Irish festival brings heritage to Burlington

The Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicked off its 23rd year last week, with Irish heritage festivities all over the Queen City. The fun continues through March 30. Here are a few events this weekend. To learn more visit burlingtonirishheritage.org.
Children’s Crafts
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Pickering Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington
Share the Irish heritage with a new generation, or expand your children’s cultural horizons by creating some Irish-themed crafts. All ages are welcome.
Admission: Free.
Instrument Petting Zoo – Young Tradition Vermont
10-10:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Pickering Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington
This is a chance for your youngsters to get up close and friendly with some of the most important instruments used in traditional music. Display and hands-on guidance graciously provided by Young Tradition Vermont. All ages are welcome.
Admission: Free.
An Intro to Irish Music
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Fletcher Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington
Dominique Dodge will lead an informative exploration of Irish traditional music and song on the harp. Dodge is a harper and singer. She is deeply grounded in traditional music and song. A former Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the University of Limerick with an MA in Irish Music Performance, she has been performing, recording, and teaching traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic for over a decade.
Admission: $8 suggested donation
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh Irish Fiddle Workshop
3-4 p.m.
Burlington Violin Shop, 23 Church Street, Burlington
A one-time, one-hour Irish Fiddle Workshop with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, renowned Donegal fiddler with Altan, who will be performing the same evening at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington. The workshop is presented as part of the Fiddleheads program through Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop.
Admission: $5 suggested donation for children and youth, $20 for others. RSVP to [email protected].
Concert: Altan – A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
8 p.m.
Flynn Main Stage, 153 Main St., Burlington
For 30 years, County Donegal’s Altan has been the gold standard of Irish bands. Led by the spectacular two-fiddle frontline of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Ciaran Tourish, Altan performs a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the MainStage. Armed with fiddles, guitars, a bouzouki and accordion, the six-piece band infuses a contemporary sensibility into traditional music — all of it sweetened by Mairead’s beautiful voice (the quintessential pure Irish soprano). From hard driving jigs and reels to the sweet and sad ballads sung in Gaelic and English, Altan displays a mastery of form and a freshness of vision. Sláinte!
Admission: $25-$70. Call 802-86-FLYNN or email [email protected]
Burlington Irish Heritage Festival Ceili
1-3 p.m.
Contois Auditorium, City Hall, 149 Church St., Burlington
“Ceili” is the Irish word for a music, dancing, hand-clapping good time. The annual Festival Ceili, co-sponsored with Young Tradition Vermont, is fun for the whole family with Irish step dancing and some fine traditional musicians. Hear fiddles and flutes, Irish pipes and pennywhistles; and the bodhrán, an Irish frame drum. This music session will be hosted by Sarah King and Yasi Zeichner (from Young Tradition Vermont) with others. Area musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and join in for a lively seisun. Bake sale; display tables with information on Irish language, culture and other events. Members of the McFadden Academy of Irish Dance will perform and also lead audience participation in Ceili dances. Grand Prize drawing for “Luck of the Irish” raffle at the end of the Ceili.
Admission: Free.

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