The first event to take place in the ‘new’ Statler building is a big one. The Buffalo Irish Festival is taking place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Niagara Square landmark being renovated by Mark Croce. The fun begins on Friday with a parade of the 32 County flags of Ireland at 5:30 p.m. The celebration will bring Irish musicians from across the country, as well as Canada and Ireland, to perform on three stages. There will also be Irish dancers from six local dancing schools performing. Mary Kate O’Connell’s theater company will continue their tradition of putting on a 50-minute performance on the history of the Irish community in Buffalo. This year, the play will be “Uniontown,” a story of the hard life of the Irish immigrants who worked for Union Iron Works in the late 1800s.
In addition to the entertainment, there will also be 25 to 30 vendors of Irish merchandise and crafts. Festival goers will be able to find Irish books, musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, artwork and more. There will also be plenty of traditional Irish food and beverages. The festival will be spread throughout both main ballrooms, the main grand lobby, and rooms on three different levels of the building. For many of the Irish cultural organizations present, this will be their largest fundraiser of the year.
Pre-sale tickets are priced at $6 per person. Tickets purchased at the gate will be $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors. A full-weekend pass will be $18. Admission to the parade on Friday is free.
For more general information on the Buffalo Irish Festival, the entertainment schedule and participating organizations, visit the website or call the Shannon Pub at 716.743.9348.