The York Irish Association proudly presents it's second ever York Irish St. Patrick's Weekend Festival on the weekend of Saturday March 12th - Sunday March 13th. Just like last year's inaugural festival, the celebrations will take place in a marquee in St. Sampson's Square in the city centre all the way from 11am until 9.30pm on the Saturday and from 11.30am-4pm on the Sunday. The activities are all about celebrating and continuing to bring an understanding of Irish tradition and culture to York, bringing fun and enjoyment to the city for people of all ages who have an interest in Irish culture and celebrating the unique connections between York and Ireland. There will be live music, Irish dancing, ceilidhs, Irish food and drink, face painting and storytelling.
The Saturday morning will start with facepainting and children's storytelling with storyteller, Kathryn Killeen. Throughout the afternoon there will be an Irish dancing perfoemance from the O'Connor Academy of Irish Dance, a talk on the history of Irish people in York by historian John Powell and Irish music performances from the likes of Roisin Ban, Diad and the Gemma Irving Trio. From 5pm until 7pm there will be an open trad music session for anyone to join in. The entertainment continues on the Saturday evening with performances from musicians The Flying Donkeys and a ceilidh with Fiddlers Wreck. On Sunday 13th March there will be another Irish dancing performance from St. Aelred's Irish Dance Group, a set by singer-songwriter Paula Ryan and the weekend's celebrations will finish a ceilidh by the New Fox Band.
There will also be a history of the Irish in York display as well as a presence from the Tuke Centre charity and York Unifying Multicultural Initiative (YUMI) in the marquee. Many of the Irish who arrived in York in the middle of the 19th Century came due to the relief and support that the famousTuke family provided them. Traditional Irish food and drink will be provided in the heated Marquee by the Three Cranes pub. The whole event is free to attend and there will be a raffle with great prizes!
Here is a link to a video with the highlights of last year's festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMOcIp8slD0
York Irish Association Background
The York Irish Association is a community group which was set up in May 2014. The main objectives of York Irish are to raise awareness of and celebrate Irish culture and tradition, to bring the Irish community and anyone with an interest in all things Irish together in the city and to celebrate the unique connections between Ireland and York. The benefits the organisation provides comes in the form of increased wellbeing and reduced social isolation among our members, having somewhere to be able to express people's cultural identity and having access to a series of cultural events. They run regular events and activities such as Irish music nights and culture nights, Irish history walking tours, Irish language lessons and history lectures. In 2015 they also organised two large scale events – York’s first ever St. Patricks’ Weekend Festival and an Irish Culture Night at York Barbican Centre. Their activities in 2015 were funded through a Big Lottery Awards For All grant and they have also secured funding from the Irish Government's Emigrant Support Programme, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and City of York Council's ward funding for their activities in 2016 including this festival. They have over 400 members on our books.
According to official statistics there were 1300 Irish born people living in York in 2011 and in the past the Irish population made up nearly 8% of the population of the city. This all means that there is a substantial community of Irish born and descendants of Irish in the city today.York Irish has brought together an often isolated community in York to express its social and cultural identity while celebrating the unique connections between Ireland and the city and they look forward to continuing this in this year's St. Patrick's Festival.
Facebook: York Irish Association