The largest celebration of culture in Southwest goes to the dogs as its 32nd year showcases all things Irish, including dogs, dancing, dining and more in Dallas’s Fair Park for the North Texas Irish Festival.
From “Erin Go Bragh!”, a traditional Irish saying meaning “Ireland Forever,” to “Erin Go Bark!”, the theme of this year’s festival, this phrase reflects one of its most-loved traditions as it celebrates the role of the “Celtic canines” in this beloved dog- and family-friendly festival.
Whether your dog is Irish, Celtic, or just a friendly mutt, he or she is welcome to accompany you and your family to enjoy the music, culture, fun and food. New for this year, the festival now has a bigger paw print – er, footprint – with the addition of a pet pavilion in the Grand Place, dedicated to dogs and other friendly pets — lots to get your tail wagging. Attendees can search for a new pet in the largest gathering of animal rescue groups in North Texas. Last year alone, almost 100 animals found new homes through the festival.
Thank goodness dogs love music, because the heart of this festival, an all-volunteer effort produced by the Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA), is a celebration of music that will have you tapping your toes and paws. The North Texas Irish Festival features top Irish musicians, dancers and storytellers from around the world and a variety of cultural presentations on 13 stages at Fair Park. The festival also hosts activities for the kids, an Irish cooking stage, storytelling, arts/crafts and much more for the family.
The “First Texas ‘Ceili” (pronounced “kay-lee” and meaning “gathering” in Gaelic) was held in 1983 at a local Oak Lawn pub and has grown into the largest celebration of Irish culture in the Southwest as the 32nd Annual North Texas Irish Festival, presented by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing music and dance scholarships and supporting other major Celtic cultural events in DFW.
NORTH TEXAS IRISH FESTIVAL
Feb. 28 – Mar. 2, 2014
Gates open on Friday evening, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m.
Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 1; and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 2.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ntif.org.
- Admission is FREE on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $10 after (50% off coupons online at www.ntif.org).
- Children 11 and under are FREE when accompanied by adult family member.
- Seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off all gate prices.
- Dogs are allowed in on a short leash with a $1 requested donation to animal rescue groups supported by the festival. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.
- A one-day ticket is $20 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday at the gate, while a two-day ticket is $25 and a weekend pass is $30. Discount tickets for all three days will be available at area Tom Thumb stores in February.
Parking is available in and around Fair Park, or attendees can take the DART Green Line (take the Green Line and save some green!) to the front entrance of Fair Park and the North Texas Irish Festival. Detailed directions and parking tips are available at www.ntif.org. The public can call 972-943-4616 or visit www.ntif.org for more information or to volunteer to work at the festival.