Planoites are you ready? While the North Texas Irish Festival will not be taking place within Plano city limits, there’s no reason why we can’t get into the spirit of things… After all, if its one thing the Irish know how to do, it’s party! And if you decide to go dressed as a Leprechaun (in full ceremonial dress and carrying a pot of gold) then you’ll get in free!
The 34th Annual North Texas Irish Festival returns to Fair Park March 4–6, 2016, celebrating the legends of the past and the legacy that continues to draw tens of thousands of fans to Dallas for everyone’s favorite celebration of music and Irish culture. Presented by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, a nonprofit that fosters the great tradition of Irish culture in North Texas, this largest cultural festival in DFW is also revered as one of the best Irish festivals in the U.S.
This year’s theme, “Legends and Legacy,” highlights some of the true legends of Irish music who will also grace the stage at the North Texas Irish Festival, including crowd favorites Altan and Solas. New this year is a special appearance from Celtic Aire, the premier folk ensemble of the U.S. Air Force, and Scythian, a Celtic band from the Ukraine that specializes in “immigrant rock.” From highlighting true legends of Irish music to continuing the legacy through newer, younger musicians emerging from the North Texas hotbed of Irish music, North Texas Irish Festival proves to be another rich, cultural experience that will have toes tapping and minds blown.
The North Texas Irish Festival features top Irish musicians and dancers from around the world and a number of cultural presentations on 13 stages at Fair Park. After all that music and dancing, hungry appetites can be satisfied with Irish stew, Shepherd’s pie, or even fish and chips at one of the many food booths featuring traditional Irish cuisine. Cooking presentations from top chefs will modernize Irish classics with new twists and traditional Irish ingredients like Guinness—fare that attendees can taste and then wash down with a glass of their favorite Irish beverage. Whiskey tastings, blacksmithing demonstrations, horse displays and more allow attendees to experience Celtic culture. Urchin Street kid-friendly activities include children’s entertainment, a petting zoo, safety demonstrations and art activities. Storytellers (those blessed with the Blarney’s gift of gab!) will weave tales of Celtic lore for everyone to enjoy.
North Texas Irish Festival
When: Friday, March 4–Sunday, March 6, 2016
Hours are Friday: 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fair Park, Dallas, TX
Tickets: Tickets are available online at NTIF.org and at DFW-area Tom Thumb stores
- Friday night: FREE from 6 to 7 p.m.; $10 after
- Saturday and Sunday: At the gate, a one-day ticket is $20 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday, two-day ticket is $25, and weekend pass is $30. Discount tickets can be purchased at area Tom Thumb stores in February.
- Children 11 and under FREE when accompanied by adult family member.
- Tickets for seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off.
- Dogs are allowed in on a short leash and a $1 donation is requested, which will be given to animal rescue groups supported by the festival.
- Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying a pot of gold) get in FREE.
Performers: Altan, Solas, Cathie Ryan, Jed Marum, Ed Miller, Patrick Ball, Makem & Spain, Scythian, and special guests Celtic Aire, the premier folk ensemble of the U.S. Air Force
Photography by the Plano Photography Club.