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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Travel & Culture magazine features Christmas Music in New England & Travel to Ireland



(BOSTON) -- The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has released its winter issue of Travel & Culture, a free magazine that promotes the New England region’s Irish community as well as mainstream cultural events for visitors.

Holiday concerts are featured in this issue, with stories on Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Holiday Pops season, and a round-up of Celtic Christmas shows.  Additionally, St. Patrick’s Day activities are included, from parades and concerts to cultural events.

The “Ireland” section has stories on Irish Christmas markets throughout the country and information on Temple Bar TradFest 2019 with a special interview with organizer Kieran Hanrahan.

Other stories include a profile of Irish Cultural Centre's Dave Barrett as he is honored for his public service to Irish culture and history. There is also travel news on Boston's legendary tourism chief Pat Moscaritolo and Chamber of Commerce chief Jim Rooney's award in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A section on 2019 St. Patrick's Day parades features Abington, celebrating 40 years and Cape Cod, celebrating 14 years.

The full color magazine is distributed free at visitor kiosks and cultural venues throughout Massachusetts.

BITA is celebrating its 18th year as a year-round, cultural tourism organization that promotes the state’s largest ethnic community.  The US Census reports that nearly 24% of all Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry.

BITA publishes three issues of Travel & Culture, in March, June and November, and has developed the Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, which highlights Irish landmarks throughout Boston and around the state.

For further details on festivals and concerts, as well as year-round Irish and cultural activities, hotel packages, gift shops and Irish pubs, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

New Film, Black '47, Screens at the Irish Cultural Centre on November 11


The Irish Cultural Centre of New England has a special screening of the new film, Black '47 at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Admission is $10 and tickets can be purchased at the venue.

Prior to the film screening is a corned beef and cabbage dinner at 3 p.m., with entertainment by Jinty McGrath.

Released in 2018, Black '47 is set in Ireland during the Irish Famine of the 1840s.  The plot involves an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad.  When her returns,  he learns that his mother has died of starvation and that his brother was hanged by the sheriff.  He goes on a path of revenge.



Find more events at the Irish Cultural Centre coming into the Christmas season.

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin Discusses Leadership at the JFK Library in Boston on November 7



The John F. Kennedy President Library & Museum presents Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin  to speak about her book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on November 7, 2018. 

The event is free, but registration is required

Goodwin's book explores the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.  Robin Young, co-host of WBUR's Here and Now, moderates the conversation.  Read about Goodwin here.

Turbulent Times is published by Simon & Schuster.

Here is a schedule of upcoming events and activities at the JFK Library

Find year round cultural activities in greater Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org


Sephira - Irish Violin Duo - live at the Irish Cultural Centre on Saturday, November 3


The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA is presenting the Irish violin duo, Sephira, on Saturday, November 3.  Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 for ICC members. For further details or to reserve tickets call the ICC office at 781 821-8291.

Comprised of sisters Joyce and Helen O'Leary, Sephira has appeared with Andrea Bocellli, Kanye West, Michael Buble and Enya. They toured for two years with the singing sensations, Celtic Thunder, and appeared extensively on PBS television in the US.

Here is a schedule of upcoming events at the Irish Cultural Centre this season.

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


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Blackstone River Theatre Presents Hanneke Cassel, Mike Block & Keith Murphy on November 3


The Hanneke Cassel Band is performing at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. 

Tickets are $18 in advance, or $22 at the venue the day of the concert. 

Featuring National Scottish Fiddle Champion Hanneke Cassel, the band also includes Mike Block on cello and guitarist/vocalist Keith Murphy. They are part of the thriving acoustic music scene in greater Boston and throughout New England. 

Here is a calendar of upcoming events at Blackstone River Theatre. 

Find year round details on Irish and cultural activities in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Irish Cultural Centre presents Mother & Baby Film on October 26


The Irish Cultural Centre of New England is presenting the film, Mother & Baby at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 26, 2019.

The 19 minute documentary focuses on the Tuam Mother & Baby Home in Galway.  The film is produced by Ishka Films and funded by the Irish Film Board.

Written and directed by Mia Mullarkey, Mother & Baby has won several awards, including:

  • Best Short Documentary - Cork International Film Festival
  • Best Irish Short Film - Dublin International Film Festival
  • Discovery Award - Dublin International Film Festival

Here is a calendar of upcoming events at the Irish Cultural Centre, located on Route 138 in Canton, Massachusetts.

For year round information on Irish activities in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Brendan Griffin,Ireland's Minister of Tourism & Sports, Describes Why Ireland is a Hot Visitor Destination in 2019

Minister Brenda Griffin and Alan Fine

Brendan Griffin, Ireland's Minister of Transport, Tourism & Sports, describes Ireland as a hot travel destination going into the 2019 tourism season, thanks to the island's many historical, cultural, sports and hospitality amenities.

"We're heading this year to over two million visitors from North America to Ireland; a couple of years ago we dreamt of one million," Griffin told journalist Alan Fine of Inside Travel Report. "We feel like we have an excellent product," he said, "but also, it's never been easier to get there. We have 21 gateway cities from the U.S. and Canada directly to Ireland, and I think that is a huge part of the success story."

Minister Griffin also touches upon Ireland's UNESCO sites, the Titanic Museum and hotels in Belfast, distilleries and micro-breweries throughout Ireland, golf tourism. See the video here:




See Part Two of the interview here.

For more information about Ireland's marketing efforts in North America, visit TourismIreland.com.

Read more stories about traveling to Ireland at IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

ArtsEmerson Presents "Measure for Measure" Directed by Declan Donnellan, October 24-28


ArtsEmerson in Boston is presenting Shakespeare's famous play, Measure for Measure, at Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre on October 24-28, 2018.  Directed by legendary Declan Donnellan, this is a unique collaboration between Moscow's Pushkin DramaTheatre and London's Cheek by Jowl Theatre.

The son of Irish parents living in England, Donnellan is co-founder of Cheek by Jowl Theatre.

Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a pair of tickets to the show.  Enter the contest here.  You can also reserve your tickets online to make sure you see one of the highlights of Boston's fall theater season.


Here is a schedule of upcoming ArtsEmerson performances.

For year round information on cultural events in greater Boston, visit IrishBoston.org.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Blackstone River Theatre Presents Tony McManus & Julia Toaspern in Concert on October 20




Tony McManus & Julia Toaspern are performing at the BlackstoneRiver Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Saturday, October 20, 2019.  Tickets to the show are $16 in advance and $20 at the venue, and can be reserved by calling 401-725-9272.

Recognized throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic music, McManus has been named among Guitar Player Magazine’s 50 Best Acoustic Guitarists of all time.  Joining him is Julia Toaspern, a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music.




Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre.  

Find year round details on Irish cultural activities in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Boston Comhaltas Annual Meeting on October 14

The annual grand meeting  Boston's Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at the Canadian-American Club in Watertown, MA.

Officers for the branch officers of will be selected at the event, followed by Irish music and Irish step dancing. 


Find year round information on Irish activities in New England at IrishMassachusetts.com.



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Irish Cultural Centre in Canton Offering Courses in Music, Dance, Language and History this Fall


The Irish Cultural Centre of New England has an exciting academy of educational courses this fall and winter at its 46 acre campus in Canton, Massachusetts.

Among the  courses being offered:

. Irish language classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced, every Wednesday through November 16

. Irish history class on Sinn Fein and the Irish War of Independence every Thursday through November 1

. Bodhran (drum) instruction Friday evenings, beginning February 23, 2019

. Set dancing for adults, every Monday night throughout the year

. Fiddle, Accordion and Tin Whistle classes beginning October 21.

Find out more about the Irish Cultural Centre here.

For year round details on Irish activities throughout New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.






Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Blackstone River Theatre Presents Bohemian Quartet on October 13


Blackstone River Theatre is presenting the acclaimed Rhode Island-based Bohemian Quartet at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2018.  Tickets to the show are $16 in advance and $18 at the door. 

Featuring violin, viola, cello, and bass, the Quartet specializes in music of the "Romani" or "Gypsy" tradition, along with related Eastern European folk styles. The group was formed in 2005.  The name was borrowed from the original Bohemian Quartet (also known as the Czech Quartet after 1918), a string quartet of international repute that was founded in 1891 and disbanded in 1934. Both groups share a passion for the deep-rooted authenticity of the Romani tradition, as well as the ability to play that historic repertoire with extraordinary joie de vivre. 

The Quartet's third CD project "For You" was released at Blackstone River Theatre last year. 

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre this fall and  winter. 

For year round cultural activities in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Rory Kennedy Discusses film about NASA at the JFK Library on October 9


The John F. Kennedy President Library presents Academy Award nominated filmmaker Rory Kennedy to discuss her new film, Above & Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow. The event, part of the JFK Forum series, takes place on Tuesday, October 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and is open to the public.  Register here.

The discussion moderator is Meghna Chakrabarti, host of NPR and WBUR's On Point. The event is presented in conjunction with the 2018 GlobeDocs Film Festival and HUBweek.

Here is a schedule of upcoming Forum events this fall at JFK Library.

Find year round information on cultural, literary and educational activities in greater Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Celtic Thunder & Hamnet are named "Events of the Week" by Boston Tourism Group



The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has named two concerts as Events of the Week in Boston:

Friday, September 28
Celtic Thunder
Shubert Theatre
Boston

Friday - Sunday, September 28-30
Hamnet (runs through October 7)
Emerson Paramount Theatre
Boston


"The fall season in greater Boston and indeed New England is rich in cultural performance, as typified  by these two entertaining shows, Hamnet and Celtic Thunder," said Colette Quinlin of BITA.  "Visitors and locals alike can enjoy these and other great shows coming up in the coming months."

Here is a calendar of October and November cultural events promoted by BITA.





Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wix Tix to Celtic Thunder X Tour in Boston on September 28



Celtic Thunder, one of the most popular Irish bands to ever play on PBS stations and around the world, is coming to the  Boch Center Shubert Theatre in downtown Boston on September 28, part of a ten year anniversary tour that features its new deluxe double CD, Celtic Thunder X.

Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tickets to the show.  Enter thecontest here and check back on September 26 to see if you’re the winner.

Or, you can purchase tickets to Celtic Thunder online, to ensure your seat at one of the most enjoyable live shows you’ll see this season.

Here is a list of upcoming shows at the Boch Center this season. 

For year round details on Irish activities in greater Boston and throughout New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.








Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Win Tix to Hamnet at Emerson Paramount Center in Boston


The Boston Irish Tourism Association and ArtsEmerson are giving away two pairs of tickets to Hamnet: Dead Center, an amazing play in which Shakespeare's only son takes center stage.

The tickets are available the weekend of September 28-30 or the weekend of October 6-7.  Enter the contest here.   You can also purchase tickets online for any of the shows, from September 20 through October 7, 2018.

Created by Dead Centre Theatre Company in Dublin, Hamnet is a moving, meticulous, multimedia show that explores how ambition clashes with family responsibilities in a way that rivals Shakespearean tragedy itself.


Here is a calendar of upcoming ArtsEmerson events in the 2018-2019 season.

Find year round Irish events in greater Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

THE YVES LAMBERT TRIO PERFORMS AT BLACKSTONE RIVER THEATRE ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16


The Blackstone River Theatre welcomes back the popular Yves Lambert Trio on Sunday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m.  To receive the advance purchase ticket option, call in your reservations to 401-725-9272. Tickets are $16 in advance or $20 at the door.

The Yves Lambert Trio showcases the unique connection between maturity and youth by creating a new world of poetry and celebration. Yves Lambert's charisma and talent, coupled with Tommy Gauthier and Olivier Rondeau's virtuosity and passion, the nuances of their arrangements and their distinctive harmonies make this trio a one-of-a-kind musical experience.


Read more about the Blackstone River Theatre and its Executive Director Russell Gusetti.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at BRT this fall.

Find more Irish/Celtic events in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Altan, Iconic Irish Trad Band, Performs at Irish Cultural Centre in Canton on September 14


Altan, one of Ireland's top traditional music ensembles, is performing at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 14.  Tickets to the show are $35 and can be purchased at the venue.

Based in County Donegal, Altan has toured the world over the past 35 years introducing audiences to a pure, authentic brand of traditional music fused with a contemporary flair and urgency.

Its newest release, “The Gap Of Dreams,” came out in 2018 on FreshGrass partner Compass Records, and fiddler, singer, and founding member Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh was the recipient of the Gradam Ceoil/Traditional Musician of the Year in 2017, one of the highest honors in Irish music.


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



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

MEDIAEVAL BAEBES PERFORM AT BLACKSTONE RIVER THEATRE ON SEPTEMBER 15


Blackstone River Theatre is kicking off its fall season on Saturday, September 15 with a concert by The Mediaeval Baebes, a popular female singing group whose version of “Alleluia” is featured on the hit PBS series Victoria.  

Tickets are $28 in advance by calling 401-725-9272, or $32 the night of the performance.

Using lyrics from mediaeval and romantic texts and setting them to original scores using medieval and folk instruments, the group presents an amazing traditional show that captivates audiences around the world. The Baebes sing in a variety of medieval languages including French, Spanish, English, Italian, Gaelic, and Swedish.



 Read more about the Blackstone River Theatre and its Executive Director Russell Gusetti.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at BRT this fall.

Find more Irish/Celtic events in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Tickets for Iconic 2018 Boston Holiday Pops Season Go on Sale September 4


Tickets go on sale on September 4 for the 2018 Boston Pops Holiday season, one of New England's most iconic holiday traditions.  This year's season runs from December 6 through 31.  Here is the Holiday Pops full schedule.

Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at these performances, which are filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-along, and a visit from Santa Claus himself!

Started in 1973 by Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, these concerts take place in the magical atmosphere of world-famous Symphony Hall that is beautifully decorated to evoke all the magic and charm of the season.

The kids matinee performances are geared toward younger children, are shorter in length with no intermission, and feature a post-concert visit with Santa Claus.  

Seth MacFarlane 

After Christmas, don't miss the favorite holiday movie, Home Alone, along with live accompaniment.  The season ends on a highlight on December 31, New Year's Eve, when the Boston Pops welcomes special guest, actor, writer, director and vocalist Seth MacFarlane. 








Saturday, August 25, 2018

Northern Ireland's Winterfell Festival Being Held at Game of Thrones® Film Location



For fans of TV epic Game of Thrones®, check out the Winterfell Festival on September 16, 2018, along  the coast of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.  The one-day festival,  on the grounds of the 820-acre Castle Ward estate, doubled as the Stark family ancestral home for most of Season 1 of Game of Thrones.

In addition to walking in the footsteps of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, festival-goes can experience the sights, sounds and smells of a medieval village, with skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths and weavers at work. Also in store, the King’s Tournament Games, featuring skilled horse-riders performing enthralling film-set stunts and tricks fit for entertaining royalty.

Plenty of ‘Thrones’ costumery, full contact jousting, sword fighting, falconry and medieval fare such as roast hog and venison pie, washed down with cider and ale, add to the atmosphere.




Home to more Seven Kingdoms locations than anywhere else in the world, Northern Ireland has truly earned its title as Game of Thrones® Territory. Those who fancy a full weekend in Westeros, or even longer, can fill their time with an array of ‘Thrones’ related experiences.

Coach tours, medieval banquets, self-guided cycles, sea safaris, archery experiences and even afternoon tea featuring Baratheon bread and Dothraki trifle with mini dragon's eggs – and much more – are all available.

When attending the festival, check out the beautiful locations along the famous Causeway Coastal Route, named with Belfast as Lonely Planet’s No. 1 region to visit in 2018.

Find more information about visiting the island of Ireland.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Rockport Music Presents Celtic Roots & Branches Concert on August 26


Haley Richardson 

Rockport Music presents Brian O'Donovan's Celtic Roots & Branches concert at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 26, 2018 at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. Tickets to the show are available online. 

For this year’s concert, O’Donovan presents a range of traditional and contemporary artists from around the Celtic world, including singers, dancers, and virtuoso instrumentalists. They’ll be playing a mix of traditional tunes and more contemporary songs from the Celtic tradition, as well as some French Canadian, Acadian, Appalachian, Balkan, and American tap music. 

Among the artists: Robbie O'Connell & Rose Clancy; Keith Murphy; Joey Abarta; Haley Richarson and dancers Kevin Doyle and Evelyn Miller. 

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts presented by Rockport Music

Enjoy Summer in the City Free Music and Movies at Boston Harbor Hotel



  
Visitors to Boston and Bostonians themselves can enjoy music, dancing and movies right on Rowes Wharf along the Boston Waterfront, thanks to magnificent Summer in the City series hosted by Boston HarborHotel.

For two decades, Summer in the City has been a special gift to visitors and residents alike, with music on Tuesday (Pop-Soul), Wednesday (Rat Pack Sinatra) and Thursday (Blues Barge), then Friday classic "Movies by Moonlight," a perfect way to relax into the weekend.

The musical line-up is excellent, with some of the region’s top local bands performing.  The series continues through the month and ends on August 31 with a movie screening of Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep.

The Boston Harbor Hotel (BHH) at Rowes Wharf is an exquisite hotel overlooking Boston Harbor. The active wharf is busy in the summer, with regular tours and cruises by Massachusetts Bay Lines and Odyssey Boston.  The food is amazing, thanks to acclaimed Chef Daniel Bruce. Patrons can dine al fresco on Rowes Wharf Sea Grille’s patio and Harborwalk Terrace, enjoying delicious food, seasonal cocktails, and unmatched views of Boston Harbor.

BHH is steps away from the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and right on the Boston Harborwalk, a continuous walkway leading to South Boston on one side, and the North End on the other.

Find more activities in Boston by visiting IrishBoston.org.






Friday, August 10, 2018

Rockport Music Presents Della Mae in Concert on August 15


Rockport Music presents the Nashville-based string band Della Mae at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.  Tickets are available online

Since forming in Boston in 2009, Della Mae was named IBMA’s Emerging Artists of the Year in 2013, GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their debut album on Rounder Records, named among Rolling Stone’s “10 bands to watch for in 2015.” The band has traveled with the US State Department to over 18 countries spreading peace and understanding through music. 


For year round details on Irish, Celtic and folk music in New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Norwegian Air Flies from Providence RI To Belfast, Cork, Dublin & Shannon


Norwegian Air has direct flights this summer from T.F.Green Airport in Providence RI to Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Shannon. 

Read the full story in Travel & Culture Magazine, published by Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA), as well as stories about what to do in Ireland when you arrive.

Also, read about Rhode Island's Irish community.

You can read the summer issue of Travel & Culture online, or pick up a free copy at visitor kiosks, Irish venues and museums in New England.





Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rockport Music Presents "Enter the Haggis" in Concert on July 19


Rockport Music presents the Canadian Celtic folk rock band, Enter The Haggis, in concert at the Shalin Liu Performance Center at 8 p.m. on July 19.  Tickets are available online or at the venue.

Based in Toronto, the band has released eight studio albums.  Their original songs such as One Last Drink, Down with the Ship and Gasoline have become folk rock anthems. 

Here is a schedule of concerts at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport this summer.

Find year round details on Irish and Celtic activities in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Boston's Irish Famine Memorial Unveiled 20 Years Ago, on June 28, 1998


Boston's Irish Famine Memorial was unveiled before a crowd of 7,000 people on Sunday, June 28, 1998 at the corner of School and Washington Street along Boston's Freedom Trail and Irish Heritage Trail.

The $1 million Memorial commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine which occurred in Ireland between 1845-1849, killing nearly one million people and forcing another two million people to emigrate to  Boston, New York, Halifax and other eastern seaboard cities.

The memorial project was headed by the late Thomas J. Flatley, along with Michael Cummings and others from the Boston community. 


At the time of the memorial's unveiling, Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson wrote, "I hope people who come here reflect on the survivors.  And remember, we are the survivors of the survivors." 

Since Boston's Irish Famine Memorial was unveiled, other memorials to the Famine generation were unveiled in Lawrence, Charlestown, MA, and Providence, RI

For year round details on Boston's Irish cultural community, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Issue of Travel & Culture Magazine Focuses on Visiting New England and Ireland




(BOSTON) -- This month the Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) released its 2018 summer issue of Travel & Culture Guide, a compendium of Irish festivals and concerts, culinary, cultural and literary activities taking place in Massachusetts and throughout New England.  

The 28-page color magazine is distributed free at visitor kiosks and cultural venues throughout Massachusetts and is available in digital format online.   It has a shelf life through October 2018. 

In New England, the magazine features outdoor festivals concerts, from Boston to Tanglewood and from Cumberland RI up to Rockport, MA.  Some of the performers at Tanglewood this summer include rock/blues/folk legends James Taylor, Bonnie Rait, Ry Cooder and Emmy Lou Harris.  The Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf continues its Summer in the City series with free concerts Tuesdays through Thursdays, and free movies every Friday through August 31.  

In Ireland, Travel & Culture lists the top festivals across the island through October, include music festivals like the Fleadh Cheoil taking place in August, which draws upwards of 400,000 people. And it has details on the new Norwegian Air direct service from Providence's T. F. Green Airport to Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Belfast and Edinburgh.  

BITA is celebrating its 18th year as a year-round, cultural tourism organization that promotes the state’s largest ethnic community.  The US Census reports that nearly 24% of all Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry.

BITA publishes three issues of Travel & Culture  in March, June and November, and also developed the Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, which highlights Irish landmarks throughout Boston and around the state.

For further details on festivals and concerts, as well as year-round Irish and cultural activities, hotel packages, gift shops and Irish pubs, visit IrishMassachusetts.com



Walk Boston's Irish Heritage Trail this Saturday, June 23

Photo of Kevin White Statue at Faneuil Hall, courtesy of BITA

Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) is offering a guided tour of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail at 10 a.m. this Saturday, June 23, 2018, led by tour guide Ted Kulik, an expert on local history.

The tour begins at the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common and covers 10 stops along the Trail.  Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students and military.  Children under 12 go free when accompanied by a parent.  Fill out the reservation form here, or purchase your ticket the day of the tour at the VIC.

See video from Chronicle/WCVB5 ABC on the origins of the Trail and what's on it.

The Irish Heritage Trail was created in 1994 and covers over 300 years of Boston Irish history, from colonial Irish like Governor James Sullivan and Boston Massacre victim Patrick Carr, to 19th Century Civil War heroes and the Famine generation, to 20th century political leaders, builders and social activists.

BITA's Travel & Culture magazine has a full map of the trail in its summer issue, available for free at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center and other outlets around Boston.

Find year round details on Boston's Irish community at IrishBoston.org.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Irish Were Boston's First Refugees



History is replete with stories about refugees from around the world coming to Boston, Massachusetts, seeking help from tragedies of historic proportions that were too massive for them to face. Very often they were poorly received, as locals feared the burden these immigrants would have on society. 

One of the most compelling chapters in the city's history involves Irish immigrants who fled Ireland in the 1840s, fleeing starvation, disease and death.

Many of these refugees fled to Boston, where they arrived, traumatized and ill, having lost parents and children, neighbors and friends. 

News reports describe Irish families huddled in doorways in downtown Boston, begging for food.  A  group of 50 Irish refugees camped out on Boston Common because they had no where to stay.  Many never made it to the mainland, but were held at the quarantine station on Deer Island in Boston Harbor to see if they carried with them typhus or cholera, diseases that later turned up in the crowded tenement buildings along Broad Street and in the North End.

A large number of Irish who made it ashore were eventually sent to the lunatic asylum in South Boston, since they were unable to cope with the tragedy they had experienced.

In June 1998, Boston's Irish community joined with city officials to unveil an Irish Famine Memorial Park in downtown Boston, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this tragic episode in the city's history.  The Memorial remains a stark reminder that many Bostonians today are the descendents of that Irish famine generation. 

The Famine is also a reminder that refugees are still leaving their homelands to escape certain death, and that humanitarian crises in our lifetime must be solved by those who can. 

For learn more about this episode in Boston's history, visit the Irish Famine Memorial, on the corner of School and Washington Street in Downtown Boston, a stop along Boston's IrishHeritageTrail.com

To read more about Boston's Irish history from the 17th century to the present, read Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past.