Danbury Irish Festival to Open at New Location

Antonia Schachter | August 27, 2019

This year’s festival is dedicated to its founder, Gerry Curran, who passed away last month.

Originally Published by Danbury Patch. Written by Rich Kirby, Patch Staff 

DANBURY, CT — The 2019 Danbury Irish Festival will step off on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 20, 21 and 22, at its new location, 65 Sand Pit Road in Danbury.

Ridgefield dancers from Doherty Petri School of Irish Dance will perform at the indoor/outdoor event which takes place rain or shine. The festival features three local Irish dance schools, Irish vendors, cultural activities, children’s entertainment, Irish food and refreshments and nonstop musical entertainment all weekend long.

The festival is presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, the Men’s and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, committee members, and volunteers.

This year’s festival is dedicated to its founder, Gerry Curran, who passed away in July of 2019. Curran, the former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, co-founded the Irish Festival with the help of Sharon Higgins, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians president, as a fundraiser to build the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center which is now located at 6 Lake Avenue in Danbury. The first Irish Festival was held at Rogers Park in Danbury in 1995, then moved to the Ives Center for many years, before finding its new home on the grounds of the Danbury Portuguese Cultural Center. 

Live music will perform on the main stage inside and festival goers can peruse authentic, traditional Irish jewelry and apparel from close to a dozen vendors. The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians prepare baked goods in the hospitality tent, and there are Irish food and drinks available for purchase as well. There will be shopping opportunities in the Irish Village.

Outside, the cultural tent showcases a broad range of Irish heritage and gives festival-goers an up-close experience of Irish traditional music, Gaelic language, history, dance, genealogy, film, theater, and literature through live performances, displays, lectures, and workshops. All weekend long there will be displays on “Women of the Easter Rising,” the Book of Kells, Irish crochet, Irish language and classes, Irish family histories, genealogy, Irish blessings, Irish literature, history of the potato famine, and Irish traditional music history.

Also outside under the Cultural Tent will be the Children’s Tent which is open from 12-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and includes a wide variety of entertainment and activities for children and their families. The Children’s Tent headline entertainer is Danny Diamond who will do balloon twisting on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 3-4 p.m. and a magic show from 1 – 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. Miss Angie from PopRox Productions will be face painting Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. each day and there will be arts, crafts, games and more for children of all ages to enjoy.