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 IrishMassachusetts.com.
To find out about Irish-American heritage and history in Boston, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.