In addition to its musical offerings, this year’s Dublin Irish Festival is stepping up its cultural programming.
For starters, for the first time this year, the cultural activities have a theme: Saints, Sinners and Scholars. From St. Patrick, who was not actually Irish, to scholarly scribes such as John Butler Yeats, to shady characters including Grace O'Malley, known as the Pirate Queen of Ireland, the theme will be reflected through Ireland's most memorable historic figures in creative ways.
The Irish Authors’ Corner, new last year and “wildly popular,” is being expanded to include children’s book authors and humorous authors, says Dublin Events Administrator Mary Jo DiSalvo.
And literature fans should remember to stop by and see this year’s sand sculpture; DiSalvo thinks seeing it carved over the course of the weekend will be as fascinating as any page-turner.
“Our sand sculpture will be tied to the literature of Ireland,” DiSalvo says. “It’s like the butter cow at the Ohio State Fair. It evolves over three days and ties into the cultural theme.”
New areas will explore basket weaving, medieval literature and Viking culture. A music workshop will allow guests to try their hands at songwriting.
- The return of shepherding, absent last year, now “back by popular demand.”
- Highland Heavyweight Games on Aug. 3, including Men’s and Women’s Amateur and Men’s Master Class competitions in caber toss, stone put, weight throw, weight over bar, sheaf toss and hammer toss.
- Hurling demonstrations with the Columbus Hurling Club.
- Seven of the eight Irish dog breeds in the Celtic Canine Area.
- Eight different Sunday Services celebrating faiths from Catholic to druid, and free admission Sunday morning from 9:45-11 a.m. with the donation of a non-perishable food item benefiting the Dublin Food Pantry.
- 11 new Emerald Isle and Marketplace vendors, including one that sells kilts for dogs.
For more information, visit http://www.dublinirishfestival.org