Pittsburgh Irish Happenings
October 30, 2006
In my last ‘Happenings Newsletter’ I informed you about some of the fundraisers that would take place. The effort to raise funds for Brendan Hughes in Belfast turned out very well. Plus he had some help back home that enabled him to receive much needed surgery on one eye and in a few months, with help from his Pittsburgh friends, he should be able to have his other eye operated on. We expect only success.
The second benefit was Samhain, the Celtic New Year, a fundraiser for Echoes of Erin. Although a small crowd it was a fun night. The Pittsburgh Steelers played that Sunday and went into overtime, upon which they lost. I expect many folks were too depressed to come out and celebrate. The event was a fun time; the new King & Queen for 2006 are Denny and Maureen Donnelly from Carnegie. Once pictures are ready I’ll post a few.
Coming up on November 4th is the 3rd Annual Guinness OYSTER Festival at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, 24th Street & Penn Avenue, In The Strip area of Pittsburgh. This event is sponsored by Guinness and benefits Neighbors In The Strip, an organization that overlooks the economic development opportunities and preservation of the personality, integrity and character of The Strip. Certainly when you visit Pittsburgh, The Strip is an area to explore and enjoy with the many unique shops and restaurants.
Beginning at Noon, six bands will perform over the day including Síochán (Shee’-a-kawn) (means Peace in Irish) Celtic Rock from Indianapolis, Now & Then, a contemporary group from Pittsburgh; Corned Beef & Curry with John McCann, Bob Banjeree and Todd Hartman who will definitely excite the crowd, Red Hand Paddy Pittsburgh’s premier Celtic Rock Group; Homeland from Canton and Dayton, Ohio area, also performing Celtic Rock, and Cue Ball performing a bit of blues, Irish Pub songs and some originals. There will be a multitude of oyster dishes on the menu along with their regular ‘fare’. Mon Aimee Chocolat, a delicious ‘sweet shop’ offering candies from around the world, including Ireland, will have treats available for purchase, plus there will be with Raffles and Give-A-Ways. Admission at the Door is $5.00. This is a really fun day with all sorts of folks showing up to enjoy the ambiance of the day. Plus the Pub has been extended with the addition of a very large Tent encompassing their parking lot.
The following week, on Thursday, November 9th, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Trust Presents is presenting Leahy in Concert at the Byham Theatre, at 7:30pm. Leahy is a family group of eight brothers & sisters from Ontario, Canada performing Irish, Celtic, Country and a broad repertoire of music. Tickets are available by calling 412.456.6666, online www.pgharts.org.
Leahy has played music all their lives being influenced by all musical genres. Their performance is fiddle-driven with step dancing, piano and percussion, and vocals. They are dynamic and energetic; the concert promises to be a passionate experience for everyone. This is Leahy’s first time appearing in Pittsburgh.
The Matchmakers are at The Harp! Finding a ‘mate’ is big business for some concerns; in Pittsburgh we have a ‘take-off’’ from Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. On Friday, November 10th, Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle presents The Lisdoonvarna Match-Maker Festival beginning at 7:30pm Since the Pub opened in 1992, over 70 couples have met at the Pub and married; now many of them have ‘Mullaney Kids’, as they are affectionately called by proprietor Anne Mullaney.
The evening begins with Registration and plenty of games to break the ‘ice’; there will be singing and dancing in the aisles and the music for the evening is Arminta and Blaq Lily, playing their unique blend of Celtic Music. The festival has proven to be a great way for singles to meet each other without going through many of the hassles that normally occur. The Match-Maker Festival has proven to be a good, wholesome, fun night. Admission at the Door is $5.00.
There will be a Renaissance Artisan Market taking place at The Irish Centre of Pittsburgh Saturday and Sunday, November 25 & 26. This will be a holiday themed show with Renaissance Stage Performers, shopping and story telling with Alan Irvine. Renaissance Garb is encouraged and it promises to be a fun two days of medieval extravaganza. Admission is $3.00.
The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh will present ‘Give Me Your Hand’ on December 2nd. This is an Evening of Irish Dance featuring, for the first time in Pittsburgh history, a performance by The Dancers of The Bell School of Irish Dance, The Burke School, Pittsburgh Ceili Club, Pittsburgh Irish Reelers and The Shovlin Academy of Dance. This takes place at the Catherine Thomas Theater at Benedict Hall, The Benedictine Sisters, 4530 Perrysville Ave. Tickets are available by calling the Institute at 412-394-3900.
Over the next several weeks, I will be conducting interviews with very interesting guests.
November 05 - Jim Caldwell, , Political Education Chairman with the Irish American Unity Conference, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Knights of Equity will be in the studio with me updating us on the US / UK Extradition Treaty.
November 12 - Ian Byrne, with the music group, The Elders, based in Kansas City. Ian Byrne is originally from County Wicklow and has generated a lot of excitement with their high energy performances.
November 19 - St. Andrew’s Society with Jim Beattie, President, and Highland Dancer and teacher, Jacqui Pressley.
November 26 - Brenna Briggs, Author, of her second book of ‘Liffey Rivers’, a young Irish Dancer Sleuth. The first book was a great read and this second book will be in time for Christmas.
December 3 - Andrew Paul, Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. PICT’s final performance for 2006 is ‘The Shaughraun’ by Dion Boucicault, will be holiday fun for the entire family.
Until Next Time,