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First Irish festival weekend kicks off today in Thorpe

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    Members of the Mackay Pipe Band entertain the crowd Sunday during the 21st annual Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe.

Published March 09. 2019 06:58AM

The first of two Irish Festival weekends kicks off today in Jim Thorpe.

Organized by the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, the event was started as a way to keep the tradition of celebrating Celtic heritage alive following the end of the town’s popular St. Patrick’s Day parade last year.

A Pot-of-Gold Passport can be ordered online at for $17. The passport includes special menu offerings, 17 percent off participating shops, $5 off shows at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, and a free Irish Heritage Historical Walking Tour among other perks. Passports and T-shirt orders can be picked up at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom, 41 W. Broadway, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. during each day of the event, March 9-10, 16-17.

Five dollars from every passport sale will go toward a fireworks show in July in Jim Thorpe.

Events include the first Youth Celtic Fiddle Contest from 1-3 p.m. today at the Stabin Museum & Café Arielle. There will be two age divisions (under 13 and 14-18), each with cash prizes for first through third places. Contestants will play three tunes, on a fiddle in any traditional Celtic fiddle style (Reel, Jig, Aire, Hornpipe, Waltz, Schottische, etc.) not totaling more than six minutes. Each contestant may have up to two nonfiddle accompanists, who may only play “backup” rhythm so the judges can hear the fiddler’s performance clearly. A piano/keyboard will be provided.

The Tartan Terrors will grace the Mauch Chunk Opera House stage tonight from 8-11 p.m.

Sunday’s events begin at noon with a brunch at the Stone Row Pub and Eatery, 45-47 Race St., featuring the eclectic stylings of Eric Szollosy. At the same time, the Bethlehem-based Mackay Pipe Band will begin roaming through town until 4 p.m. playing its traditional Scottish marching band music.

After the blessing of the spirits at the Gilded Cupid around 1 p.m. Sunday, the Tartan Terrors will be at Marion Hose Bar for a fireside acoustic session at 1:30 p.m.

The Blackwater Celtic Band will play Sunday at the Cafe Arielle at the Stabin Museum from 4-6 p.m.

Parking is available at Sam Miller Field, 122 North Ave., for $15 per car with a free shuttle to the downtown area. The shuttle runs continuously from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and drops off and picks up at 26 W. Broadway.

Parking proceeds benefit the upkeep and improvements of Sam Miller Field.

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