Two-day Irish heritage fest set for this weekend
Irish fare, Irish dance, Irish music and, of course, lots of shamrock green, will fill the grounds around the German American Club this weekend as the Cape Coral Irish American Club brings its 14th annual Irish Festival to the venue on Pine Island Road.
The festival will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday when the festival will open with a Roman Catholic Mass.
The annual heritage fest began small, but has grown to take its place among the Cape’s most popular.
“It has grown bigger and bigger throughout the years,” said Terri Fry, the club’s secretary.
This year Albannach, a Scottish Band, will be among the performers.
“They have such a great sound. They start to play and you can feel your roots,” Fry said. “They are one of my favorites.”
In addition, Jamison Celtic Rock, Brendan Nolan, Rathkeltair, West of Galway, Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfetones will take the stage.
The Lee County Pipes and Drums Band will open the festival and other annual performance favorites will include the Kellyn Celtic Arts Dance Academy and the Irish Dance Academy of Sarasota.
In addition to the music, Irish beer will be featured as well as Irish cuisine and food trucks for those seeking other options and there will be numerous vendors including crafters selling Celtic wares.
For younger attendees, a children’s tent, with free face painting and arts and crafts for youngsters 3 to 12, will be among the attractions.
Capping off the two-day festival will be a raffle drawing for a trip for two to Ireland. Raffle tickets are $5. The drawing will take place on Sunday as the event’s grand finale.
Fry said she enjoys the festival because it gives her the opportunity to reconnect with people of the same culture while enjoying the fabulous music.
Tickets are $8 for adults, and free for children 12 and younger.
Proceeds are donated to many local charities as well as used to fund two scholarships, the Mahigan and Cobb scholarship, which is given to students interested in the Irish culture.
The German American Social Club is at 2101 SW Pine Island Road.
Festival organizers ask all pets and coolers remain at home.
For those interested in more than a weekend, the Cape Coral Irish American Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the German American Social Club. In addition to the business meeting, there is some sort of entertainment – speakers on Irish culture, singers, musicians or Irish dancers that provide an activity.
For more information, visit www.capecoralirishamericanclub.org or capecoralirishfest.com.