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Suzanne Gentry – Guest Contributor
Feb 11 @ 10:49 am
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Altan performs from Ireland at North Texas Irish Festival

 

Music, dance, and Celtic culture, all easily accessible via your device

The 39th Annual North Texas Irish Festival will celebrate the long, rich tradition of Irish and Celtic culture through a modern medium: the internet. The all-new virtual festival will include the music, dance, cultural and culinary activities that are the hallmarks of one of the country’s largest and most well-respected cultural festivals. On Saturday, March 6, fans of the festival can enjoy six channels of Celtic culture live on NTIF.org from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“This new format allows us to bring the festival to our fans in a way we have never done before,” said Sheri Bush, president of the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc., the non-profit organization that produces the North Texas Irish Festival and provides music and dance scholarships to local students. “While we respect the need to socially distance, we know that viewers will feel close to the performances of these talented artists we will showcase.”

For the first time in festival history, Ireland is streaming performances to Texas! On March 6, viewers will be able to watch the “Live from Ireland” channel on NTIF.org with special band performances from the Emerald Isle. From 12 - 6 p.m. the channel features seven bands and dance performances from County Donegal Ireland. Then, from 6 – 9:30 p.m., the Live from Ireland channel of the North Texas Irish Festival will feature performances from bands ZoDoMo and Altan.

Music

The heart and soul of the North Texas Irish Festival is the music. This year, the many different stages festival-goers typically enjoy will now be virtual, allowing viewers to see a wide variety of styles at the click of a mouse on one of the many different channels. Featured musical performers include: Sarah Copus, Reel Treble, Beyond the Pale, Irish Rogues, Behan, Sluggers Rule, North Texas Caledonian Pipes and Drums, Kinfolk, Selkie Girls, Jiggernaut, Vintage Wildflowers, Cleghorn and Tullamore. On the Live from Ireland channel, viewers will find ZoDoMo with Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny and Mairtín O' Connor, Dermot Byrne and Irish headliner Altan.

Other musical performers making appearances on the livestream are: Sliabh Notes, Brian McNeil, Eileen Ivers, The Wee Heavies, EJ Jones, Wolf Loescher, Celtic Aire, Ed Miller, Rich Brotherton, Sombati and the North Texas Irish School of Music.

Dance & Cultural Channels

If you are a fan of the hit show “Riverdance,” then you are familiar with the rhythmic magic of Irish step dancing. Dancers of all ages from a variety of Texas dance schools will entertain on the North Texas Irish Festival virtual event. Also available on the livestreams will be North Texas chefs spilling some of their best Celtic culinary secrets as they perform their own modern takes on traditional Celtic fare. Storytellers will perform traditional Irish stories in the way that the Irish have learned of their history for hundreds of years, and horse and dog experts will show the incredible work that they do with their animals. Documentaries and other cultural content will also be shown on the livestream channels. The Irish love their animals, and so the festival will continue its long-standing tradition of featuring animal rescue groups. Tune in, and you might find a new best friend!

How to Enjoy the Festival

The North Texas Irish Festival will be on Saturday, March 6, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., virtually at www.ntif.org. Five of the six channels will be complimentary. The Live from Ireland channel will require a minimum donation of $40 to the Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA), the producing organization of the North Texas Irish Festival. Access to attend a music workshop will be available for $25.

 

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Sponsors

The North Texas Irish Festival is presented by the Southwest Celtic Music Association. Additionally, the festival is sponsored by NBC 5, Entercom, YOLO TX, Donegal County Council, Tom Thumb, Albertsons, Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Glendalough Irish Whiskey, Guinness and Teelings Whiskey.

About the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc.

The Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. (SCMA) is the producing organization for the North Texas Irish Festival. The first such festival was held on March 5, 1983, at the legendary Nick Farrelly’s Lounge on Oak Lawn and was billed as the First Texas Céilí. This event was so popular that it has continued every year since on the first weekend in March as the North Texas Irish Festival. Shortly after the first festival, the all-volunteer Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. was formed to promote the study, performance and preservation of traditional Celtic music, dance and culture. In 1984, the event was moved to Fair Park and its name changed to the North Texas Irish Festival. The Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit cultural corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and serves a five-state regional area. The organization maintains a web site at www.scmatx.org.

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