visit IrishBoston.org.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Natalie MacMaster, Cape Breton Fiddle Master, Performs at Lowell Summer Music Series on Saturday, August 28


Virtuoso fiddler Natalie MacMaster is performing at the Lowell Summer Music Series this Saturday, August 28, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.   Tickets are $21 in advance and are available online, or $25 the day of the concert.

The Cape Breton maestro has electrified audiences around the world with her passion and proficiency during live performances.  She authentically interprets the traditions of Cape Breton fiddling while adding a contemporary flair to the jigs, reels and hornpipes of her beloved music.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off a pair of free tickets to see the show.  To enter the contest, click here.  Winners will be announced on Thursday, August 26 online.

The concert takes place at Boarding House Park, 40 French Street, in Lowell, a beautiful outdoor concert venue in the heart of the city.

For a full schedule of concerts in the Lowell Summer Music Series, click here.

For year round music and cultural events in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bennington Irish Festival Features Top Irish Musicians on Labor Day Weekend


The 1st annual Bennington Irish Festival in Vermont  is featuring an all-star line-up of Irish musicians and singers.  The festival takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 4-5, at Colgate Park, a beautiful concert venue in Bennington.

Among the top performers: Irish singer and Nashville recording artist Maura O'Connell, Irish traditional music masters Seamus Connolly (fiddle) and Jerry O'Sullivan (uilleann pipes), NYC Irish punk rockers Black 47, the Young Dubliners from Los Angeles, the McPeake Family from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Irish singer Shana Morrison.

Tickets are $30 each day, or $50 for a two-day pass, and can be ordered online. Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. both days.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering a chance to win a free pair of tickets to the festival.  To enter the contest, click here.

For full details on the Bennington Irish Festival, click here.

For year-round Irish cultural events in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saw Doctors Return to Cape Cod Melody Tent on Friday, August 13




The rollicking Irish rock band, the Saw Doctors, return to the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, Massachusetts this Friday night, August 13, at 8:00 p.m.

The band originated in Tuam, County Galway and has been entertaining audiences ever since with its high energy performances.   And according to band member Davy Carton, the Melody Tent is the group's favorite place to play in America.

"We really love it.  We play on a revolving state, it can almost be overwhelming.  You really need to be at the top of your game to play down there," Carton tells the Irish Emigrant newspaper.

For a full schedule of concerts at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, click here.

For year round Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan Performs in Massachusetts on August 6 & 7


Ronan Tynan, acclaimed Irish tenor, is performing this weekend at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis,  Cape Cod on Friday, August 6, and the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset on Saturday, August 7, 2010.

A member of the legendary group, the Irish Tenors, Tynan has enjoyed a successful solo career in past years, performing at concert venues around the world - and at baseball stadiums such as Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.  

Tickets to the Melody Tent can be ordered online or by calling 508 775-5630.

Tickets to the South Shore Music Circus can be ordered online or by calling 781 383-9850.

For details on year round music by Irish performers, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Follow JFK's historic 1960 presidential race on Twitter



The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston is marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's historic 1960 campaign on Twitter.

Library officials are posting daily tweets that capture the day-to-day rigors of the campaign trail.

The JFK Library is also hosting a series of exhibits, educational events and public forums to commemorate one of America's most significant political campaigns.

For more details on President Kennedy's historical campaign, click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cape Cod Irish SummerFest Takes Place on Tuesday, July 27 at Melody Tent in Hyannis


Aoife Clancy

The first annual  Cape Cod Irish SummerFest  takes place today, July 27 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, in Hyannis, from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for the full day, including the evening concert, or $10 for the day (no evening concert), and children's day passes are $5.  These can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 508 775-5630.   Tickets can also be purchased at the gate.

The festival is sponsored by the Sons of Erin Cape Cod, a year-round Irish organization in Yarmouth that promotes Irish culture and heritage, and the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Parade, which takes place each year in March to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Among the Irish performers at the Cape Cod Irish SummerFest: Aoife Clancy, the Screaming Orphans and McPeake, as well as gift vendors, cultural displays and food courts. 

For a full schedule of events at the Melody Tent, click here.

For year-round Irish events throughout New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

8th annual Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival Taking Place at Indian Ranch on Saturday, July 17



(Boston) - A spectacle of Irish and Scottish music, dance, culture and fun is about to get underway at the 8th annual Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival at Indian Ranch in Webster Massachusetts.  

The festival takes place on Saturday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and features a great line-up of Celtic music. 

Performers include Fiddlers 3, Fergus, the Gobshites and Jug O'Punch.  Also appearing: the McInerney School of Irish Step Dancing, and the Worcester Fire Brigade Pipes & Drums.

In addition to great music and dance, the all-day festival includes children's activities and entertainment, traditional food and fare, and the infamous Men in Kilts contest.  There is also a Celtic Nations Pavilion and Pub on site.

The festival is located on beautiful Webster Lake, where swimming is available all day with a lifeguard on duty.

Ticket information: General admission is $15.  Seniors pay $12 and children ages five-eleven pay $5.

Accommodations: Hotels and a campground are conveniently located near the festival grounds.

For more information about the Blackstone River Valley, visit the Chamber of Commerce website.

For details on vacationing in Massachusetts, visit Massvacation.com.

For year round Irish cultural events in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Boston Irish Heritage Trail Among the Top 1,000 Places in Massachusetts




This week the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism released its list of  1,000 Great Places, which includes the Boston Irish Heritage Trail and several other Irish landmarks throughout the state.

The Great Places initiative was launched last fall, and accepted nominations from residents of  Massachusetts as well as visitors from around the world who have been to the Bay State.

Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, said,  "There are so many wonderful and exciting places to explore in Massachusetts.  The list of 1000 great places gives visitors the opportunity to see the variety and richness the Commonwealth has to offer."

Many of the stops along the Irish Heritage Trail are on the list, including: the Granary Burying Ground,  the Massachusetts State House, Fenway Park, Bunker Hill Monument and Dorchester Heights. 

Another landmark of interest to Irish Americans is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, the official library for the papers of President John F. Kennedy.  The library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of JFK's historic 1960 campaign this year.

Other places include the Hibernian Cultural Centre in Worcester, a year round gathering spot for Irish-Americans in Central Massachusetts, and home to the annual Worcester Irish Festival each June; St. Mary's Cemetery  in Milford, home of the famous Irish Round Tower and burying place for many 19th century Irish immigrants; the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton and the Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum in Scituate.

Popular landmarks like the Eire Pub in Dorchester and Doyle’s CafĂ© in Jamaica Plain are included, as well as two famous eating establishments: Sullivan’s at Castle Island, South Boston, and Kelly’s Roast Beef at Revere Beach.

Other sites of interest include the Omni Parker House in Boston, the nation’s oldest hotel, where Irish pols like James Michael Curley and the Kennedy family held their political rallies and strategy meetings, and were JFK proposed to Jackie Bouvier in the Parker Restaurant.

To order a copy of the Irish Heritage Trail, click here.

For information on year round Irish cultural activities, visit IrishMassachusetts.com

To find out more about vacationing in Massachusetts, visit MassVacation.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Boston Irish group releases summer 2010 Travel & Culture Guide




The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has released its annual Travel & Culture Guide, a 24-page compendium of outdoor festivals, concerts, theater and cultural activities taking place in Massachusetts from June through October.

The Guide is available for free at tourism centers, museums, hotels and cultural venues across the state.  For a list of outlets, click here

The Guide includes stories on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Boston Irish Heritage Trail, and travel stories on Ireland and the Canadian Maritimes.

For year-round information on cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit IrishBoston.org.

For details on vacationing in Massachusetts, contact the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Worcester Irish Festival this weekend, June 11-13 in Central Massachusetts




New England's Irish festival season - which runs from June through October - kicks off this weekend with the annual Worcester Irish Festival in  Central Massachusetts, from Friday, June 11 to Sunday, June 13 at the Hibernian Cultural Center.

The festival has quickly become a must-go event for the region's substantial Irish-American community, and attracts people from the six New England states, and the New York metro area.

Headlining this year's festival is Solas, a traditional quintet praised for its innovation and virtuosity, interpreting traditional dance melodies with an avant-garde sensibility.

Other headliners include Makem & Spain Brothers who are carrying on the great tradition of Irish ballad singing perfected by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. 

From Canada comes the Glengarry Bhoys with their fusion of tradition, rock, folk and jazz, and Cynthia MacLeod, the fine young fiddler from Prince Edward Island.

Tickets to the festival are $15 for one day and $30 for a weekend pass, and can be purchased at the gate.

The festival is located on the grounds of the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre at 19 Temple Street in downtown Worcester. 

For year-round events at the Hibernian Cultural Centre, visit socialweb.net/

For other Irish and Celtic festivals in New England, visit irishmassachusetts.com/festivals.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Massachusetts offers a world of ethnic festivals this summer


Massachusetts invites visitors to experience world culture at the 3rd consecutive WorldFest '10,  a selection of ethnic cultural festivals taking place throughout the Commonwealth this summer.

The events - ranging from Irish, Greek and Scandinavian to Chinese, Caribbean and Cape Verdean festivities -  celebrates "the world that exists in our backyard," says Betsy Wall, executive director of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT), the state tourism agency that compiled the festivals along with the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Visitors to MOTT's WorldFest '10 website can search for ethnic festivals by name, date or region, finding dozens of festivities that bring a whole new meaning to Massachusetts as a world destination.

For details on Irish and Celtic activities in the Commonwealth, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dave Burke - a Great Irish American Leader



Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of David R. Burke, an Irish-American leader from Lawrence, Massachusetts, who passed away a year ago today.

Dave worked tirelessly with the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other organizations throughout his life on behalf of Northern Ireland and a whole range of Irish-American issues. 

He started the Irish Foundation of Lawrence to help build an impressive Irish Collection of valuable books, periodicals and memorabilia at the Lawrence Public Library.

And he led the initiative with the AOH Lawrence Division to place a Memorial in honor of the 19th century Irish Famine victims at St. Mary's Cemetery in Lawrence.

We'll always have respect and gratitude for the wonderful work Dave Burke did in his lifetime.  From all of us in the Massachusetts Irish community, thank you Dave.

IrishMassachusetts.com

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tourism Officials Release Schedule of Activities for Memorial Day Weekend in Massachusetts



The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has released an exciting schedule of activities taking place throughout the Commonwealth over Memorial Day Weekend.

The schedule includes dozens of parades, commemorations and memorial services as well as shopping sales, history and heritage events and outdoor festivals. 

There are 36 Memorial Day parades taking place in cities and towns across the Commonwealth, as residents pay tribute to the armed services and also celebrate the arrival of spring.

In addition to Memorial Day activities, MOTT is offering a Mass99 coupon that includes dozens of $99 Fun Packages for families this summer in Massachusetts.   They include kayaking trips on the Cape, whale watching in Gloucester, golfing in Northborough, and taking a cruise in Boston Harbor.  Click here for a complete list.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

South Boston Public Library presents Civil War scholar Christian Samito on May 24


Author Christian G. Samito appears at the South Boston Public Library on Monday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss his book, Become American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans and the Politics of Citizenship during the Civil War Era, published in 2009 by Cornell University Press.

The book describes how Irish-Americans and African-Americans influenced the modern vision of national citizenship during the Civil War era through their loyalty and patriotism.

Mr. Samito has also written extensively on the celebrated Civil War unit, the Massachusetts 9th Regiment, comprised largely of Irish immigrant soldiers and led by Boston's Colonel Thomas Cass.

The reading is sponsored by the South Boston Historical Society and the Friends of the South Boston branch of the Boston Public Library.  It is free to the public and refreshments are being served.

South Boston Public Library
646 Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127
617 268-0180

For details on the Irish community throughout Massachusetts, visit IrishBoston.org.