Annapolis Irish Festival Promises Fun for the Whole Clan

They say everyone is Irish once a year.

Well, around Annapolis way, let’s make that twice a year, at least for the hearty souls who venture out to the Annapolis Irish Festival each summer. This year’s party happens from July 10 to 11 (they actually give you a chance to be Irish three days a year), and if you’re an area apartment renter who likes boisterous crowds with a family-friendly patina, this could be a fun Friday or Saturday.

Having gone in 2012, I can state with near certainty what you’ll see this year: A bunch of Emerald Isle enthusiasts listening to a ton of bands while eating food and drinking beer. This is one festival where it’s cool to have red hair, or strawberry blonde or whatever color my hair is supposed to be.

Gaelic Storm (Emily Mills via Flickr)

That’s all folk: Music lovers will have three stages to peruse during the two-day festival. Look for Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm (above) on Friday night on the Shamrock stage. (Emily Mills via Flickr)

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Since 2011, this thing has taken place at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, so if you’re a special occasion-type guy or gal, you can say it’s the fifth anniversary and no one will complain. And how could they? They’ll be too busy double-fisting a couple of stouts before sailing headfirst to the front of one of the three stages to catch their favorite Gaelic act.

And this year’s musical lineup features many of the same performers as last year (you don’t say?). Albannach, Scythian, Gaelic Storm and the cute-as-a-button Gothard Sisters are all back to entertain you.

Even a band called The Rogues will be on hand, who I know were here in 2013. Makes you wonder what would happen if they ever booked The Pogues? Pure mayhem and bedlam. Irish dancers will be featured as well.

There’re 70-plus vendors scheduled to hawk their wares at the festival. I remember seeing a lot of T-shirts, Irish-themed necklaces and even some cool, fake, ceremonial swords when I went. Add to that some kilts and other clothing and you have a veritable Irish flea market.

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And Fadó Irish Pub and Galway Bay Irish Pub will be bringing the Emerald Island food.

Despite all the drunken revelry, this is actually a family-friendly event. I know I’m not writing like it, but it is!

You want evidence? How about Little Leprechaun Land? It’s a place where wee ones get to play on a playground of sorts, and have their hair and faces painted, all the while receiving necklaces, bracelets and balloons. There will even be pony rides. (Wonder if they’d let me in? I’ve been told I look young for my age.) In fact, there’ll be kids running around all over the place with their parents. Though, to be clear, the adults greatly outnumbered the kids when I attended.

Sponsors this year include Budweiser and The Greene Turtle.

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Tickets are a reasonable $15 on Friday and a little steeper $25 on Saturday. Kids 12 and under get in free.

VIP tickets are, I’m not gonna lie, pretty expensive (Friday – $85; Saturday – $110), but check the link to see why. Unlimited beer, wine, soda and water may have something to do with it, plus choice spots in front of the main stage

This is a fun cultural event, so whether you rent in Annapolis or not, trek out and have some craic.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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