Seattle Center Festál continues with Irish Festival Seattle

An image from an Irish Festival event.

An image from an Irish Festival event.
Sunny Martini

Seattle Center Festál continues with Irish Festival Seattle, one of the longest-running festivals within the Festál series. Presented by the Irish Heritage Club, this free public festival takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Seattle Center Armory. The festival will feature live musical performances, genealogy workshops, children’s activities, step-dancing and Irish and Celtic craft goods.

This year’s festival will celebrate and feature literary accomplishments from Ireland, including honoring those who have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer W.B. Yeats winning this prize, and he will be honored along with other writers such as George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.

Emmet That Irish Guy, a popular Northwest Irish folk singer, is new to this year’s musical lineup. In addition, returning is CAVORT, Seattle’s premier Irish band, which has entertained audiences since 2015 with their hearty pub songs and vigorous instrumentals. Carrigaline Celtic Band also returns with traditional instruments, such as the bodhran, uillean pipes and fiddle. Step-dancing troupes such as Haley Prendergast, Comerford, Cladach, Carol Henderson, Fire and Ice, Grafton Street and Tara Academy round out the entertainment.

Booth and vendors include Apple Cox Design, Carbony Celtic Winds, Celtic Crossroads NW / Wandering Angus, Celtic Jewelry with an Ancient Story — The Celtic Jewelry Studio, Dwiggins Illuminations, Elfstone Celtic Jewelry, History of Names, India Imports, Into Totes, IHC Information, Irish Heritage Club Book Sales, Lyoncraft, Make it Feision, Seattle Gaels / Tacoma Rangers, Seattle Genealogical Society, Shawn O Donnell's, The Fancy Accent Tea Company and Postcards Guy.

Irish Festival Seattle is organized by the Irish Heritage Club (IHC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Irish cultural activities in Western Washington, such as performances of Irish music, Irish dancing, Irish language, Irish history, Gaelic games, and cultural exchanges with Seattle’s Sister City of Galway, Ireland. The IHC was founded in 1982, the first year Irish Festival Seattle was held at the Seattle Center, and annually, the festival is a highlight of Seattle’s Irish Week celebrations organized to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, continuing the tradition of bringing together the Seattle area’s finest performers and artists to provide a taste of what it means to be Irish.

This is the second in a series of festivals put on by 24 cultural organizations that Seattle Center will host over 2023.