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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

President John F. Kennedy Born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Mass


President John F. Kennedy was born on Tuesday, May 29, 1917 at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States, elected at age 43, the youngest American president.  He was also the first Catholic president.

You can find out about President Kennedy, his life, his family and his presidency, by visiting John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, located at Columbia Point in Boston. The Library is open year round to the general public.

Kennedy's birthplace in Brookline is a National Historic Site and is also open to the public.

To read more about the Kennedy Family's Irish connections, click here.

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

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com and BostonUSA.com.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Irish Duo Dylan Foley and Brendan Dolan Perform at The Chatham Fiddle Company on Cape Cod this Saturday, May 26

The Chatham Fiddle Company 

Two great traditional Irish musicians - fiddler Dylan Foley and pianist/flutist Brendan Dolan - are performing in concert at The Chatham Fiddle Company in Chatham, Cape Cod, on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.  Suggested donation is $15.00.

The New York-based musicians are part of a new generation of exceptional exponents of traditional Irish music.

The Chatham Fiddle Company, run by Rose Clancy, an instrument maker and Irish fiddler, is located at 875 Main Street in Chatham.  For more information or to reserve tickets for the concert, call  917 416-0139

For more details on Irish music and cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com and CapeCodChamber.org.






Monday, May 21, 2012

In Memoriam: Thomas H. O'Connor, Dean of Boston History


Thomas H. O'Connor, one of Boston's most influential and perceptive historians, died Sunday, May 20, 2012 at his home in Milton, according to a story in The Boston Globe.  He was 89.

Born and raised in South Boston, O'Connor attended Gate of Heaven School, went to Boston Latin, then got degrees in history from Boston College, and his doctorate from Boston University.  He worked at the Boston Public Library before teaching at Boston College.

Professor Emeritus and University Historian at Boston College, O'Connor wrote 20 books and hundreds of scholarly papers on various aspects of Boston, New England and American history.  His book, Bibles, Brahmins and Bosses, published in 1976, opened up a treasure trove of untapped topics, which his subsequent books delved into, including: Fitzpatrick's Boston (1984); South Boston: My Home Town (1988); The Boston Irish: A Political History (1995); Boston Catholics (1998).

O'Connor also wrote extensively about the American Civil War, starting with an influential series of pamphlets entitled The Call to Arms: Massachusetts in the Civil War (1960): followed by books,  Lords of the Loom: Cotton Whigs and the Coming of the Civil War (1968); The Disunited States: The US in the Era of Civil War and Reconstruction (1972); and Civil War Boston: Homefront and Battlefield (1997).

Professor O'Connor was also a gifted chronicler of local celebrations and milestones, such as the 1976 Bi-Centennial Celebrations in Boston; and the Boston Irish Famine Memorial project in 1998.  The Eire Society of Boston gave O'Connor its prestigious Gold Medal Award in 1999.

He was also a generous colleague who read dozens of book manuscripts, always with encouragement and sage advice.  He was beloved by his students, colleagues, and by the Boston Irish community at large.

Rest in Peace, Professor O'Connor. 

Scottish Singer Maureen McMullan Performs with Boston Pops on Tuesday, May 22


Scottish vocalist Maureen McMullan is performing with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall.

The concert, which also includes soloist Alan Oxenhandler, is part of the Visions of America series being presented by the Boston Pops, now in its 127th season.

Tickets to the concert are $22-$92 and can be purchased online or by calling 888 266-1200.

Born and raised in Coatbridge, Scotland, McMullan has performed on the world stage in a variety of genres, including classical, jazz and folk.  She graduated from Berklee College of Music.

For a full schedule of this year's Boston Pops season, click here.

Find year round details on Irish and Scottish cultural activities by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com and BostonUSA.com



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Conan O'Brien Discusses the Art of Comedy at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston on May 24


American comedian and talk show host Conan O'Brien is speaking at the John F. Kennedy President Library to discuss the Art of Comedy on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

It's part of the JFK Library Forum, a public affairs series that fosters public discussion on a wide range of political, historical and cultural topics.

O'Brien, who is on the JFK Library Foundation's Board of Directors, is from Brookline, Massachusetts, where President John F. Kennedy was born and raised.

You can watch a live webcast of O'Brien's talk on May 24, starting at 6:00 p.m. 

For more information about year round lectures, award ceremonies and children's educational activities at JFK Library in Boston, click here.

For ongoing details on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com and BostonUSA.com.







Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mass Convention Staff Supporting Run to Home Base Event at Fenway Park on Sunday, May 20


This Sunday, May 20, 2012, ten runners from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority are joining 3,000 other runners in a race to raise funds for local veterans.

The Run to Home Base race supports the Home Base program at Massachusetts General Hospital, which provides clinical care to military service members, veterans and families who are affected by the “invisible wounds of war” – Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

The race begins and ends at Fenway Park, and provides runners with the chance to run onto the field at the historic ballpark and to cross the finish line at home plate.

The MCCA team has been actively involved in fund raising efforts throughout the year as they work toward reaching their goal of raising $10,000 for local veterans. To support Team MCCA click here.

To run in the Run Home Base event, click here.

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

To find information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com or BostonUSA.com

WorldFest '12 Features Ethnic Festivals Throughout Massachusetts This Summer


Irish fiddler Seamus Connolly

The world is right here in Massachusetts this summer, as the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism issues the 5th consecutive WorldFest '12,  a selection of ethnic cultural festivals taking place throughout the Commonwealth.

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 MOTT, the state tourism agency that compiled the festivals.

Visitors to MOTT's WorldFest '12 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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Irish/Celtic Festivals in New England Season Runs from June through September

Gaelic Storm Fiddler Jessie Burns 
 
A full season of outdoor Irish and Celtic music festivals runs from June through September, 2012, with dozens of great performers coming through New England and Eastern Canada, according to the Boston Irish Tourism Association, a group that promotes Irish and Celtic music year round.

The season kicks off on June 8-10, 2012, when Gaelic Storm opens the Boston Irish Festival at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, and ends with the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain on September 21-23, 2012, featuring Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

Irish traditional band Lunasa, Scottish folk singer Archie Fisher, and Canadian Celtic Rockers Enter the Haggis are just some of the performers appearing at Irish and Celtic festivals in New England and Canada this summer,

View the schedule of festival locations, dates and performers by visiting BITA's Festival Page.  More festivals are being added this spring and summer so check back for more festivals.

New England and eastern Canada have longstanding Irish and Scottish traditions dating back to the 18th century and continue through the present time, and a vibrant ethnic culture displayed through music, dancing and other folk arts. 

For year round details on Irish and cultural activities in these regions, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Burren Pub Holds Fundraiser for Sergio O'Connor on May 20


The Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville, is holding an all-day fundraiser for the medical care of Sergio O'Connor on Sunday, May 20, 2012 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.  

The event includes live music by local traditional Irish musicians, a complimentary buffet, and raffle prizes.

Sergio was born in Ireland on March 5, 2011 with an incomplete oesophagus,which prevents him from eating, drinking and swallowing.  He has been approved to have a life-changing operation at Children's Hospital in Boston. 

Sergio's father Donal O'Connor is a traditional musician in Dublin and has the support of Boston's Irish music community.  The Burren fundraiser was organized by traditional musicians Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fiddler Jenna Moynihan Leading Music Session at Club Passim in Harvard Square on Monday, May 14


Jenna  Moynihan, an excellent fiddler in Cape Breton and Scottish styles, is leading a traditional music session at Club Passim on Monday, May 14, 2012, starting at 7:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public, and musicians are welcomed to sit in.

The session is part of the Celtic Music Series presented by the Boston Celtic Music Fest, a non-profit group showcasing the best music from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic traditions.

Originally from Lakewood, New York, Moynihan is current a student at Berklee College of Music.  She performs with the Folk Arts Quartet and Atlantic Seaways

For upcoming concerts a Club Passim in May and through the whole year, click here.

Find year round details on Irish and Celtic culture by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Irish Singer Cathal Dunne Performs at AOH-Sponsored Concert in Lowell on Saturday, May 12


Irish singer, songwriter, storyteller and comedian Cathal Dunne is performing at the Lodge of Elks Hall on Old Ferry Road in Lowell on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door, or by calling Angus MacDonald at 978-453-8580 or 978-866-6437.  For directions to the Hall, click here.

The concert is sponsored by Massachusetts Division 19 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which is using proceeds for its Scholarship Fund. 

Find year round details on Irish events in Massachusetts and the New England states by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan Performing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH on May 17


Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, one of the most inspirational and talented singers of his generation, is performing in concert at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.  

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a free pair of tickets to give away to this concert.  To enter, go to BITA's Contest Page and fill in the form.  The winner is being notified on May 15, so be sure to check back.

Or, you can order tickets to the concert  online or by calling 603-668-5588.  Tickets range from $24.50 to $59.50.

Tynan first gained an international reputation touring with the renowned group, the Irish Tenors, and his career has soared as a solo artist.  Whether performing the National Anthem at Fenway Park or at the 9/11 Memorial Site in New York City, Tynan is an engaging performer with an incredible voice and stage presence.

For more details on Irish events in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

For travel information, visit New Hampshire Travel & Tourism.


Massachusetts Celebrates Tourism Day at the State House



On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, travel and hospitality leaders from across the Commonwealth gathered at the State House on Beacon Hill in Boston to celebrate Tourism Day in Massachusetts.  The event was part of National Travel& Tourism Week activities taking place across the United States from May 5-13, 2012.

Lt. Governor Tim Murray said in a statement,  "From Pittsfield to Provincetown, the Commonwealth is a compelling and attractive tourism destination...home to extraordinary historical and cultural experiences. There is a wealth of outdoor recreational activities and great family attractions spread across the state’s charming small towns and vibrant cities. There are also stunning landscapes and beaches that stretch along 2,800 miles of coastline.

"To keep tourism as a vital component of the Massachusetts economy, we must continue to invest in compelling, year-round marketing programs targeted at new and repeat visitors from the U.S and international markets," Lt. Murray said.

"Tourism is rebounding and continues to be one of the Commonwealth’s strongest industries,” said Betsy Wall, executive director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). “We are optimistic about the future of this sector, which employs 122,000 Massachusetts residents.”

Among the speakers at Tourism Day were Senator Eileen Donohue and Representative Sarah Peake, co-chairs of the Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee; Wendy Northcross, CEO and Executive Director of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce;  and Greg Bialecki, MA. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. 

Yesterday's event, which was free and open to the public, included a showcase of regional food offerings and marketing programs from all 16 designated tourism councils throughout the Commonwealth.  Among the favorites: cream pie pastries from Omni Parker Hotel's Parker Restaurant in Boston, Murdick's Fudge from Martha's Vineyard, and chocolate chip cookies from Yankee Candle Shop in Deerfield.

Tourism is Massachusetts’third-largest industry and is vital to the Commonwealth’s success and economic recovery, according to MOTT statistics.  In 2010, the tourism industry was responsible for more than 122,000 jobs and direct spending of $15.5 billion, bringing $1 billion in state and local tax revenue to the Commonwealth while paying out $3.5 billion in wages.

For more details on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Opening Night at Boston Pops Features Broadway Star Bernadette Peters on Wednesday, May 9


The  opening night of the Boston Pops 127th season features Broadway singer Bernadette Peters, on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall.  Peters, a two-time Tony Award winner, is joining with conductor Keith Lockhart and the world famous Pops orchestra. 

Tickets to the concert are $41 - $125 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at1 888 260-1200.

Also on the marquee opening night is George Gershwin's "Love is Sweeping the Country set to a montage of photo-historian Joseph Sohm’s winning images. Jazz singer Maggie Scott, a professor at the Berklee College of Music, along with pianist Michael Chertock will perform Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue."

The theme of this year's Boston Pops season is Visions of America, a tribute to the "heart, imagination, and spirit of American musical traditions," according to Lockhart.  


See the full schedule of the Boston Pops season, which runs from May 9 through June 16, 2012. 


Find more cultural activities in greater Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org.  

For information about visiting Boston and Massachusetts, go to BostonUSA.com and MassVacation.com.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Massachusetts Boxer Danny O'Connor Fighting New York's Daniel Sostre at House of Blues in Boston on May 24


Up and coming boxing sensation Danny O'Connor, a native of Framingham, Massachusetts, is heading up a professional fight card at the House of Blues in Boston on Thursday, May 24, 2012.

O'Connor (16-1) will be facing Daniel Sostre (11-5-1) from New York in a ten-round bout.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off a pair of free tickets to attend this event.  To enter to win visit BITA's Contest Page.

Tickets can be purchased for $35, $75 and $125 and can be ordered online.

Proceeds of the night benefit the Claddagh Fund, a non-profit group started by Ken Casey and the Dropkick Murphys to support programs that help children and veterans, and programs that support alcohol and drug rehabilitation in cities and countries around the world.

House of Blues, one of Boston's most popular night clubs, is located at 15 Lansdowne Street, in the shadow of Fenway Park in Boston's Kenmore Square area.  Find a schedule of upcoming events at House of Blues.

To see more more about the Irish community in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

For tourist information, go to MassVacation.com and BostonUSA.com.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Irish Flutist Nuala Kennedy Performing with Her Band at Club Passim on Sunday, May 6


Renowned Irish flute player Nuala Kennedy is performing with her band at Club Passim in Harvard Square in Cambridge on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door.

Kennedy, a native of Dundalk, County Louth, studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland and was influenced by flute legend Cathal McConnell, a founding member of the seminal Scottish/Irish band Boys of the Lough.  She is currently working on her third solo album, Noble Stranger, on the Compass Records label.

For a schedule of upcoming concerts at Club Passim, click here.

Find year round details on Irish music and other cultural activities in greater Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org.


Lunasa, Archie Fisher and Enter the Haggis Performing at Irish and Celtic Festivals in New England and Canada in Summer 2012

Lunasa is Performing at 2012 Lowell Folk Festival
 
Irish traditional band Lunasa, Scottish folk singer Archie Fisher, and Canadian Celtic Rockers Enter the Haggis are just some of the performers appearing at Irish and Celtic festivals in New England and Canada this summer, according to the Boston Irish Tourism Association, a group that promotes Irish and Celtic music year round.

View the schedule of festival locations, dates and performers by visiting BITA's Festival Page. More festivals are being added this spring and summer so check back for details.

New England and eastern Canada have longstanding Irish and Scottish traditions dating back to the 18th century and continue through the present time, and a vibrant ethnic culture displayed through music, dancing and other folk arts. 

For year round details on Irish and cultural activities in these regions, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.




Forbes House Museum in Milton Hosts Famine Commemoration on Sunday, May 6


Photo of USS Jamestown by E.D.Walker, Marine Artist

Two Irish organizations, the Eire Society of Boston and the Charitable Irish Society, along with the Forbes House Museum in Milton, are sponsoring an Irish Famine commemoration event from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2012.

The program starts at Fontbonne Academy in Milton at 2:00 p.m. with a lecture by Professor Maureen Murphy of Hofstra University and Professor Emerita Catherine B. Shannon of Westfield State University. 

Following the lectures, there is a wine and cheese reception at the nearby Forbes House Museum.  Local Irish musicians perform and staff are offering guided tours of the Museum.

Captain Robert Bennet Forbes, a wealthy sea merchant living in Milton, MA, became a humanitarian hero in 1847 when he petitioned the US Congress for the loan of a naval ship - the USS Jamestown - to bring food, medial supplies and other materials to help the victims of the famine in Ireland.

For more about Boston's history and heritage, visit the IrishHeritageTrail.com.

Find year round information on Irish cultural events in the Boston area by visiting IrishBoston.org.



President of Ireland Lays Wreath at Boston's Irish Famine Memorial


Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, laid a wreath at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial at the corner of Washington and School Streets in downtown Boston on Saturday, May 5, 2012.  The ceremony followed a lecture earlier in the day by President Higgins at Faneuil Hall.

The Boston Police Gaelic Pipe and Drum Corps performed at the ceremony. 

Boston's Irish Famine Memorial, headed by Thomas J. Flatley, was unveiled on June 28, 1998, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine, which caused one million people to die and nearly two million to emigrate to cities like Boston, New York, Quebec City and other parts of North America.

For more details on Ireland and the commemoration, visit the Irish Consulate in Boston.

To find Irish cultural activities in greater Boston throughout the year, visit IrishBoston.org.