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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Celebrate New Year's Eve at the Black Rose Pub in Boston

The world-famous Black Rose Pub in Boston is offering a New Year's Eve Dinner on Saturday, December 31, 2011 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.   The $60 cost includes a three-course dinner, two drinks and a Guinness toast at midnight!

Plus. there is a full schedule of live Irish music starting in the afternoon at 4:00 p.m., and featuring Jim Coyle, Celtic Clan and Sunday's Well.

Owned and operated by the Glynn Hospitality Group, the Black Rose is celebrating its 35th anniversary as one of Boston's favorite watering holes.

For New Year's Eve celebrations at other pubs and restaurants, click here

For year round Irish activities in greater Boston visit

For tourist information visit

Kennedy Library in Boston presents a free performance by the Catskills Puppet Theatre on Wednesday, December 28

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston is presenting the Catskills Puppet Theatre's production of The Willow Girl on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Suitable for children five years old and up, the event is free and open to the public but reservations are required.  Register online or call 617 514-1644.

The Willow Girl is about a young Chinese girl who immigrates to the American frontier, where she faces discrimination in a swirl of other immigrants and cultures. The performance features an animated giant willow tree and blends humor, mystery, drama, and magical effects.

For a schedule of other Celebrate! Events activities at the JFK Library, click here.

For cultural activities taking place year round in Massachusetts, visit

For tourist information visit and

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boston's Irish Music School Announces Online Registration for Winter/Spring Courses

Boston's School of Traditional Irish Music, run by the group Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, is now taking online registration for the winter/spring 2012 classes.

Registration ends on Saturday, January 14, 2012, and classes run from Saturday, January 28 through April 28, 2012.  For more information about the school, including class times, location and more, click here.

Weekly classes are offered Saturdays during the term in Fiddle, Flute, Whistle, Anglo Concertina, Button Accordion, Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Guitar, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin, Singing and Bodhrán.

Instructors in the school include some of the region's best traditional musicians, including fiddler Tina Lech, flutist Shannon Heaton and guitarist Matt Heaton, button accordionist Mike Reynolds, and bodhran and bones player Steve Brown. See a full list of faculty.

For a recent story about the 60th anniversary Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, click here.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

For tourist information visit

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prodigals Performing at Four Green Fields in Boston on New Year's Eve

The Prodigals are ringing in the New Year in Boston this year at the Four Green Fields Pub in Downtown Boston.  The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and includes a champagne toast at midnight.

Four Green Fields is also offering a New Year's Eve special Prime Rib Dinner, including salad, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, baked or mashed potato and desert for $49.95.  The price includes reserved seating for the show. For reservations call 617 367-IRISH.

You can also follow Four Green Fields on Facebook.

For year-round Irish activities in greater Boston, visit

50 Winter Adventures in Massachusetts under $50

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has issued a list of 50 winter adventures under $50 for couples or a family of four.  With twelve ski resorts and hundreds of skating ponds, ice skating rinks and cross-country trails, plus museums, shopping outlets, and holiday events, Massachusetts is the place to be this winter. 

For a full schedule of winter events in Massachusetts this winter, click here.

For information about year round visits to Massachusetts, visit

Last Minute Shopping: Wexford House Irish Gift Shop near Worcester

  Jewelry by Celtic Artist Keith Jack

9 Crescent Street, West Boylston, (Worcester) MA 01583
1 800 807 6677 | 508 835-6677
Owner Kathryn Trow has amassed an exquisite inventory of Irish clothing, pottery, china and crystal and jewelry by famed artists like Keith Jack and others.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hibernians Christmas Party at Fiddler's Green in Worcester on December 17

The Worcester Hibernian Cultural Center is holding its annual Potluck Christmas Party on Saturday, December 17, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.  It is sponsored by the AOH/ Ladies AOH.

The event is free but guests are encouraged to bring their favorite dish or desert.

Entertainment features Irish singer Terry Brennan in the Center as well as Karoke with Outrageous Greg in Fiddler's Green Pub.

For a schedule of upcoming activities at the Cultural Center/ Fiddler's Green, click here.

For year round Irish activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit

Charles Dickens Performance at the Omni Parker House on Sunday afternoon, December 18

The historic Omni Parker House in downtown Boston hosts a dramatic performance of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol on Sunday, December 18, 2011 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

Actor Al LePage brings this classic tale to life in the very hotel where Dickens himself first read his story in America. He plays 26 different characters, including Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

Tickets to the show are $18.67 and can be purchased online

Opened in 1855, the Omni Park House is America's oldest continuously operating hotel.  It's located at 60 School Street, at the corner of Tremont Street, in historic downtown Boston.

For more cultural activities in greater Boston this holiday season, visit IrishBoston/ChristmasMusic.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown Introduces Irish Immigration Fairness Bill in Congress

US Senators Scott Brown (R-MA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have introduced the Irish Immigration Reform and Encouragement (IRE) Act of 2011, which adds the Republic of Ireland to the E-3 visa program, providing 10,500 employment visas that have no limit on the number of renewals allowed.

“Legal immigration is the foundation of America, and we must continue to find ways to improve our visa and green card programs, especially when it comes to the treatment of our strongest allies and closest friends,” said Senator Brown.

For more about the Irish community in Massachusetts, visit

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Irish Harpist Aine Minogue and Fiddler Brendan Bulger Performing in Concert on December 17

Irish harpist, singer and composer Aine Minogue and All-Ireland fiddle champion  Brendan Bulger are performing a concert entitled "To Warm the Winter's Night" on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at the Common Fence Point Community Hall in Portsmouth, RI, at 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.).

Tickets to the concert are $20 in advance and can be purchased online, or $23 the day of the show at the hall.

The concert is part of Common Fence Music's "Picnic Series," where the audience is encouraged to bring a picnic basket of food to the concert; there are also home made soups, deserts and beverages for sale from the kitchen.  For directions to the hall click here

For other Irish concerts in Massachusetts and the New England states this Christmas season visit

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elegant Irish Cooking, the ultimate Irish cookbook by the late master chef, Noel Cullen

Ten years after it was first published in 2001, Elegant Irish Cooking by the late Noel Cullen is still a classic cookbook on traditional and contemporary Irish cuisine.

Considered one of Ireland's great master chefs, Chef Cullen was a faculty member at Boston University School of Hospitality for over a decade, and a beloved teacher at the school. He passed away after a brief illness in 2002.

Cullen was a president of the American Culinary Federation and in 2010 was posthumously inducted into the ACF Hall of Fame.

Read an informative article of Chef Cullen's cookbook,  in BU Today, March 2001 issue.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a limited quality of Chef Cullen's now-out-of-print book.  You can order a copy of the Elegant Irish Cooking from  BITA's website. Cost is $35 and includes postage and handling costs. The book contains 166 recipes as well as a fascinating history of food in Ireland dating back hundreds of years.

For year round details on the Irish community in Massachusetts, visit

Monday, December 12, 2011

Governor Deval Patrick Honors Civil War Irish Regiment in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has issued an official order proclaiming December 13, 2011 as 28th Massachusetts Irish Volunteers Day, in honor of the all-Irish volunteer who enlisted in the American Civil War and mustered into service on December 13, 1861.

"Roughly one-quarter of the 1,746 men who served in the 28th Massachusetts unit were killed, died orf wounds or disease, were taken prison or reported missing," the proclamation notes.

In 1984, a group of Civil War enthusiasts and Irish-Americans formed a re-enactors group for the 28th Massachusetts Regiment, and have kept the story of the famous regiment alive through education and public events. To find out more about the re-enactors group, click here.

The other Irish volunteer group from Massachusetts was the 9th Irish Regiment, commanded by Colonel Thomas Cass.   

For more about Irish heritage in Massachusetts, visit  For cultural events visit For Civil War resources and commemorative events in Massachusetts, click here.

For tourist information in Massachusetts visit

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shopping in Cambridge: Check out Irish Imports on Mass Ave

The Irish Import Shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts has a great selection of high quality gifts from Ireland at its shop, located at 1737 Massachusetts Avenue, located between Harvard Square and Porter Square.

The imports come from renowned crafts persons and artisans at Kerry Woolen Mills, Studio Donegal and Kennedys of Ardara.   Started by owner Virginia Greenblat in 1973, Irish Imports has a sterling tradition of bringing authentic Irish products to New England.

1737 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
617 354-2511 | Phone orders: (800) 356-2511

For year round details on the Irish community in Massachusetts, visit

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Celtic Sojourn concert at Music Hall in Portsmouth NH on Saturday, December 10

The popular holiday show, Christmas Celtic Sojourn, is appearing at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH on Saturday, December 10, 2011 for two shows at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the concert are $32-$42 and can be ordered online, by phone or at the theatre.

Hosted by Brian O'Donovan, whose show Celtic Sojourn airs each week on WGBH in Boston, this year's show features musical guests like Ruth Moody, the Canadian singer who is a regular on Garrison Keller's Prairie Home Companion; Hannake Cassel and her extraordinary band Halali; folk singer Len Graham from Derry, Northern Ireland; Simon Chrisman, hammer dulcimer virtuoso, and uillleann piper Kieran O'Hare.

For details about visiting New Hampshire, including travel, hotels, and restaurants, visit New Hampshire Travel & Tourism.

For a full schedule of performances this month for Christmas Celtic Sojourn, click here.

For more Christmas and Celtic music in New England in December click here.

For year round details on Irish events, pubs and restaurants, cultural groups, gift shops, hotels and visitor spots around Massachusetts, visit

For visitor information on Massachusetts, go to

Friday, December 9, 2011

Boston Tourism Group Wins Hospitality Award from Irish Echo Newspaper

The Boston Irish Tourism Association, which promotes cultural tourism in Massachusetts, has been named to the “Irish Hospitality Top 50” list by the Irish Echo Newspaper in New York City for the second straight year. The awards were announced in the December 7-13, 2011 issue of the weekly paper.
BITA founders Michael and Colette Quinlin were cited by the Echo for connecting grassroots cultural groups and small businesses to the state’s convention and visitors industry, which attracts over 27 million tourists to Massachusetts each year.  They were praised for strengthening tourism industry ties between Ireland and the New England region.
            The Irish Hospitality Top 50 awards are sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Ireland’s official tourism agency which markets the entire island of Ireland in the North American market.
Other Massachusetts winners of this year’s award include Colin Breen, owner of the Four Green Fields Pub & Restaurant, which opened in downtown Boston in February, 2011; Brendan O’Connor, owner of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester; and Ginny and Craig Conroy, owners of  Saltwinds Bed & Breakfast and Guesthouse in Hyannis, Cape Cod.
Founded in 2000, the Boston Irish Tourism Association is a membership group that has promoted thousands of Massachusetts cultural events, concerts, theatre, literary readings, art exhibits, festivals and parades to residents and visitors alike.  BITA issues a free magazine, Travel& Culture Guide three times a year, operates six web sites and issues daily blogs and tweets about cultural activities, hotel specials and travel packages.  It has also created the Boston Irish Heritage Trail, a walking tour of 20 landmarks that tell the Boston Irish story, and published a booklet, Finding Your Irish Roots in Massachusetts.
For more information, visit, call 617 696 9880 or follow BITA on Twitter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Shopping for Irish Gifts in Massachusetts

Celtic Jewelry by Keith Jack
If you're looking for authentic Irish gifts this Christmas - from jewelry and clothing to crystal and food products - here are four excellent shops recommended by the Boston Irish Tourism Association:

1737 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
617 354-2511 | Phone orders: (800) 356-2511
Since 1973, owner Virginia Greenblat has carried the very best products from Ireland, including Kerry Woolen Mills, Studio Donegal and Kennedys of Ardara. 

782 Adams Street, Adams Village, Dorchester, MA  02124
617-288-5100 | fax: 617 288-5101
Top quality meats, homemade sauces, Irish products and superior customer service make this a popular place for Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans.  Owner Alan Gibson is from Sligo.

Waterford Wedgwood Company Store
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
1 Premium Outlet Blvd (Cross Street: I-495)
Wrentham, MA 02093 |  (508) 384-7503 | 1-888-200-6480
In 1783 two brothers from Waterford vowed to "create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home." Their legacy remains intact today.

9 Crescent Street, West Boylston, (Worcester) MA 01583
1 800 807 6677 | 508 835-6677
Owner Kathryn Trow has amassed an exquisite inventory of Irish clothing, pottery, china and crystal and jewelry by famed artists like Keith Jack and others.

If you're interested in buying Irish books as gifts, visit BITA Gift Shops page.

For year round cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas in Quebec City - Holiday Travel Ideas

Winter is magical in Québec City, a wonderland where, snow, fun and a festive atmosphere are guaranteed! 

In Old Québec and across the region, local residents and visitors attend joyous get-togethers with family and friends. Many parts of the city are strung with lights and decorations from early December to the middle of January. You can visit seasonal exhibits, take in a Christmas concert or two and bring the children to family-oriented activities.

See a list of holiday concerts in Quebec City this season, and a full list of holiday activities

You can find full details about visiting Quebec City and the region, including hotels, travel packages, shopping offers and more, by contacting Quebec City Tourism.  

Ireland has great off-season deals this winter

Check out these travel ideas for visiting Ireland in the off-season this winter and spring.   There are plenty of great holiday events, concerts and scenic tours from December 2011 through April 2012, including classical concerts, traditional music gatherings, a tango festival, and commemorations on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.

You can also visit two American-based companies that have some exciting travel packages to Ireland in 2012: Inroads Ireland and Isle Inn Tours.

For complete details on traveling to Ireland visit

For details on Boston's Irish community, visit

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn kicks off at Hanover Theatre in Worcester on December 9

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn kicks off its 2011 season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 9, 2011 at  Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester.  Tickets to the concert are available online.

Now in its 9th year, the show brings together a stellar cast of Irish and Celtic musicians, singers, dancers, poets and storytellers to recreate a traditional Christmas in Ireland. The show is hosted by Brian O'Donovan, whose weekly show, Celtic Sojourn, runs on 89.7 WGBH.

For a complete list of concert venues where A Christmas Celtic Sojourn is playing in December click here.

For a list of similar holiday concerts taking place this Christmas in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

For visitor information, go to and

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Boston Pops opens its Holiday Season on Wednesday, December 7

The 2011 season of the Boston Holiday Pops opens on Wednesday, December 7, at 8:00 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall. Tickets can be purchased online.

Guest conductor Peter Fiedler will conduce Sleigh Ride and children's author and illustrator Jan Brett will narrate Twas the Night Before Christmas.

For a full schedule of Holiday Pops performances, from December 7-24, click here.

For more holiday performances throughout Massachusetts and New England, visit

For tourist information visit and

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Win Tix to See the Canadian Tenors Performing at Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Monday, December 5

The Canadian Tenors are performing at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7:30  p.m. and the Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering a pair to tickets to the show.

To enter to win, visit BITA's Contest Page and follow the instructions.

You can also purchase tickets online.

Hailed as one of the great new musical groups coming out of Canada, the Tenors consists of four extraordinary vocalists who have all had successful solo careers. They'll be performing songs from their new holiday CD, The Perfect Gift, . including their hit song Hallelujah .

For a schedule of concerts coming up at the Wilbur Theatre, click here.

Find more Irish cultural activities and concerts by visiting