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Irish, Appalachian culture theme of 10th annual Irish Festival

February 23, 2007

Wake Forest University Press, the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America, will host the 10th annual Irish Festival with events on March 6, 17 and 20.  All events are free and open to the public.

The popular Community Day, which traditionally draws thousands of attendees, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 17 on Davis Field on the campus of Wake Forest University (rain location: Scales Fine Arts Center). 

This year’s event will highlight the historical relationships between the Irish and Appalachian cultural heritages of North Carolina. 

Community Day will feature a variety of Irish cultural activities, including live music, dancing, storytelling, hurling, children’s activities and jam sessions. 

This year, storyteller Andrew Leslie will tell “Stories from the Emerald Isle” and “Jack Tales of the Mountains.”  Musical groups Fire in the Kitchen and Green Folk will perform.  Rince Na H’Eireann (Triad Irish Dancers) and the Rhythm Master Cloggers will perform traditional dances and teach dance workshops.  

Musicians of any age and level will have the opportunity to play Irish music together at the “Traditional Music Jam Tent.”  A one-hour tune workshop will be offered at 11 a.m. and the tent will be open for jamming until 3 p.m. 

Children’s activities will include Celtic coloring and crafts, soccer and Irish books and poetry.  Festival vendors will have arts and crafts, Celtic instruments, books, garden accessories, soaps, jewelry and Irish food for sale.  The celebration will close with a special joint performance by Rince Na H’Eireann and the Rhythm Master Cloggers.

At 7:30 p.m. March 6, an Evening of Irish Poetry, Music and Fun will be held in the Charlotte & Philip Hanes Art Gallery in Scales Fine Arts Center.  The reading will feature readings by Irish poet Justin Quinn and musical performances by the traditional Celtic band Green Folk and singers Mary and Glenn Siebert. 

At the reading, Wake Forest Press will also celebrate the official North American launch of Irish poet Michael Longley’s latest book, “Collected Poems.” 

A reception featuring authentic Irish food and drink and a booksigning with Quinn will be held following the reading.

At 7:30 p.m. March 20, the Irish Pub Quiz will return for its second year.  The event, organized by Wake Forest poets-in-residence Vona Groarke and Conor O’Callaghan, is a popular tradition in Ireland.  It is a version of a trivia game about all things Irish.  Prizes will be awarded.  Quiz participants are encouraged to register in advance by calling (336) 758-5448.  The event will be held at Finnigan’s Wake Pub at 620 N. Trade Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

For additional information about the festival, call the Wake Forest University Press at (336) 758-5448 or visit

To arrange coverage, contact Pam Barrett at (336) 758-5237.

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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