The North Texas Irish Festival returns to Dallas’s Fair Park March 3-5, bringing with it all the music, dance and culture that this exciting, family-friendly event in the rich tradition of Irish and Celtic culture.
One of the largest Irish festivals in the U.S., the North Texas Irish Festival is a family-friendly event featuring live music, dancing, storytelling, chef demonstrations and more on multiple stages, indoors and outdoors, in Fair Park. Attendees will also enjoy horse shows, sheepherding demonstrations, beer and whiskey tastings, genealogy research opportunities, animal rescue groups, shopping, child-friendly entertainment, and free arts and crafts for the kids. This indoor-outdoor festival takes place rain or shine.
“It’s music, it’s food and drink, it’s dance, it’s people connecting with each other,” said Sheri Bush, president of the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc., the organization that produces the North Texas Irish Festival and provides music and dance scholarships to local students. “There truly is something for everyone here. The volunteers who put their heart and soul into this festival are excited to share it with everyone.”
The largest cultural celebration in DFW, the North Texas Irish Festival is produced annually by hundreds of volunteers, some of whom have volunteered for decades, often alongside generations of their families.
Also returning this year is the North Texas Irish Festival Fun Run, a jaunt through the beautiful grounds of Fair Park on Saturday, March 4, at 8 a.m. This family-friendly fun run is perfect for runners or walkers of any age or ability, and also for dogs! All registered participants will receive a T-shirt, a “bottle opener” medal, one ticket to the North Texas Irish Festival, and two beers after the run if they are of legal drinking age. This non-timed 5K fun run will benefit Friends of Fair Park and the Southwest Celtic Music Association. More information and a link to registration are available here.
Music, dancing, whiskey tastings, horse displays, Celtic storytelling, animal rescue groups, Shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, dozens of activities for kids and child-friendly entertainment, and chef demonstrations are all found at this family-friendly festival.
The roots of the North Texas Irish Festival are in its celebration of music. This year, the North Texas Irish Festival will feature performers including national headliners Sliabh Notes, The Logues, Rory Makem, Moors & McCumber, and Celtic Aire; and regional performers 5 Second Rule, Behan, Beyond the Pale, Boxing Robin, C. Michael Price, Cleghorn, Colin Urwin, Emerald Accent, Goldring, Jiggernaut, Kinfolk, Plunk Murray, Reel Treble, River Driver, Slugger’s Rule, Sombati, The Selkie Girls, The Whalers, Threadneedle St, Tuatha Dea, Tullamore, Vintage Wildflowers, and Wolf Loescher.
The rhythmic magic of Irish step dancing is enchanting to watch and to tap your toe right along with. Celtic music will come alive in the steps of dancers of all ages, including those from The McLane School of Irish Dance and the Shandon-O’Regan Irish Dance Academy, who will delight audiences. Irish step dancers perform on a dedicated dance stage and also with musical performers throughout the festival.
Chefs doing their own modern take on traditional Celtic fare, or using traditional ingredients in new ways, delight audiences who love to learn and sample the fare on the chef stage. And don’t miss special mixology demonstrations on Friday night!
Urchin Street at the North Texas Irish Festival is a special place where kids can find entertainment, education, play and fun, including crafts, music, dance, storytelling, magic and mystery. Storytellers -- or “Shanachie” – will perform traditional Irish stories in the way that the Irish learned of their history for hundreds of years.
The North Texas Irish Festival is pet-friendly! From dogs to rabbits, cats and even a squirrel or two, attendees bring leashed pets to the festival to enjoy indoor and outdoor festivities. Need a new best pal? Animal rescue groups at the North Texas Irish Festival are happy to introduce you to animals to see if you might have a new “fur-ever” friend.
Hours, Admission and Location
Gates open on Friday evening, March 3, 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 4; and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.
Admission is FREE on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $15 after 7 p.m. A one-day ticket is $25 on Saturday or Sunday at the gate, while a weekend pass is $45. Discount tickets are available at area Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores for $20 for a one-day ticket. Children under 6 are FREE when accompanied by an adult family member. Seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off all gate prices. Pets are allowed in on a short leash. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.
Tickets will be available online at www.NTIF.org, at Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores, and at the gates on the days of the event.
Parking is available in and around Fair Park, or attendees can take the DART (take the Green Line!) 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 (214) 821-4173, or visit www.ntif.org for more information or to volunteer to work at the festival.
Connect with the North Texas Irish Festival at:
About the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc.
The Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. (SCMA) is the producing organization for the North Texas Irish Festival. Almost 1,000 volunteers will help in organization, promotion and execution of this year's festival. The first such festival was held on March 5, 1983, at the legendary Nick Farrelly’s Lounge on Oak Lawn and was billed as the First Texas Céilí. This event was so popular that it has continued every year since on the first weekend in March as the North Texas Irish Festival. Shortly after the first festival, the all-volunteer Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. was formed to promote the study, performance and preservation of traditional Celtic music, dance and culture. In 1984, the event was moved to Fair Park and its name changed to the North Texas Irish Festival. The Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit cultural corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and serves a five-state regional area. The organization maintains a web site at www.scmatx.org.