30th Annual Irish Fest

The time has come once again when it is acceptable—legal, even—to "hurl" in public. That's right: This weekend is the seventh-annual Irish Fair held at Harriet Island in St. Paul. While the beer will be flowing feely, most of the "hurling" you'll see will be more along the lines of the Irish version of field hockey where strong young lads will be knocking around sliotars. Other sports during the event include Gaelic football, heavy weight throwing, and Irish tug-of-war (internationally competing team DJs will be on-site giving instructions). Sports aren't the only attraction to the event—with more activities than you can shake a shillelagh (a.k.a. club) at, any Irish enthusiast will be entertained. The fair kicks off with the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band march and ceremony Friday afternoon; other musical acts for this year's event include Flogging Molly, Tannahill Weavers, the Elders, Wild Colonial Bhoys, Romantica, and Scythian. There will be soda bread and Irish photo competitions as well as a native Irish dog show. Find yourself a new kilt or the perfect Celtic knot at the marketplace showcasing over 60 vendors. Riverdance, storytelling, and the popular Irish Fair Idol will keep kids entertained while adults can indulge in bangers, mash, and oatmeal stout. Work off the calories with the Celts 5K; proceeds from the race benefit the Legacy Fund, an organization dedicated to giving back to the Irish community and other new immigrant populations. Go to www.irishfair.com or call 952.474.7411 for more information.
Fri., Aug. 8, 3-11 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 9, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 10, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., 2008

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