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Monday, March 29, 2010

Boston Irish Tourism Association Announces 2010 Irish Festivals in New England

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has announced the dates of six Irish, Scottish and Celtic festivals taking place in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island this summer. 

The season kicks off with the Worcester Irish Music Festival on June 11-13, and ends with the Irish Heritage Festival in Adams Village, Dorchester, on October 10, 2010.

You can get updated details on the festivals, including bands and schedules, by visiting

June 11-13 (Friday-Sunday)
Worcester Irish Music Festival
Hibernian Center
Worcester, MA

July 17 (Saturday)
Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival
Florence (Northampton), MA

July 17 (Saturday)
Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival
Indian Ranch Performance Center
Webster, MA

September 4-6 (Saturday-Monday)
Newport Waterfront Irish Festival
Newport Yacht Club, RI

September 17-19 (Friday-Sunday)
New Hampshire Highland Games
Loon Mountain
Lincoln, NH

October 10 (Sunday)
Irish Heritage Festival
Adams Corner
Dorchester, MA

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blackstone River Theatre presents Celtic Music Concert on Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shannon & Matt Heaton

The Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI is presenting a Celtic night of music on March 27 featuring Kimberly Fraser & Troy MacGillivray, and Matt & Shannon Heaton.

The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children. 

Fraser and MacGillivray play an exciting brand of Celtic music from their native Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, while the Heatons perform a rich array of Irish traditional music and American folk music.

Blackstone River Theatre
549 Broad Street, Cumberland, RI
401 725-9272

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Massachusetts State Senate President Therese Murray Honored as Irish Person of the Year

The Hillcrest Education Centers named Therese Murray as its Irish Person of the Year in a recent ceremony celebrating St. Patrick's Day season in Massachusetts.  Located in Pittsfield,  Hillcrest Educational Centers Inc provides state-of-the-art residential treatment services to students with behavior disorders.

Murray is Senate President of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and represents the Plymouth & Barnstable District.  She has long been active in Irish-American business and cultural activities throughout the state and has strengthened economic development ties between Ireland and Massachusetts.

To cap off this year's St. Patrick's Day celebrations, Senator Murray was invited to attend the White House St. Patrick's Day reception on the evening of March 17,  hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Actor Gabriel Byrne Appearing at Irish Film Festival Boston, March 25-28, 2010

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne is in Massachusetts this week as an honored guest of the Irish Film Festival Boston, which takes place March 25-28, 2010.  

Byrne is appearing at the Friday evening filming of Gabriel Byrne: Stories from Home at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville.  The film, directed by Pat Collins, gives a revealing insight into the life and creative impulses of Byrne, one of the leading actors of his generation.

Now in its 11th year, the Irish Film Festival Boston has introduced American audiences to a vibrant and rich array of movies, shorts, documentaries and animated films coming out of Ireland, as well as films addressing the Irish Diaspora.  Venues for this year's festival include Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square and Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. 

For a complete schedule of the Irish Film Festival Boston, click here


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Three More St. Patrick's Day Parades in Massachusetts this Weekend

Massachusetts has three more St. Patrick's Day parades scheduled on Sunday, March 21, to round out the holiday celebrations in America's most Irish state.

The 30th annual Abington St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.  The parade was started in 1980 by Abington resident Jack Bailey, who was profiled recently by The Boston Globe.

The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, according to parade organizer Marie Gosselin.  The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reports that the parade will raise food and funds for local food pantries.

The 59th annual Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon on Sunday.  This year's honoree is Dan Rooney, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.  The Springfield Republican is reporting beautiful weather and anticipating large crowds for the parade.

For year round Irish cultural events in the Bay State, visit IrishMassachusetts.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1,000 Best Places in Massachusetts

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Massachusetts is filled with thousands – some would say millions – of great places, and now the state’s tourism office wants to pick the very best.

From Boston to the Berkshires, Cape Cod to the North Shore and everywhere in between, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is seeking nominations for the 1,000 best places in the Commonwealth.

The competition will draw upon the abundance of exceptional historical sites, cultural venues and natural landscapes all over Massachusetts.

According to the guidelines, all of the sites selected must be open and available to the public. The nomination period closes on April 1, 2010 and the winners will be announced in May.

To MOTT has established a website to accept nominations from the public:

Boston Globe Travel Story on Irish Culture in New England

Travel writer Christopher Klein wrote a comprehensive article on Irish cultural offerings throughout the New England states in the Boston Globe's Travel Section on Sunday, March 14, 2010.

Entitled Beyond the Pubs, Painting the Town Green, the story tells travelers and residents where Irish culture is offered year round, like the Hibernian Cultural Center in Worcester and the Blackstone River Theatre in Woonsocket.

And it lists upcoming events such as the Boston Irish Film Festival, which runs from March 25-28 in Cambridge and Somerville as well as the schedule of St. Patrick's Day parades in March.

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

Celtic Crossroads at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on March 17

Mechanics Hall and WICN 90.5 FM Public Radio of Worcester is presenting Celtic Crossroads Live, described as "the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades," on Wednesday, March 17, 2010.

The show abounds with fusions of traditional Irish music, bluegrass, gypsy and jazz while pulsating with the rhythms of exciting Irish dance percussion. See video here.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and you can order them directly at MechanicsHall.

Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street
508 752-0888 / MechanicsHall

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bad Weather Postpones Scituate St. Patrick's Day to March 21

The Scituate St. Patrick's Day parade on the coast of Massachusetts will not take place on Sunday, March 14.  It has been postponed due to the weather, and will instead take place the following Sunday, March 21, at 1:00 p.m.

Ed Kelley, chairman of the parade committee, made the decision on Friday in anticipation of the heavy rain and high winds expected over the weekend.

Two other Irish parades in Massachusetts - the South Boston parade and the Worcester parade - will proceed as planned, according to organizers.

For more details on St. Patrick's Day parades in Massachusetts, click here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cape Cod's Siobhan Magnus a finalist in American Idol

Singing sensation Siobhan Magnus from Marston Mills, Cape Cod, has been winning new fans everywhere as a final contestant on the television hit show, American Idol.

Now in its ninth season, the popular show held live auditions in Massachusetts last summer, and several thousand contestants showed up! Siobhan passed the audition, and got the coveted “Golden Pass” from the judges to appear on the live show.

Since then she has been wooing the judges and live audiences with her powerful singing voice, nailing songs by Stevie Wonder, Chris Isaak, Aretha Franklin and Eric Burdon.

A graduate of Barnstable High School in 2008, Magnus built her musical chops by starring in the school’s musicals directed by John Sullivan, who oversees one of the largest high school theatre programs in the state.

The fourth of six children, Magnus credits her parents with raising her in a musical household and giving her a love of music. She is a glass-blowing apprentice at Morrison Glass Studio in Hyannis, working for Brooks Morrison and also fronts local rock band, Lunar Valve, on the Cape.

(This story first appeared in BITA's Travel & Culture Guide, March 2010)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reagle Players present A Little Bit of Ireland, March 12-14 in Waltham

This annual cabaret of Irish music, dancing and storytelling features Broadway leading lady Sarah Pfisterer, star of Show Boat and The Phantom of the Opera. Other stars include two-time world Irish step dance champion, Liam Harney and the Harney Academy dancers, funnyman Jerry Walker, the impressive Massachusetts Harp Ensemble, and Boston area favorites, Larry Reynolds and Comhaltas, and a lively Reagle Choral of thirty performers.

A Little Bit of Ireland takes place on March 12, 13, 14, 2010 at the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street in Waltham, 20 minutes from downtown Boston.

781-891-5600 | Groups 781-894-2330 | | Buy Tix here

For details on other Irish events in Massachusetts this month, visit IrishMassachusetts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aer Lingus Summer Sale -- Boston to Europe - Book by March 12, 2010

European Summer Sale

from Boston's Logan International Airport

Book by this Friday, March 12, 2010
Travel between July 1 - Aug 22, 2010

From $349 each way Dublin, Shannon

From $349 each way Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester

From $359 each way Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Paris

From $409 each way Faro

For more information, visit Aer Lingus.

For more information on Irish activities in Massachusetts throughout the year, visit IrishMassachusetts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Celtic Music Week at Showcase Live in Foxborough

The Showcase Live at Patriot Place in Foxborough, MA has a great schedule of Irish and Celtic music to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day season.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. (dinner and best seating), with showtime at 8:00 p.m.

March 10
The Celtic Tenors

March 12
The Hothouse Flowers

March 16
Black 47

March 17
Enter the Haggis

Showcase Live
23 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035
508-543-5640 |

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Congressman Delahunt's Travel Promotion Bill is Signed into Law by President Obama

On Thursday, March 4, 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation authored by U.S. Representative Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts to promote global travel to the United States.

"In one broad step, we are boosting the economy while enhancing America's image abroad," Delahunt said. 

He added that the new bill will enhance "the economy on the South Shore and the Cape and Islands, since overseas visitors play a vital role in the health of our region's travel and tourism industry."

The Travel Promotion Act markets the United States as a premier international travel destination.

For full details, click here.

For details on cultural tourism in the Bay State, visit IrishMassachusetts

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

President Barack Obama Declares Irish Heritage Month, March 2010

From long before American independence to today, countless individuals have reached our shores, bringing vibrant cultures and diverse roots, and immeasurably enriching our Nation. This month, we honor the contributions made by the tens of millions of Americans who trace their heritage to the Emerald Isle.

Irish Americans fought for our independence, and their signatures adorn our founding documents. When famine ravaged Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s, many Irish men and women sought a new beginning in the United States. Though they faced poverty and discrimination, these immigrants transformed our cities, served in our Armed Forces, and settled the frontiers of our young Nation. Their children, and succeeding generations of Irish Americans, have preserved their culture's values while becoming leaders in every facet of American life.

During this year's Irish-American Heritage Month, we also celebrate an extraordinary Irishman: Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Throughout his career in public service, Senator Kennedy worked tirelessly to create opportunity for all Americans. His legacy lives on in the legislation he championed, which will bolster and protect the health, education, and civil rights of Americans for generations to come.

Across the Atlantic, the people of Ireland continue to confront their own challenges with resolve and determination. In the face of violence perpetuated by some -- testing a hard-earned peace -- the people of Northern Ireland have responded heroically. Undaunted, they and their leaders persist on the road to peace and prosperity enshrined over a decade ago in the Good Friday Agreement. The United States remains committed to supporting the political process and the work of those who have shown leadership in pursuit of a lasting peace.

Today, the sons and daughters of Erin can look back with pride on their many contributions to the civic and cultural life of America. Like so many of our Nation's ethnic communities, Irish Americans are a people whose hard work and resilience have brought them great opportunity and success, and whose service to our Nation has left it a better place.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim March 2010 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by celebrating the contributions of Irish American to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Massachusetts tourism agency promotes America's Most Irish State

Staking a claim as the most Irish state in America (24%  of residents claims Irish ancestry), Massachusetts celebrates the month of March with parades, celebrations, revelries and events highlighting a rich and cultural heritage.

“Residents and visitors alike can paint the town green for the entire month with events that provide one of the biggest celebrations outside of Dublin.” said Betsy Wall, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel + Tourism (MOTT).

For more details, click here.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) promotes  Massachusetts as a leisure travel destination  For more information about MOTT. visit:MassVacation  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Irish Rockabilly Star Imelda May at Boston's House of Blues, March 6

Imelda May, the Dublin born singer who fronts an American rockabilly band, is coming to Boston’s House of Blues on Saturday, March 6.  She’s on a national tour with jazz singer Jamie Cullum.

May, whose real name is Imelda Clabby, grew up in the Liberties section of inner city Dublin and has been singing for over two decades, mostly touring in Europe.

May recently appeared live on the Grammy Awards television broadcast with guitar great Jeff Beck, singing the song How High the Moon, a tribute to guitar legend Les Paul.

In addition to having a great voice and stage presence, May is an accomplished songwriter too, with hit songs like Johnny Got a Boom Boom, and Falling in Love with You Again. .

For more details on Irish events in Boston, visit IrishMassachusetts.