GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

March 10, 2010

Celebrating our Celtic heritage and St. Patrick

Those who prefer a more genteel St. Patrick's Day celebration, as opposed to the traditional political roasts, or the green beer that often flows at local pubs, have several options in the coming week.

Cape Ann and the North Shore are fortunate to have so many opportunities for residents to attend and participate in cultural events, and this is no exception. They are also a great opportunity for people of Irish or Scottish ethnicity to introduce traditional music to their children or grandchildren, and for children to honor their parents by celebrating their shared heritage.

There will be a Gala Gaelic Dance Benefit at Gloucester City Hall on Sunday, March 14, to benefit the City Hall restoration fund, to which you can bring the whole family.

Emerald Rae and her Irish/Cape Breton musicians and dancers will step to the tunes of Celtic fiddlers, vocals and guitar from 4 to 7 p.m. at Kyrouz Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and $25 for a five-person family. Refreshments will be served.

Tickets will be at available at the door, or you can pick them up early at Alexandra's Bakery or Bananas, both on Main Street.

On Saturday, March 13, the Ipswich Rotary Club plans a fundraising benefit concert, "Celtic Night at IPAC" and the headline act is Boys of the Lough. Their traditional acoustic instruments are the fiddle, flute, guitar and bodhran (a drum, which some think may have derived from Celtic war drums), and their vocal traditions are Irish and Scottish. According to the New York Times, Boys of the Lough (http://www.boysofthelough.com) is "one of the finest bands in Celtic traditional music." For those who enjoy this music, a unique opportunity presents itself next week in nearby Ipswich at the Ipswich Performing Arts Center (located at Ipswich High School), 134 High St., in Ipswich.

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