Sláinte! Erie's Irish Festival Will Have You Doing a Jig
Friday, Sept. 14 - 16
Now, technically the U.S. only officially celebrates St. Patrick's Day once a year, but here in Erie we're lucky enough to get a shamrock shake-up in September, thanks to the annual Erie Irish Festival, held downtown on the grounds of the incomparable Saint Patrick church. It is no small coincidence that the party's weekend marks the halfway point to St. Patrick's Day in March.
Truth be told, Erie's Irish Festival brings us much closer to the culture of the Emerald Isle, from the traditional Irish dancing entertainment, to the long tables full of Irish goods at the vendor village, to the plentiful pub-style food and drink, plus the ever-packed sports bar with all the big football games (cue the Notre Dame fight song!). It is a wonder this festival fits on the one block between East Third and Fourth and Holland and French.
As always, Friday is the opening of the festival, and there will be live music, the Rince Na Tiarna Irish Step Dancers, plus the fish n' chips special that is only available on Friday. Saturday opens with Long's Step Dancers, more uplifting, lilting Irish music, and the addition of an Irish Polka Party, featuring the music of Celtic Moon. Bring the whole family to enjoy the Leprechaun Village and its kid-friendly activities, or grab your crew and catch college football in the sports bar with a beer and an order of Irish nachos.
Step dancers return again on Sunday, and if you didn't catch the musical stylings of Corned Beef and Curry or Ballinloch on Saturday, this is your last opportunity for the weekend.
Admission to Irish Fest is totally free, with ample parking throughout the neighborhood. But if you plan on taking full advantage of Erie's open-container laws, grab an Uber and earn two pots of gold with one rainbow. — Cara Suppa
Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. // 130 East 4th Street // Free admission // erieirishfestival.com/new