The Boston Irish Tourism Association has released its annual schedule of outdoor festivals and concerts featuring Irish and Celtic music throughout the New England region and upstate New York.
Kicking off this year’s schedule is the first annual Summer Solstice Festival, taking place Saturday, June 18, at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland, RI. Organized by the Blackstone River Theatre, a non-profit group promoting culture and the arts year-round, this year’s festival features Aoife Clancy and Robbie O’Connell, the Heatons, Pendragon, Annalivia, atwater-Donnelly Trio and more. With five stages, there’s continuous music, set dancing and ceili dancing throughout the day, as well as a children’s area, vendors and food and craft vendors.
The 17th annual Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, N.Y., takes place July 10-16 and features some of the world’s best Irish musicians, singers and dancers. It’s a summer school format, with over 75 teachers, 120 daily classes and workshops, and nightly concerts and sessions. The week culminates in an all-day music festival Saturday, July 16, from noon to 7 p.m.
The 18th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival takes place Saturday, July 16, at Look Park in Florence, Mass., just next to Northampton. The festival features Canadian group Enter the Haggis, Boston Blackthorne, the Bell Family, and Charlie Zahm, as well as clan gatherings, Scottish games, food courts and vendors, spinning and weaving demonstrations and more traditional folk arts.
On July 26, the second annual Cape Cod Irish SummerFest takes place at the Melody Tent in Hyannis on Cape Cod, Mass. Organized by the Sons of Erin and the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee, it’s a great day and night of Irish music and dancing, food vendors and crafts.
The 25thLowell Folk Festival takes place in Lowell, Mass., July 29-31 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 Dervish, along with various performers representing dozens of cultures.
On Sept. 3-5, the 13th annual Newport Waterfront Irish Festival takes place at the Newport Yachting Center in downtown Newport, RI. This Labor Day festival features fiddle star Eileen Ivers and her band Immigrant Soul, the Screaming Orphans, Makem & Spain Brothers, and more. There’s a special snug package available this year that provides VIP amenities and opportunities for guests.
On Sept. 16-18, the 36th annual New Hampshire Highland Games take place at Loon Mountain, N.H. 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.