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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014 Irish, Scottish, Celtic Festivals in New England + Quebec this Summer/Fall

Boston Irish Tourism Association has issued its 2014 schedule of  Irish, Scottish and Celtic folk festivals taking place  in the New England states and Quebec from June through September.   Here is the complete schedule with information about the performers.

The festival season kicks off on Saturday, May 31, with an Irish Festival of Sports and Children's Day at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, and ends with the new iFest, direct from Ireland, taking place at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

Check back through the summer to find more festivals added to this schedule.

In addition, you can discover hundreds of other cultural events - music and dance, literary readings, theater, picnics and social gatherings - by visiting

If you're interested in the Irish history of the Boston area, visit

For tourism information, go to and

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Win Tix to Amaluna from Cirque de Soleil, in Boston on June 4

Cirque de Soleil is returning to Boston, with the exciting show Amula, opening at the Boston Marine Industrial Park in South Boston on May 29, 2014.

Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tickets to the June 4 show. Enter the contest here, and check back to see if you won on June 2.

Or, you can simply purchase your tickets now to make sure you see one of the coolest shows to hit Boston this year. 

Here are more BITA contests throughout the summer.

For year round information on cultural activities in New England, visit

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Announcing New Irish Music Fests on Cape Cod and South Shore this Summer

Two of New England's favorite outdoor music venues are introducing a new Irish music festival this summer, to take place at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset on Friday, August 21, and then at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis on Saturday, August 22, 2014.

Headliners to both shows include international fiddle star Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, the  Fighting Jamesons and Celtica: Pipes Rock

Tickets can be purchased online at  South Shore Music Circus and Cape Cod Melody Tent.

Here is a schedule of Irish, Scottish and Celtic festivals taking place in New England + Quebec this summer.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in New England, as well as travel to Canada and Ireland, visit

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Poet Billy Collins Speaks at the JFK Library in Boston on Tuesday, May 13

Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins is speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.   The event is free and open to the public but attendees are encouraged to register.

Daniel Menaker, former editor of the New Yorker Magazine, serves as  moderator.  The event will also be aired live via webcast.

Born in New York City, Collins is an accomplished poet who served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001-2003 at the Library of Congress, and was also New York's Poet Laureate from 2004-2006.  He has conducted summer poetry workshops at University College Galway, and has taught at Columbia University.

Collins' talk is part of the Kennedy Library Forum series, which brings leading speakers from around the world to talk about their specialties.  

Find out about Irish cultural activities in greater Boston by visiting

Friday, May 9, 2014

Author Chris Klein Speaks about Fighter John L. Sullivan at Irish Cultural Centre on May 9

Author Chris Klein is discussing his acclaimed new book, Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero, at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Boston's South End, Sullivan became a renowned heavyweight boxer but later had a fascinating life as a public personality, temperance advocate and sports writer.   BITA's Travel & Culture Guide described Klein's book as "a masterful, engaging biography of America's first sports superstar."

The Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as the region's foremost Irish cultural venues.  The 46 acre facility includes playing fields, walking trails, playgrounds, and its headquarters building houses an Irish pub, lecture rooms, a library and ballroom. 

Find year round details on the Irish community in Massachusetts by visiting

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill in Concert at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, May 10

Irish traditional duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are performing in concert at the Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets to the show are $20 in advance and $24 the day of the show.  To order tickets call (401) 725-9272.

Hayes, a native of County Clare, is one of his generation's most inventive and creative fiddlers, drawing inspiration from his locality and family, but also from a broader musical landscape that includes jazz, film scores, modern dance and bluegrass.

Cahill was born in Chicago, the son of Irish immigrants from County Kerry.  He studied at the Chicago Music College, and has become one of the most innovative and in-demand guitarists in the Irish music genre.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, one of New England's best small theaters for music.   

Find year round details on Irish cultural activities by visiting

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BITA Issues 2014 Schedule of Irish & Celtic Festivals in New England + Quebec

Gaelic Storm

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has released its 2014 schedule of outdoor festivals and concerts featuring Irish and Celtic music throughout the New England region.  The festival season runs from May through October and accentuates the region’s rich Irish, Scottish and Canadian traditions of music, dance and culture.

Full details and site links on our Festivals page here.

Kicking off this year’s schedule are three outdoor festivals at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, Massachusetts, in celebration of the group’s 25th anniversary.  The ICC’s festival on May 31 is devoted to sports and children’s activities; on June 6-7 is a weekend of music and entertainment, featuring top groups like Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Black 47, Dervi and Comhaltas Ceoltoiri.  Then on June 14 dancers from around New England will converge on the ICC for a feis, hosted by Harney Academy of Irish Dance, where they’ll compete in dance competitions throughout the day.
The 4th annual Summer Solstice Festival takes place on Saturday, June 21, at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland, RI.  The popular event is organized by the Blackstone River Theatre, a non-profit group promoting culture and the arts year round. Top performers in 2014 include Burning Bridget Cleary, Laurel Martin, Mark Roberts & Kieran Jordan, Robbie O’Connell and Pendragon.  With five stages, there’s continuous music, set dancing and ceili dancing throughout the day, as well as children’s area, vendors and food and craft vendors.

The 21st  annual Glasgow  Lands Scottish Festival takes place on Saturday, July 19 at Look Park in Florence, MA, just next to Northampton.  The festival features Albannach, Prydein, Charlie Zahm, the Cabeys and the Bell Family, as well as clan gatherings, Scottish games, food courts and vendors, spinning and weaving demonstrations and more traditional folk arts.

The 28th Lowell Folk Festival takes place in Lowell, MA on July 25-27 in downtown Lowell’s National Park.  Featuring six stages of traditional ethnic music, authentic crafts, ethnic foods and activities for children, this year’s Festival features Irish traditional band James Kelly, Donna Long & Sean Kean, along with various performers representing dozens of cultures.

On August 23, the 16th  annual Newport Waterfront Irish Festival takes place at the Newport Yachting Center in downtown Newport, RI.  This festival features Gaelic Storm, Eileen Ivers, Black 47, Tarton Terrors, Celtica – Pipes Rock, the Fighting Jamesons and more.
On September 3-7, the 8th annual Quebec Celtic Festival takes place at the Morrin Center in Quebec City, Canada.  In addition to great Canadian Irish and Celtic bands, the festival also features Gaelic games, a parade and family activities throughout.

On September 19-21, the 39th annual New Hampshire HighlandGames take place at Loon Mountain, NH.  Billed as the largest Scottish gathering in the northeast, the Highland Games includes continuous Scottish music and dancing, athletic games, bagpipe bands, arts and crafts and plenty of Scottish food and beverages, vendors, and family-activities.

 For details on other concerts and dances, theater and literary events, cultural activities and festivities year round, visit
To find out about Irish-American heritage and history in Boston, visit

Boston Chef Barbara Lynch Named Outstanding Restaurateur by James Beard Foundation

Boston chef Barbara Lynch has been named "Outstanding Restaurateur" at the 2014 James Beard Foundation held in New York City this week.  The prestigious award goes to "a working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and ownership,” according to the Foundation.

The South Boston native began her career in a local church rectory and has gone one to become one of the country's most inventive and successful chefs.  Owner of several acclaimed Boston restaurants, including No. 9 Park, Menton and B&G Oyster,  Chef Lynch is author of the best-selling book, Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition, which was released in 2009. 

Lynch was also active in the Gaelic Gourmet Gala program organized by Tourism Ireland and Boston Irish Tourism Association, which paired visiting Irish chefs with Boston chefs and local restaurants during the St. Patrick's Day season. 

For year round information on Boston's Irish community, visit

Monday, May 5, 2014

Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray to Receive Ireland's Tip O'Neill Award in September

Congratulations to Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray, who has been named the recipient of the 3rd annual Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award, which is presented by the Donegal Diaspora Conference.

Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins will present the award to Senator Murray in an award ceremony taking place in Buncrana in September.

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving the Tip O’Neill Diaspora Award,” said Senate President Murray.  “Having the opportunity to further strengthen and create economic and academic links between Massachusetts and in the Northwest of Ireland not only solidifies our historic ties, but also allows us to build a new bridge of cutting edge technology and innovation.  It is these new connections that will help spur discovery and development, provide inspiration and opportunity, and move Massachusetts and the Island of Ireland forward in this global economy.

"Where there is opportunity there is hope and where there is hope there is peace," she continued.  "Working together, we will achieve great things.”

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was established on the centenary of the birth of   Speaker Thomas P. Tip O’Neill, who was born on December 9, 1912 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was established to recognize the achievements of members of the Irish Diaspora in their chosen fields and to celebrate the global impact of Irish people everywhere and their maintenance of links with Ireland.

Find out more about the Irish community in Massachusetts by visiting


Boston Pops opens its 128th season on May 7 through June 14 at Symphony Hall

The 128th season of the Boston Pops runs this year from May 7-June 14, 2014 at Boston Symphony Hall.  The world's most famous orchestra, led by maestro Keith Lockhart, has once again drawn musical talent from around the country as it celebrates the "Very Best of the Pops," drawing from its library of 3,400 songs and arrangements by some of the world's finest composers and arrangers.

This year's season kicks off on May 7 with Jason Alexander, star of television, film and stage. Alexander is the winner of a Tony Award for the play, Jerome Robbins Broadway, for which he also wrote the libretto.

Here is a full schedule of performances in this year's Boston Pops season.  

For other cultural activities taking place in Boston this spring, visit

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Irish Community Holds Fundraiser for Three-Year Old Alisha Savage from Cork City, in Boston for Brain Operation

The Boston Irish community is coming together in force to raise medical and travel funds for Alisha Savage, a three-year-old girl from Cork City being treated at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for a rare brain tumor.

The fundraiser takes place at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9, 2014 at Florian Hall in Dorchester, and features an evening of live Irish music from Derrick Keane & Inchicore, Aidan Maher, Erin Og and singer/songwriter Denis O'Gorman, who serves as the MC for the evening.  A variety of raffle prizes are being offered during the event.

You can donate to Alisha's fund online by visiting the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation.

Find out more about Boston's Irish community by visiting