RiverEdge Hosts Irish Festival, Aug. 2
biggest summer celebration of the Emerald Isle is taking place on Saturday,
Aug. 2 in downtown Aurora, right along the Fox River, complete with bag
pipers, step dancers, Irish Open Mic sessions, Irish beer and whiskey tastings,
freckle competitions, more contests, and authentic Irish food, beverages
Bring the whole family to beautiful RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway
in Aurora, for the Fox Valley Irish Festival, an all-day celebration of
all-things Irish. The park opens at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for ages 15
and up. Children 14 and under are $5. Kids two and under are free.
To purchase, go to RiverEdgeAurora.com, call the RiverEdge box office,
630-896-6666, or visit RiverEdge's satellite box office, the Paramount
Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
The RiverEdge box office is also open at the park for day-of sales from
Noon until show time.
Afternoon entertainment for the adults includes a Jameson Irish Whiskey
tasting, Irish beer galore, bean bag games, Gaelic language lessons, a
hurling demonstration, St. Baldrick's Foundation, Guinness glass etching,
a pop-up Irish gift shop by Irish Sisters in Geneva, the McNulty Irish
Dancers, a special visit from the Great Lakes Irish Wolfhounds, and appearances
by Irish author Mary Pat Kelly and Irish speaker, author and business humorist
Connor Cunneen of Irishman Speaks.
A children's play area will host a bounce house, petting zoo, games,
Irish craft making, face painting and more from 1 to 5 p.m. Children's
tickets include unlimited use of kid's area exhibits, bounce house and
When the sun goes down, the kids are welcome to stay, or drop them off
at the sitter's and head back for the grown-up portion of the festival.
Kicking off the music at 5 p.m. is Anish, with a lively cutting edge
blend of traditional and new wave Celtic. The Bogside Zukes take over at
6:30 p.m. with a traditional-folk-pub sound which combines classic Celtic,
bluegrass and old-time music. The Tossers, six South Siders with a Celtic
Punk edge hit, will cap the concert starting at 8:30 p.m. with a raucous,
joyous celebration of the working class, the motherland and their South-Side
Fox Valley Irish Festival is sponsored by Advanced Disposal, Ballydoyle
Irish Pub, Banana Split, Baum Property Management, Dolan & Murphy,
I.A.T.S.E. Local 2, Kenny Corn, R.J. O'Neil and West Suburban Irish.
About RiverEdge Park
Chicago and Chicago's western suburbs have a beautiful, new outdoor
concert venue to enjoy after last summer's grand opening of the new RiverEdge
Park in downtown Aurora - Illinois' second largest city.
National acts playing RiverEdge this summer include 18th Annual Blues
on the Fox headliners Jimmie Vaughan, Los Lonely Boys and Taj Mahal (June
27- 28), Lee DeWyze and 10,000 Maniacs (July 5), Under the Sun Tour with
Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker (July 6), Lady Antebellum (Aug.
7), and the That Girl Tour 2014 with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, the
Indigo Girls and Brandy Clark (Aug. 29).
Aurora's popular Downtown Alive! outdoor music series presents American
English for only $3 on August 1.
Community festivals also will attract all ages to downtown Aurora including
Aurora's Fourth of July Celebration, the Aurora Puerto Rican Heritage Festival
(July 26- 27), the Fox Valley Irish Festival (Aug. 2) and Roots Aurora
Festival (Aug. 31).
Park is inspired by outdoor entertainment facilities in Chicago's Millennium
Park and Northerly Island, and Milwaukee's Summerfest. Anchored by the
striking John C. Dunham performance pavilion, RiverEdge features 30 acres
of beautiful riverfront grounds, state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting,
and a full array of concessions. RiverEdge has a capacity of 8,500.
RiverEdge Park is accessible via Metra's Burlington Northern Santa Fe
(BNSF) line. Paid public parking is available in the Metra lot, additional
private lots surrounding the park and in downtown Aurora just a few blocks
All events at RiverEdge are general admission. There will be limited
bench seating on and event-by-event basis at RiverEdge in 2014. Guests
are encouraged to bring folding bag chairs (shoulder height) or blankets.
Some shows like Lady Antebellum and Jennifer Nettles will have standing
room only in front of the stage with a designated area for chairs or blankets
behind the sound tower. Visit RiverEdgeAurora.com for specifics about each
Food and drink are available for purchase inside RiverEdge Park. No
outside food or drink (except sealed water bottles) are allowed in the
park. RiverEdge concessions offer a diversified menu from official food
vendor Two Brothers Roundhouse, along with a bar featuring domestic and
craft beers, wine, sodas, bottled water and more. A busy row of festival
food vendors also set up tents to sell everything from hot dogs to funnel
Events take place at RiverEdge rain or shine, unless conditions endanger
the safety of artists and the public. Concertgoers are advised to call
the RiverEdge Park Weather Line, (630) 723-2480, to check status if inclement
weather is pending.
The 2014 RiverEdge Season is sponsored by The Dunham Fund, City of Aurora
and Paramount Arts Center Endowment (PACE).
RiverEdge Park is managed and programed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority
(ACCA), which also oversees operations for Aurora's historic Paramount
Theatre. Under the guidance of President and CEO Tim Rater, ACCA has a
proven track record of attracting audiences to downtown Aurora, with first-year
attendance at RiverEdge estimated at 100,000, and annual attendance at
the Paramount Theatre having grown from 55,000 in 2010, to more than 250,000
for the recent 2013-2014 season.
For more information, visit RiverEdgeAurora.com
or call the RiverEdge box office, 630-896-6666.
Irish Fest Summer School Offers Week of Hands-On Learning
Each year, Milwaukee Irish Fest offers hands-on instruction of Celtic
traditions through a Summer School program that takes place the week leading
up to the annual festival. The world’s top authorities in Celtic music,
history and culture teach at the Summer School, which happens Aug. 11-15.
Highlights for 2014 include a knitting class, leather tooling workshop,
Scottish fiddle and lectures with topics ranging from Celtic funeral traditions
to the life of Brian Boru, Ireland’s first modern ruler.
"The Irish Fest Summer School promises all things Irish for all ages,"
said Jane Walrath, director of the Irish Fest Summer School. "If you’re
looking for a unique, educational experience this summer, there’s nothing
quite like our Summer School program."
Music and Dance Programs:
Guitarist and vocalist John Doyle will offer a class in guitar and
ballad sessions, while Belfast’s own Grainne Holland will teach Sean-Nós
and intermediate Irish language. When it comes to instruments, three-day
classes include flute, Irish mandolin, Irish tenor banjo, beginning whistle,
bouzouki, intermediate and advanced guitar. There are also bodhrán
(Irish frame drum) classes for every skill level and fiddle classes at
the intermediate and advanced level taught by John Carty. Also, Fergal
Scahill of We Banjo 3 will teach fiddle improvisation and variation
Accomplished classical violin players who wish to learn Celtic style
can try an introduction to Irish fiddle with Ed Paloucek. Dancers will
be delighted by a Sean-Nós dance class, Scottish Céilidh
classes and set dancing.
Arts & Crafts:
Returning by popular demand will be classes on Sugán weaving,
leather tooling and a knitting class by Edel MacBride. MacBride’s designs
have been worn by many notable women, including Sarah Jessica Parker and
Language and Culture:
Speakers of Irish – or those who wish to be – will enjoy a class on
beginning Irish language, intermediate Irish language or a bilingual workshop.
Local experts and visiting scholars will offer unique lectures with topics
ranging from immigrant women, the Irish in World War I and Celtic spirituality
– funeral customs.
Friday Samplers and Workshops:
Rounding out the offerings are Friday morning sampler classes for beginners
and dabblers. Participants can sample 90-minute classes covering Irish
music tune types and instruments, whistle, Sean-Nós dance, Scottish
Céilidh, Irish language, Celtic spirituality and the life of Brian
Boru. Two-hour workshops are being offered for intermediate and advanced
musicians covering bodhrán, guitar and Scottish fiddle.
Registration is open now through July 30th. Classes are held on the
campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in downtown Milwaukee.
Dormitory housing is available to Irish Fest Summer School students. Register
online at http://irishfest.com/Summer-School.htm.
In between and after classes, students can shop for CDs, books and T-shirts,
join in a book discussion, enjoy teatime or meet at an area pub at night
for music, dance and food. As Summer School concludes, participants are
invited to continue the fun at Milwaukee Irish Fest; all enrollees will
receive one free ticket to the festival along with free admission to the
opening night Grand Hooley.
About Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Irish Fest is North America’s largest celebration of Irish,
Irish American and Celtic music and culture. The four-day festival showcases
more than 100 entertainment acts on 16-stages at Henry W. Maier Festival
Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. The annual festival occurs every third weekend
in August. The 2014 festival takes place August 14th through the 17th.
More than just a festival, the Milwaukee Irish Fest organization is
passionately committed to igniting a love of Irish, Irish American and
Celtic culture in all people. With the help of more than 4,000 volunteers,
Milwaukee Irish Fest shares Irish and Celtic music, dance, drama, sports,
culture, children’s activities and genealogy through year-round programming.
For more information, visit www.irishfest.com.