A Story From This Month’s Issue: Thinking About …

At Last, at last, the summer green season is upon us.  Cleveland’s 30th Annual, Dayton’s 11th and Dublin’s 25th festivals are back-to-back-to-back weekends, starting July 20th.  Congrats to all the fests.

Last month I wrote about the Irish Army, the big picture view and bond that festival organizers across the country share, in helping each other, sharing best practices, and knowing promotion of the Irish culture and all is has to offer is the primary mission we all share.  In more than just words and theory, fest organizers gather, inspire, and raise the bar for festival organizers, providing tools and practical knowledge on how to get it done.  In June, I saw the other side, local folks whose view cannot extend beyond their own borders.  It was remarkable to be exposed to it for the first time – how sad.

Besides the festivals, July is the full bloom of summer.  I love all the gatherings; a rose by any other name is just as sweet, whether in Cleveland, Dayton or Dublin, whether festifying with friends, or vacationing with family. When we die, our children probably won’t remember our presents, but they will surely remember our presence. Make the time, make the effort, make the memories.

There is deep discussion in Dublin, Ireland, about the 2016 commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.  Ireland has come a long way, and to many, is now unrecognizable from the both the land, and the events of 1916.Yet, it wades knee deep in ghosts.  See Dublin’s Niamh O’Sulivan’s story on the commemoration, and the controversy.

Castles, round-abouts and round towers are images of Ireland that come readily to mind.  Our resident Historian, J. Michael Finn, writes about the Williamite War and the towers and their history in Illuminations – it is, well, illuminating ~ see for yourself inside.

You can’t beat fresh blackberries, but Rachel Gaffney offers a recipe in Real Ireland that comes close.  Cleveland area Gaelic football schedule, book reviews, a July follow up to the Festival Focus issue, Linda Fulton Burke’s crossword puzzle on Festival Songs, our reader favorite Out & About Ohio events, the Olympics and more are found inside.  We hope you enjoy the issue.

Next month the election season kicks off – please question and learn about your candidates, and VOTE! Hope to see you Out & About at a festival near you. Please say hello, we’d love to meet you.

 

Slàn,

John

Want to Volunteer FOR the Fest, but Not AT the Fest?

it is in Giving … If you would like to volunteer FOR the festival, but don’t want to volunteer AT the festival, because you want to be free to enjoy all the music, dance, family friends and fun, please think about coming out Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (7/18 – 20) or Monday (7/23) before/after the Fest to help set up our Cultural Hall. Meet GREAT people, join an event that has given more than a half million dollars to local and national charities and hopefully, receive even more than you give ~ we’d love to have you.

Sincerely,

Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival.

One Liners ~ Who’s appearing at The Fest?

1. Ronan Tynan, Boston, MA.
In 1998, Tynan joined Anthony Kearns and John McDermott (later Finbar Wright) as The Irish Tenors, an instant worldwide sensation. He hasn’t stopped since. One of Ireland greatest voices.
2. Eileen Ivers, New York, NY
From blazing a trail with Green Fields of America, Cherish the Ladies and as the original fiddler in Riverdance, Ivers continues her ground breaking music with passion and an electricity you can feel – a show not to be missed!
3. Tommy Fleming, Ballina, IRL.
Tommy’s beautiful voice and poetic introductions have made him one of the great voices in Ireland. Welcome back Tommy.
4. Patrick O’Sullivan, Ballingeary, Cork
A singer and accordion player, as known for his country music as his Irish, Patrick’s following grows with each performance; bring your dancing shoes!
5. Dance Schools:
Tesse Burke School of Dance,
Brady Campbell School of Dance,
Leneghan Academy of Irish Dance
6. McLean Avenue, New York, NY.
Get ready to sing, get ready to dance. You’ll recognize Padraic Allen from the Whole Shabang, paired with Buddy Connolly, this vibrant band appears at the fest for the first time.
7. Cahal Dunne, Cork, IRL
Composer, pianist, comedian, storyteller – Ireland’s Happy Man has won many awards for his song writing and many hearts for his joyful singing. Legions of fans love him!
8. De Dannan, Galway, IRL.
Led by founding member Frankie Gavin, De Dannan walks a path of excellence few could imitate; welcome these Irish music legends to the fest for the 1st time.
9. Clancy Legacy, Bristol, R.I.
Aoife Clancy, Robbie O’Connell and Donal Clancy first performed together in 2006. The sound and stories – the Clancy legacy is in great hands!
10. Carbon Leaf, Richmond, VA.
American Rock tempered by their Irish heritage and influences. Singers, songwriters and festival favorites, CL placed first in the International Songwriting Competition and won an American Music Award.
11. Homeland, Dayton, OH.
The pipe, the drum and the lyric drive Homeland songs as old as time, and ones with the ink barely dry. Welcome back Boys!
12. High Kings, Dublin, IRL
Song and story, the ballad tradition has a new master from these sons of Ballad Boom legends. High Kings are selling out shows across the U.S. Come see Ireland’s Folk Band of the Year.
13. Kilroys, Cleveland, OH.
Happy Silver Anniversary to The Kilroys, celebrating 25 years playing our music in Cleveland. The real deal, these seven siblings have fans of every generation.
14. Maura O’Connell, Nashville, TN.
Widely acclaimed throughout her career as a vocalist and interpreter of grace and insight, Maura’s last minute guest appearance with Cherish the Ladies at the fest brought the house down. Back by popular demand.
15. New Barleycorn, Cleveland, OH.
From their earliest days of big hits like The Men Behind the Wire and Song for Ireland, The New Barleycorn have carried on the song tradition and earned their reputation as one of the great ballad groups. With Alec’s golden voice and John’s banjo power, this international band based in Cleveland is one of Irish music’s best.
16. Dermot Henry, New York, NY.
A singer? A comedian? Dermot is a master entertainer that can draw a tear or a laugh with equal frequency. Comedy, history, song and laughter from one of Irish music’s great entertainers.
17. Cherish the Ladies, New York, NY
Led by the irrepressible (and world champion) Joanie Madden, Cherish has secured its place as one of the great – and first all-female band – in Irish music – Joanie’s even in the Hall of Fame. The Best of the Best!
18. Brigid’s Cross, Cleveland, OH.
This trio draws huge crowds every time they play – a great song, a bit of history and lots of laughter in every show.
19. Screaming Orphans, Donegal, IRL.
These four funny, high-spirited, musically obsessed sisters have the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundorin, Co. Donegal. Dancing, laughter, and yes, fan screaming, is a trademark of their shows.
20. Pipe Bands:
Great Lakes Pipe Band
87th Pipe & Drum
Cleveland Fire Fighters Pipe & Drums
21. The Kreellers, Detroit, MI.
Born and bred on the song tradition, Paul & Derek proudly follow the tradition of Makem & Clancy and The Dubliners, with great voice, and a way of making any audience dance and sing.
22. Seven Nations, Windermere, FL.
A festival favorite, 7N brand of original Irish and Scottish music, matched with exciting fiddle and stellar song writing leave audiences roaring for more.
23. Michael Crawley / Marys Lane– On the pipes or on the guitar, with great vocals, Crawley brings a song to life; see one of Cleveland Irish music’s rising stars.
24. Fintan Stanley, Louth, IRL.
Fintan is recognized as one of the great box players in the world, and hilarious! A show not to be missed.
25. Dennis Doyle, Glendale, CA.
A Harp and Gaelic language master, teacher and historian, Dennis has appeared at our festival more than any other entertainer. See his shows and workshops for one of our true treasures.
26. Richie Reece Show, Cleveland, and the world
Celtic Rock, Celtic Folk and everything in between. The collaboration of Brigid’s Cross’ Richie Reece, Seven Nations Vic Gagnon and more are making their first fest appearance.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: Owens Sports: The Euros Are Here

The Euros Are Here

by Mark Owens

The waiting is finally over as the 2012 European Championships being held jointly in Poland and Ukraine are upon us. The buzz around Ireland and beyond since the team qualified for their 1st tournament since the 2002 World Cup has been immense. In looking back at how Ireland qualified for what is only their 2nd European Championships, they were just edged out by Russia in Qualification Group B, but after beating Estonia in the play offs, they will are full of confidence going into Euro 2012.

The Irish have been handed a tough draw after being placed in Euro 2012 Group C with defending champions Spain, Italy and Croatia. It is crucial that they get off to a good start against Croatia on June 10th in order to have any hope of progressing to the latter, knock-out stages. In playing reigning champions Spain and former World champions Italy, the Irish will have their work cut out for them against 2 of Europe’s football powerhouses.

Spain will start as a tournament favourite. The team, managed by Vicente del Bosque, have beaten every team they have faced and were impressive in qualification for this year’s tournament, winning every game on the road to Poland and Ukraine. The Spanish side is loaded with world-class players in every position and many of them were part of the Spanish National team that won the last Euro’s in 2008, as well as the World Cup in 2010.

With this level of experience, the bookmakers are justified in making Spain the outright favourites to win it all once again. Let’s hope they get it wrong!! At the time of going to press, it was rumoured that star defender Carles Puyol would likely miss the Championships due to recovering from knee surgery that took place in late May. Definitely a blow for the Spanish, but it gives more hope to Robbie Keane and the rest of the Irish team.

The Italian’s are one of those teams that you just don’t know what you’re going to get or see when it comes to the big dance. In every tournament, they are amongst the favourites to win it all; they have the players with the talent and they have some of the most passionate fans in all of sports, but with all this come’s pressure from a nation that assumes they will always win. Given that they last appearance in a major tournament, the 2012 World Cup, ended in early elimination in the group stages, the pressure is definitely on coach Cesare Prandelli to make up for what was an embarrassing appearance in South Africa.

Croatia is an unknown quantity, and indeed like Ireland, they too qualified for the 2012 Euro’s via the play-off route. They defeated Turkey 3-0 over two games to book they ticket to Poland-Ukraine. Last time around (2008 Euro’s) the Croatians lost in a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out loss to Turkey, ironically the team they defeated in a playoff this year to get into the Finals.

For those of you that follow the English Premier League, the player to look out for in the Croatian team is Luka Modric, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur. Croatia will look for him to replicate the form that has made him a target for English Premier League rivals Chelsea. A big weakness will likely be there defence.

Last month Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni announced his twenty-three man squad, that he hopes will lead the team and country to European glory. Probably the biggest surprise in the team is that of Derry man James McClean, who if you all remember just a few months ago I stated that Trapp could not justify leaving him out, such has been his impact in the English Premier League … maybe the Irish manager is a closet reader of the Ohio Irish American News?

The following are the twenty-three men that have been charged with bringing it all back home: Goalkeepers: Shay Given, Keiren Westwood, David Forde. Defenders: Richard Dunne, John O’Shea, Sean St. Ledger, Darren O’Dea, Stephen Ward, Stephen Kelly, Kevin Foley. Midfielders:
Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson, Keith Andrews, Keith Fahey. Wingers: Damien Duff, Aiden McGeady, Stephen Hunt, James McClean. Strikers: Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Simon Cox, Shane Long, Jonathan Walters.

We wish them luck and I look forward to welcoming the team home in Dublin with trophy in hand since I will in fact be in Ireland right around that time …. Now wouldn’t I be lucky if this were the case?

Opening game schedules and times: Sunday June 10th v Croatia (1445 EST); Thursday June 14th v Spain (1445 EST); Monday June 18th v Italy (1445 EST). Here’s my prediction … we beat Croatia, lose to Spain and tie with Italy to finish 2nd in the group on goal difference. This would set up a quarter final match against ‘The Enemy’, England, where the Irish will prevail. After this … who knows, I’ll be happy just beating England once again!
Trivia

First last month’s question: The Scottish sport of Shinty can trace its origins back to another sport in Ireland, what is that sport? The answer is: Hurling. Shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. It is thought to predate Christianity, having come to Scotland with the Gaels from Ireland. Hurling, which is a similar game to Shinty, is derived from the historic game common to both peoples, which has been a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years. Shinty/Hurling appears prominently in the legend of Cúchulainn, the Celtic mythology hero.

This month’s question: Who is the current top goal scorer for the Irish international football team?

*Mark Owens is originally from Derry City, Ireland and has resided in the Cleveland area since 2001 where he is employed by State Farm Insurance Companies. Mark is the Chairman of the 2013 North American Gaelic Games Finals to be held in Cleveland. Send questions, comments or suggestions for future articles to Mark at: markowens@ireland.com.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: Blowin In: Endless Day

By Susan Mangan

When I was a girl living in the city, summer was magical. A freshness coated the air with the heady perfume of backyard roses and wild mint which sprouted boldly through the river of cracks winding through concrete sidewalks. Life’s promise was as endless as the long summer days.

In sing-song fashion, a gang of us would take turns calling out for one another through the open kitchen windows to play: “Yo, Tomm–ee,” “Yo, Su–zy.” Never minding sunscreen or bug spray, we would pour out into the streets and gangways for games of tag and hide-and-go-seek.

To ensure that teams were always fair, we would huddle together on the ground in a circle. Each child would place one hand in the middle. Then a leader would chant while briefly touching each playmate’s hand, “Engine, Engine Number 9 going down Chicago Line, if the train falls off the track do you want your money back, yes or no?”

The count would continue until one hand remained and that person would be “It” in the game. Free from teachers and the confines of school and Catholic uniforms, we played until the streetlights appeared. With tired voices, our mothers would call us home through the darkening air.

One lazy afternoon, we children were commenting on our luck that the day was warm, the sun was shining, and it was the longest day of the year. We didn’t know the fancy word for that day, summer solstice, we just knew that the streetlights would shine later and the Good Humor ice cream truck would surely make a visit. Already we could hear the truck’s tinny music box calling us to part with our pennies and indulge in icy red, white, and blue Bomb Pops and chocolaty Fudgesicles.

In celebration, we played our favorite ball game, SPUD. I still remember standing in a circle with my childhood friends throwing a ball into the nine o’clock sky as the sun still shone on our game. Even the adults came out onto the front lawns that night with glasses of iced tea and lemonade to visit. Festive and carefree, life didn’t get any better than this.

Called Midsummer, St. John’s Day, or summer solstice, revelers across many different generations and cultures have marked this day with festivals, rituals, and celebrations. Steeped in religious and pagan significance, great bonfires are lit in the Irish countryside on St. John’s Night to commemorate St. John and to bring good fortune to the summer’s crops. Thick with the fragrance of wildflowers, burning wood, and turf, there is a feeling of abandon on this night. Neighbors travel to each other’s homes to share a drink, or play a trick, or simply to admire the stunning beauty of a well-lit fire.

For thousands of years people have gathered at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England amid the ancient and purportedly mystical rocks to dance and sing while catching a glimpse of the dawn’s first midsummer light. Today the curious tourist, modern Druids, Wiccans, and folk still in search of King Arthur’s Camelot continue this tradition.
Interestingly, the term “summer solstice” is derived from the Latin words for sun, sol, and sistere, to stand still.

On the longest day of the year, the sun literally comes to a halt before reversing direction on its solar path. Isn’t it just what one would wish – the child in a magical circle of his own creation, a Druid in search of wisdom, a farmer in search of peace – to have the day stand still and the hope that fortune’s favor will never end?

Midsummer may mark the gradual declination of the sun, but the spirit of the festival continues throughout the summer months. I will never forget the first Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival that my one-and-only brought me to when we were the tender age of nineteen. Having almost finished a summer course at our university, my future husband thought that I needed a break from the academic grind. He brought me to Cleveland’s West Side, home of the Irish, and his large extended family. Anxious that I would fit in with the group, I tried to make a good first impression. It turned out that nerves were unnecessary as my future husband’s cousins linked arms with me and brought me into the center of all the activity.

Under the wooden beams of a barn-like structure couples waltzed to the steady beat of a ceili band. Women changed out of tennis shoes and into black, low -heeled dancing shoes. Men danced with women, women danced with women, mothers danced with sons and daughters. The young and the old sang songs of freedom, oppression, and of home. As my one-and-only embraced me in his arms and attempted to guide me through the strains of “Take Me Home to Mayo,” I knew that I had found a group that valued family, tradition, festivals, and fun.

Each year, our children look forward to the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. For them, it is both the longest day and longest night of the year. Sandy Candy and soda pours freely. Together, the children all dance. The boys step out with their reels, while the girls dance slip jigs like ghost fairies in flight.

This next generation of family dances the “one, two, three” of the waltz and laughs through the whimsical tune of Shoe the Donkey. Happy in each other’s arms, the cousins talk with the young Irish musicians who play on the main stage. One handsome young singer couldn’t get over how good the Americans were with their jigs and reels. Delighted, my daughter and her cousins smiled prettily and pointed their toes with even more poise.

My youngest son is a natural dancer, but modest in his need for attention. He hangs back with his dad and enjoys the talent of the festival’s musicians. Rain threatened one festival night while my son and husband listened to Tommy Fleming sing wistful ballads about halcyon days. After the show, my husband brought our youngest over to meet this fine singer. Declan’s eyes were as round as if he were meeting the ghost of Elvis. Shyly, he asked for Mr. Fleming’s autograph.

That night, the circle of family and tradition continued on its course, while an endless day fell into darkness. With blistered feet and a sunburnt nose, my daughter drifted into slumber with a content pre-teen sigh. My middle son laid his head, sticky with funnel cake and Sandy Candy atop his crisp cotton sheets, while my youngest placed an autographed copy of Tommy Fleming’s Greatest Hits beneath his pillow. I am not sure what the ancient Druids dreamt about at the close of the summer solstice, but for my own children their dreams were fairly obvious, written across their pretty sleeping faces.

*Susan holds a Master’s Degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She may be contacted at suemangan@yahoo.com.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: Illuminations: The Belfast Harp Festival

The Belfast Harp Festival of 1792
By: J. Michael Finn

The harp has been used as a musical instrument in Ireland from the earliest times. So important was the harp that its image became a symbol representing Ireland and Irish nationalism. In ancient Irish mythology, the first harp in Ireland was owned by the Dagda of the Tuatha de Dannan. These tales tell of its theft and recovery by Lugh, the chief god of the Celts.

Edward Bunting

The harp became Ireland’s own unique instrument, and subsequently, its national emblem. History tells us that the people who played it were highly trained professionals who usually performed for the nobility. They were held in very high regard and were often asked to accompany a poet who was giving a reading. Interestingly, these superb Irish musicians played with their fingernails and not with their fingertips as is done today.

It was expected in Ireland that to become an accomplished harper the player had to be skilled enough to produce a melody so sad, it would make his audience weep, an air so jubilant it would make everyone smile, or a sound so tranquil, it would lull the listener to sleep (the player of an Irish harp, by the way, is known as a harper; those who play the larger concert harps are known as harpists).

The period starting from the 1600’s, during English rule in Ireland, was very difficult for Irish harpers, as the harp as a folk and court instrument was suppressed to prevent a resurgence of nationalism. Harps were burnt and harpers often executed.

Ireland has been the home of many noted harpers. The most noted harper was Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). He was a blind itinerant harper who made his living writing music for the wealthy sponsors who provided him with food and shelter. It is said he composed over 250 pieces of music.

In 1791, over fifty years after the death of O’Carolan, residents of Belfast founded the Belfast Harp Society. Prominent citizens of Belfast, including Doctor James MacDonnell, Robert Bradshaw, and Henry Joy, led this group. They recognized the fact that many of the traditional harpers had died and the ones playing at that time were aging. Preserving the tradition and music of the harp was their chief aim. To accomplish this, in 1792 they organized the first Belfast Harp Festival. Invitations were sent to all counties in Ireland offering monetary prizes for the winners of the festival.

Eleven harpers responded to the society’s invitations. They were: Dennis Hempson (blind, age 97); Arthur O’Neill (blind, age 58); Charles Fanning (age 56); Daniel Black (blind, age 75); Charles Byrne (age 80); Hugh Higgins (blind, age 75); Patrick Quinn (blind, age 47); William Carr (the youngest participant, age 15); James Duncan (age 45); and Rose Mooney (the only female participant, blind, age 52). The eleventh player was a Welshman, named Williams, who played the unique Welsh triple-strung harp.

*Note: A prevalent disease in Ireland was smallpox. A result of smallpox, particularly in young children, was often blindness. A blind person in early Ireland had few options except begging. Many picked up music at an early age as a way to earn a living. Most often this was the harp, but there were also many blind pipers and fiddle players.

The festival began on July 10, 1792, and lasted four days. The first prize of 10 guineas was awarded to Charles Fanning, and the second prize of 8 guineas was awarded to Arthur O’Neill. All of the other participants received 6 guineas. After the festival, all of the participants were liberally entertained at the home of Doctor MacDonnell.

Doctor MacDonnell realized that it was necessary that the festival music be preserved and recorded. To accomplish this he hired a young Belfast organist named Edward Bunting, to record the music. In those days, recording meant writing down note-for-note each piece of music. As important as the presentation of the music by these harpers was, Edward Bunting’s work at the festival was of tremendous importance as well.

Bunting was born in the town of Armagh in 1773, his mother was the daughter of an Irish piper named Quinn and his father was an English mining engineer. As a young student, Edward began playing the organ and progressed so rapidly in his studies that he soon outclassed his teachers and older musicians. Not only did he excel in music, but also in the mechanical skill to tune and repair instruments. At age 19, Bunting was approached by Dr. MacDonnell to preserve the music of the harp festival musicians, before it disappeared, forever.

Bunting was so inspired by the music at the festival that he travelled around Ireland collecting and recording traditional music for the next four years. Dr. MacDonnell financed this effort. In 1796 he published his first volume, A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music, containing sixty-six native Irish airs never before published, including the music that he had recorded from the festival.

His second volume was published in 1809, and was also called A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. It contained seventy-seven pieces of music. A third volume, published in 1840, contained 165 pieces of music. Bunting’s books also contain a narrative history of Irish music and musicians. Thomas Moore later drew on Bunting’s work, adding matchless words to the collected airs in his popular Irish Melodies.

Without the pioneering work of Dr. MacDonnell and, particularly, Edward Bunting, many of the traditional tunes we know and enjoy today would have been lost. While Bunting gained fame from his many publications, he was not a financial success; unscrupulous publishers often pirated his works.

Bunting was married at age forty-six. He died suddenly, on December 21, 1843, at the age of seventy, in Dublin. Bunting is buried in the Dublin General Cemetery in Mount Jerome. If you would like to read more about the early music, musicians and instruments of Ireland I recommend Irish Minstrels and Musicians, by Chief Francis O’Neill (1913). It is an excellent historic work containing the biographies of many now obscure Irish musicians and their contributions to our grand musical heritage.

Enjoy the many Irish festivals this summer and patronize the traditional Irish musicians of today, who still perform and preserve the ancient Irish music of our ancestors. Many will have harpist, give them a special nod.

*J. Michael Finn is the Ohio State Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Division Historian for the Patrick Pearse Division in Columbus, Ohio. He is also Chairman of the Catholic Record Society for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. He writes on Irish and Irish-American history; Ohio history and Ohio Catholic history. You may contact him at FCoolavin@aol.com.

Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again

On the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again, to the Penn-Mar Irish Fest this Saturday! Performing At Each End of the Rifle at 12:15 and at 4:00. Hope to see you there, along with Mossy Moran, Screaming Orphans, Irish Blessing, Nua, The Rovers The Spalppens, Pipe bands, screening of Beautiful People, food, dance and more, all to benefit Penn-Mar Human Services, A Great cause! www.penn-mar.org

A Hero Returns

Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) member CO Burgess, while on active duty in Afghanistan, was hurt by an exploding IED. Numerous injuries, including the loss of his right leg, kept him from coming home to us. Today, he returned for the first time, to say hello to his friends. We welcomed him

He is always with us in spirit. When his rehab is complete, he will rejoin us in person too. Thank you to you, and your family, for your service and your sacrifice. Welcome back ~ We are, CCSO!

Irish Summer

GLORY DAYS .. Yeah … Kick off the Irish summer this weekend at Riverfront Irish Fest, then 42 days till the 30th Annual Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, 49 days till the 11th Annual Dayton Celtic Fest, 56 days till the 25th Annual Dublin Irish Fest. KC and Pittsburgh Fests are not far behind! Don’t let these Glory Days pass you by …