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Three Days to Get Your Irish On in the 'Burgh

The 28th annual Pittsburgh Irish festival invites you to a seat at the dinner table and a peek into Irish culture.

photos courtesy Pittsburgh irish festival

Leave your passport at home and give your knitting needles back to grandma – Irish culture, past and present, is about to get local.

For three days beginning Sept. 7, Pittsburghers will be able to get their fill of hearty Irish stew, try on traditional Aran knitwear or throw a Celtic Axe or two at the 28th annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival taking place at the Riverplex at Sandcastle Water Park in West Homestead. There is plenty to eat, drink see and do — here are some our favorites.


Explore the days of old
New to this year’s festival is the sport of ancient Celtic Axe throwing. You can try it yourself for free as long as you are at least 16 years old and wearing closed-toe shoes (the dangers of ax throwing in sandals is fairly obvious). Visitors also can check out traditional knitwear of Ireland’s Aran Isles at the Cultural Cottage, as well as buy sweaters of their own at the festival’s marketplace, where more than 50 specialty Celtic stands will be setting up shop.

On the menu are the traditional Irish foods such as Shepherd’s Pie, colcannon and potato soup. New this year are snacks straight from Ireland – think Guinness chocolate and fudge, soda bread and scone mixes, plus Irish teas and coffee.

Sports and Entertainment
Hurling matches between the Pittsburgh Pucas and Pitt Panthers will take place throughout the weekend, and visitors are invited to try their hand at this Irish national sport. For the uninitiated, hurling is an ancient Gaelic game that mixes hockey, football and soccer. If you’re not up to chasing a ball with a wooden stick, there are plenty of other entertainment options including continuous music and dance performances. Local artist Conor Coleman also will be doing live art demonstrations. For those who play an instrument, and are willing to entertain others in one of the performance tents, admission to the festival is free.
For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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