Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Festivals Spread in Summer Heat; Bards for St. Brigid's Bring Focus to Loss of Heritage

Just to recap Bards for St. Brigid's on June 15th, the total amount of money at Connolly's raised was over $21,000; the gate was over 500, with people flowing in and out as the evening progressed. More importantly, though, was the raising of consciousness in the Irish-American community about the importance of preserving the architectural heritage of the many thousands who fled An Gorta Mor in search of survival.

From those years, we don't have many photographs or recordings, no movies, yet the heritage stands far from mute as we view these beautiful 19th century churches with their glorious details. And the words of the Irish writers who paid tribute to that era, in written material and song, or in speech, were eloquent and moving. Larry Kirwan, Peter Quinn, Pete Hamill, Peter McNamara, Thomas Fleming, Ann Maguire, Kathleen Hill, Malachy McCourt -- we salute you as bards. Just to remind everyone, telephone calls to Cardinal Egan should be directed to 1-212-371-1011, ext. 2990 - ask for Communications.

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Upcoming festivals: The Irish Summerfest of Euclid - Euclid, OH, Thursday Through Sunday; 26th Annual Taste of Chicago - Friday Through July 9 and Irish American Heritage Festival , also Chicago, July 7-9; Colorado Irish Festival, Littleton, CO, July 8-9;Sláinte Irish Festival , Patchogue, NY, July 14-16; Canada's Irish Festival, Miramichi, CA, also July 14-16; Saline Celtic Festival , Saline, MI, July 15; and, if you happen to be in New York State's Catskill region, East Durham's Irish Arts Week - July 9-16, with the Traditional Music Festival as the culmination of the Week. More can be found at http://www.aviso.net/dir/usa/irish/events/index.htm.
-- Patricia Jameson-Sammartano, WGT Culture Editor

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