The Dublin Irish Festival
Celebrating 20 Years in 2007
Celebrating All Things Irish
The Dublin Irish Festival, now one of the top Irish festivals in the United States, began with the merger of two ideas.
The original idea for the event was pure - to expose people to authentic Irish culture. While maintaining that goal,the Dublin Irish Festival has expanded greatly to emerge asone of the top three Irish Festivals in the United States.
Dublin 1/1,000: Ties Across the Sea
Dublin, Ohio , resident Mary Margaret McLernon traveled to Ireland in 1987.That same year, in August, Dublin attained city status. During hervisit, McLernon discovered that Dublin, Ireland, was preparing for its 1988 millennium celebration.
“I thought it would be great to establish a connection between the two Dublins, especially since we would celebrate our first anniversary as a city the same year that Dublin, Ireland, would celebrate its 1,000 th anniversary.” McLernon's idea resulted in a visit to Dublin, Ireland, by city officials from the younger Dublin
McLernon also was interested in creating what would be a year long celebration to honor the anniversaries and to showcase Irish art, music and culture. The 1/1000 Committee was formed to host events that included a party at the high school where “Happy Birthday, Dublin” was spelled out with green, white and orange balloons, performances by actors form the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, and the first Central Ohio appearance of the Chieftains.
The Columbus Feis Comes to Dublin
The Columbus Feis, an annual Irish dance competition, came to Dublin in 1988. After five years dancing outside at St. Charles Preparatory School in Bexley and then two years battling the heat and horseflies at the Franklin County fairgrounds, the Feis was moved to Dublin High School. Dublin, with its Irish name, seemed like the logical new home for the Feis.
It wasn't long before the Dublin 1/1000 Committee and the Feis organizers worked together to secure Coffman Park. The Dublin Irish Festival was born!Today the whole park is filled, bringing in arts and crafts, storytellers, and no less than seven stages for Irish entertainment.
By trial and error and the passion and dedication of countless people, the Dublin Irish Festival became an annual event.
When choosing entertainment, a lot of variety has been provided over the years by rotating the performers. We look for a mix of international headliners, big regional acts and emerging local bands.