The Capitol City is Going Green with the Best St. Patrick’s Festival and Parade in Florida!

 

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What better way to celebrate all things Irish than the Fifth Annual Tallahassee St. Patrick’s Festival and Parade at 3 pm, on Saturday, March 15?  This year the festival and parade has gone big-time with dozens of marchers, food trucks, all manner of live entertainment all day and into the evening.  The Festival and Parade is a City of Tallahassee sanctioned event.

Who doesn’t love a Parade?  If being in one is appealing, put together a group, a marching band or a clan, dress up for the occasion, and join in the fun!   Learn more by calling Jack Madden, Parade Chair @ 850-385-3696.  Viewers are always welcome too!

The Festival Parade kicks off at 3 pm, from Park Avenue to Kleman Plaza in the heart of Downtown Tallahassee.   The inaugural “Sweet Rosie O’Grady,” will be crowned.  

The St. Patrick’s Festival will run from 3 pm until 10 pm. Saturday, March 15. on Kleman Plaza in Tallahassee’s downtown and is  for everyone who claims the Irish heritage, even if just for the day.  They’ll be pretty lassies, handsome lads and maybe a chance to “kiss me, I’m Irish,” for the daring!

Stage entertainers include Laura McGhee,  Krazy Kilts, along with the all-girl band The Bothys, The Irish Step Dancers and more.  The first Sweet Rosie O’Grady will be crowned and a costume contest winner chosen.

This is a family-friendly festival, though a bit o’ Guinness will be on hand for those old enough to imbibe.   The wee ones and their folks will enjoy the bands, the dancers and the Irish Spirit come alive on this special day.  There is no charge for any of it, but food and beverages will be available for purchasing throughout the festival.

There are several spots still open for interested vendors.  Contact Festival Director Ken Crawford [crawfordfolk@msn.com] for information.

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Tickets now available for Irish Heritage Night at Tampa Bay Rays

The program for Irish Heritage Night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg has been finalized, and tickets are now available. The Tampa Bay Rays invite you to their first Irish Heritage Night,  when they will take on the Boston Red Sox at 7:10 PM on May 16, 2013.

Your Irish Heritage Night ticket will include access to all of the followiing:

Press Level reserved seat for the Tampa Bay Rays vrs. Boston Red Sox baseball game.

Corn beef sandwiches and Irish beer available for purchase in Section 217.

Celtic music by local favorite band Juniper.

Special edition Rays Irish Heritage adjustable baseball cap.

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In order to receive your Rays Irish Heritage cap, please show your event ticket at the distribution table located at Section 221.

Individual tickets to this event must be purchased through the Rays special Irish Heritage website:

http://mlb.mlb.com/tb/ticketing/groups/group.jsp?loc=irish

using the password: Irish4.

The deadline to order tickets is May 14, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. ET.  Groups of 20 or more will receive a $10 per ticket discount, preferred seating, and a scrolling scoreboard welcome. For more information please call 727-825-3225 or e-mail: groupsales@raysbaseball.com.

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“A Night for the Irish” in Mount Dora

On Saturday, March 16th, the City of Mount Dora, in partnership with the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Mount Dora, Inc., will host the inaugural “A Night for the Irish.” This celebration of Irish culture will take place on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day and features a concert of traditional Irish music by “Just Twistin Hay” and pipers from “Rosie O’Grady’s Highlanders.”

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The event will take place at the Mount Dora Community Building, beginning with an Irish happy hour from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, followed by the concert at  7:00 PM. Tickets are available for $15 at select ticket locations and online at: http://www.mountdoraevents.com

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Mount Dora is located approximately 40 minutes  north of Orlando, is popularly  known as “Festival City” and is widely acclaimed for its historic buildings, antique shops and small town charm. For directions, maps and visitor information, click on the following link: Visit Mount Dora.

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The Bishop’s Curse

On a recent rare rainy day here in South Florida, I read the new historical novel “The Bishop’s Curse” by Orlando-based author Raff Ellis. This fascinating book, based upon real people and events, combines an Irish immigrant’s rags-to-riches saga with a unique history of the early Catholic Church in America’s battle for absolute control of its religious and secular assets. This battle is recollected through the sometimes  vicious conflict between the Irish laity of an upstate New York parish and its unpopular, ambitious and avaricious priest and an archbishop determined to break the authority of state laws governing church property and finances.

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In St. James Parish, this conflict  between church and state became unhinged. The year was 1860, and while the nation teetered on the brink of the Civil War, another sort of rebellion had broken out in the little town of Carthage, NY.

For the mid-19th Century Irish Catholic church members of St. James Parish, this rebellion against their priest and bishop was a life-changing event that many believed endangered their immortal souls, and that some believed became mortal victims of the Bishop’s curse.

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This unique and engaging book is a must-read for fans of Irish-American history and high drama. Raff Ellis, an accomplished historian and talented storyteller, brings back to life a remarkably colorful slice of Irish-American history. I couldn’t put this book down until I’d read it cover to cover.

Video of The Bishop’s Curse.

About the Author, Raff Ellis.

Buy the book online.

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O’Kennedy’s Ireland

O’Kennedy’s Ireland is a 70 minute documentary video on HULU about John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit to Ireland.

OKennedys Ireland

For four days in 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited Ireland, the home of his ancestors. This film documents Kennedy’s historic trip, following him through Ireland’s countryside and cities as he greeted its people and made some memorable speeches. The vintage film clips in this wonerdful video show Ireland as it was before the Celtic Tiger economy and Eurozone membership changed the landscape of Ireland forever. Learn about the colorful and romantic history of the Emerald Isle and the O’Kennedys.

Watch O’Kennedy’s Ireland on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/401298

For 62 years, the Kennedys owned a mansion on the ocean in Palm Beach, Florida, where President John F. Kennedy maintained a “Winter White House” during his presidency. Read the article about the Kennedys’ Palm Beach home HERE.

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2013 Brosnan Clan Gathering in Kerry, Ireland

Are you a Brosnan or is there a Brosnan branch on your family tree?

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan

Brosnans from all over the world are set to converge on Castleisland and its surrounding villages from July 25thto 28th 2013 for the Kerry Brosnan Family Reunion, as part of the East Kerry Roots Festival 2013. The Brosnan name has been one of the most prominent in East Kerry for centuries, with its origins believed to be linked to the Brosna area.

Brosna Ireland

An invitation is being extended to all Brosnan clan members locally, nationally and internationally to join this ancient clan and celebrate their proud heritage. This four-day gathering gives Brosnans from around the world, and anyone with Brosnan ancestry, the chance to rediscover their roots. The proceedings will culminate in the inauguration of a new Brosnan clan chieftain.

You do not have to be a Brosnan to join in the festivities. The variety of festival events planned for The East Kerry Roots Festival 2013 weekend, are designed to suit anybody with an interest in genealogy, culture or heritage. The festival will provide an opportunity to socialize, chat with relatives and re-live past times through attending the variety of cultural and heritage events, walks and workshops on offer.

We know that you will enjoy your visit to the Sliabh Luachra area. For some this will be an opportunity to visit the place of their birth, for others, the birth place of their ancestors. For all, it will be an occasion to relive and create fond memories over a joyous weekend.

For further information on the Kerry Brosnan Clan Gathering check:

Website: www.eastkerryroots.com

Phone: 00353871813879

Email: brosnangathering@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrosnanClanGathering

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/EastKerryRoots

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Irish American Christmas Traditions

Many of the customs that we now associate with a traditional American Christmas are neither traditionally American nor very old. Christmas celebrations were frowned upon in colonial America. In fact, the Puritans of New England considered Christmas celebrations to be pagan and idolatrous, a common view in New England that did not change until the late 19th century. It was not until after the Civil War, when the Irish gained political clout in America, that Christmas became widely celebrated and was made a federal holiday in 1870.

Some of the traditional American Christmas customs that originated in Ireland:

Candle in the window – The custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve began in Ireland during the time when Catholics were being persecuted by the English in order to denote a safe house for priests to perform a Christmas mass. The candle in the window symbolized a welcome to Mary and Joseph as they looked for shelter on Christmas Eve. In Ireland, the candle was traditionally lit by the youngest member of the household and extinguished only by a female named “Mary”.

Holly Wreath

Christmas wreath on the door – The Christmas custom of placing a holly wreath on the door also originated in Ireland. Holly plants flourished in Ireland around Christmas time, and provided the poor with an ample and colorful source of Christmas decorations. In Ireland, it was considered bad luck to take down the decorations before January 6th, known there as “Little Christmas Day”.

Milk and cookies for Santa Claus – The American custom of leaving a plate of milk and cookies for Santa Claus began in Ireland as the “Laden Table”. After the evening meal on Christmas Eve, the kitchen table was cleared and then set again with a lighted candle, a pitcher of milk and a loaf of sweet bread filled with raisins and caraway seeds. The door to the house was left unlocked, so that Mary and Joseph (or any other travelers in need) could enter and have something to eat. The association with Santa Claus is an American adaptation.

Door to door Christmas caroling – The custom of walking from door to door singing Christmas carols began in Ireland as the celebration of “Wren’s Day” on December 26th, also celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day.  There are several traditions in Ireland linking Jesus and the wren bird. Originally, the celebration involved people carrying either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren, travelling from house to house playing music, singing and dancing. These celebrants were called “wren boys” and “mummers”.

“Merry Christmas” – This traditional American Christmas greeting began in Gaelic Ireland as “Nollaig Shona Duit”, pronounced “null-ig hun-a dit”, which literally means “Happy Christmas”.

To help put you in the Irish spirit of Christmas, watch Moya Brennan’s “An Irish Christmas” video:

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Upcoming Irish events in Vero Beach

The Vero Beach Elks Lodge is hosting several Irish-themed events between now and St. Patrick’s Day. The Elks Lodge is located at 1350 26th St. (one block east of US Route #1) in Vero Beach, Florida.

Irish-themed event at the Vero Beach Elks

Upcoming Irish-themed events in Vero Beach:

Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 - Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day dinner dance with music by the Tommy Doyle Irish band.

Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 - Parade fundraiser dinner dance with music by the Rowdy Micks.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 – Evening with Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones.

Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013 – Annual St. Patrick’s dinner dance with music by Jim McPhail

Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013 – 4th annual Indian River County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Vero Beach (14th Ave.), featuring several pipe and drum bands and post parade party with live entertainment, including the Tommy Doyle Irish Band at the Elks Lodge.

Sunday Mar. 17, 2013 - St. Patrick’s Day gala, with live music for your dancing and listening pleasure.

For more detailed information on all events: http://www.veroelks1774.com/upcomingevents

For reservations and information, call the Elks Lodge at: 772-562-8450

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Join “The Gathering”

Irish television production company Animo TV is producing a new six-part documentary series called The Gathering – Homeward Bound for RTÉ, Ireland’s national television network. As part of this series, they are filming six well-known Irish people who currently live abroad.

One of those being profiled is Irish comedian Brendan Grace (of the famous Liberties in Dublin), who has been living with his family in Florida since 1994. The production company will be filming Brendan Grace at Paddy Mac’s Irish pub in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM. The producers would love to have a large crowd of Irish and Irish-Americans there for the filming. They are also interested in speaking with Irish or Irish-Americans living in Florida. Paddy Mac’s is located at 10971 North Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens. Directions can be found on the pub’s website.

 

The Gathering Ireland 2013

The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative is a massive tourism campaign, inviting everyone with Irish connections to “come home” to Ireland next year. Over 70 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry. The campaign is being supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Irish tourist board, and Tourism Ireland. It promises to be Ireland’s biggest tourism initiative ever and reaches out to those who have moved away, their relatives, friends and descendants, and invites them home. Throughout 2013, there will be a series of events in Ireland to celebrate Irish history, traditions, families, culture, business and sport.

Here is a link to the official video about The Gathering Ireland 2013: http://www.youtube.com/embed/x2WylVJB4AY?rel=0&wmode=transparent

Here is a link to The Gathering Ireland 2013 website: http://www.thegatheringireland.com/About.aspx

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Watch “The Island”

“The Island” is a beautiful 78-minute film produced by RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcasting network. It combines low-level aerial photography of Ireland’s natural and man-made wonders, a haunting soundtrack and an educational narrative, weaving history, archaeology, geography, psychology and sociology to answer the question: How have the Irish been shaped by their island’s unique landscape?

Watch the video: http://www.hulu.com/watch/335141/ireland-the-lucky-country-the-island

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