John W.S. Creedon, Jr., Event Co-Chair, jcreedon [at] ftwlaw [dot] com, (508) 459-8028
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre will host its first annual Worcester Irish Music Festival on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday June 15 on its grounds at 19 Temple Street. The festival will include all genres of Irish music, several musical headliners, Irish step dancers, a traditional Irish Seisiún, and the first "Boiled Cabbage O'Lympics." Tickets, which are available on the festival's website, www.WorcesterIrishMusicFestival.com, at the Fiddlers' Green Pub & Restaurant, or by calling (508) 792-3700, are $10 for one day ($12 at the door), $15 for a weekend pass, and children under 12 are free. Proceeds from the festival will directly support future festivals and other Centre activities.
Headlining the festival will be the band Black 47 from New York City, The Town Pants from Vancouver, Canada, The Joshua Tree from Boston and local traditional and contemporary Irish groups like Fergus, The Brennan Brothers, and Mulligan's Fancy. Irish step dancers will also take the stage while a continuous, traditional Irish Seisiún, or Irish version of a pick-up session, will run inside the Centre for the duration of the two-day event.
The Worcester Irish Music Festival will also feature the first ever (and soon-to-be-world-famous) "Boiled Cabbage O'Lympics" on Sunday, a perfect activity for Father's Day. Teams of two will race against other teams of two through an obstacle course which starts with one teammate pouring a can of Guinness (shaken, of course) into a plastic pint cup, kicking a head of boiled cabbage through a course of orange cones (pint cup in hand), then throwing a rubber snake in a basket (à la St. Patrick), followed by bobbing for a potato, then passing the cup of black goodness to his/her partner who races back down the course. At the end, depending on how much Guinness spilled out of the cup, seconds will be tacked on to teams' times. The winning team will be awarded the "Cabbage Cup" by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray. (Note that participants will all be at least 21 years of age and that no consumption of Guinness, necessarily, will occur during the activity.)
"We're excited to help further the efforts to energize Worcester's burgeoning Canal District, and look forward to hosting a huge crowd of folks from Worcester, Massachusetts and around New England," said Festival co-chair John W.S. Creedon, Jr. "The ‘Boiled Cabbage O'Lympics' on Sunday are sure to be a draw along with the live music, food, and good cheer. And, while the ‘luck of the Irish' may be on our side, we've left nothing to chance by putting the entire event under a massive 100' x 120' tent."
Proceeds from the Festival will benefit the 501(c)(3) Worcester Hibernian Cultural Foundation, Inc. to enable the organization to host an annual Worcester Irish Music Festival and other such events at the Hibernian Cultural Centre which will continue to bring the community of Worcester together and to revitalize the City's Canal District. The Hibernian Cultural Centre has quickly become the premiere cultural venue for the Worcester area Irish community since its opening in 2005. The building was refurbished by the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Foundation filling a void created in 2002 when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took the former "Irish Club," located on Millbury Street, by eminent domain for the construction of the Route 146 Extension.
"This Festival will certainly be fun for both young and old alike with a wide array of music and events for the whole family," says the Cultural Centre President, Paul Verdini. "Plus it will bring in needed funds to support future festivals and the Centre's other cultural activities."
More entertainment and events are expected to be added to the Festival and will be posted to the event's website: www.WorcesterIrishMusicFestival.com. Sponsorship opportunities and entries in the "Boiled Cabbage O'Lympics" are still available. For more information, contact festival organizers at WorcesterIrishMusicFestival [at] gmail [dot] com.