2018 Festival

Saturday, March 3

Vermont Renaissance Winter Faire

10:00 am-7:00 pm

VT Winter Renaissance Faire

Enjoy a spectacular day of music, dancing, artisanry, and medieval reenactments, promised by its organizers, Vermont Gatherings, to ‘chase away the winter blues.’ This year’s faire has a Celtic theme in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, so expect to see several familiar faces and performers from BIHF events. More information at http://www.vtgatherings.com/winter-faire/

Location: Champlain Valley Exposition,105 Pearl Street (Route 15) in Essex Junction.

Admission: $5-$15; children under 6 free. Order tickets here.

Sunday, March 4 and all Sundays (ongoing)

Irish language classes

1:00-2:00 pm

Irish language classes meet each Sunday in the back room “Library” for lessons at 1 pm for beginners, 2 pm for intermediate students. Study materials and instruction provided free; no age limit for those interested.

Location: Rí Rá Irish Pub and Restaurant, back room (Library), 123 Church St., Burlington

Admission: Free! Donations welcome


The Irish Woman’s Voice in Poetry – Angela Patten and Margaret Harrington

Angel Patten

Ch 17 Center for Media and Democracy: http://www.cctv.org/

In conjunction with the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival, Angela Patten, Dublin born poet and senior lecturer at the University of Vermont, visits with Margaret Harrington on the Ch 17 TV series FOCUS. Angela Patten will read selections from her three poetry collections, In Praise of Usefulness, Reliquaries, and Still Listening. She will also read from her prose memoir, High Tea at a Low Table: Stories from an Irish Childhood. Angela and Margaret will talk about the Irish woman’s voice in poetry and read selections from The White Page / An Bhileog Bhan: 20th Century Irish Women Poets.

Available on Ch 17 tv and BIHF websites starting March 5 and throughout the month.


Gypsy Reel

7:00-10:00 pm

Gypsy Reel

Gypsy Reel play high energy stirring music rooted in the Celtic tradition but garnered from the whole world. Their music is an exciting synthesis of world rhythms and influences from 3 continents. Their newest studio album, ‘Red Red Rose,’ features music from the tradition and original material from the band.

Location: Rí Rá Irish Pub and Restaurant, (center stage), 123 Church St., Burlington.

Friday, March 9

O’hAnleigh at Radio Bean

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

O'hAnleigh: Irish Steampunk

Warm up for St. Pat’s with a lively set from Vermont’s premier Irish Pub band!

Location: Radio Bean, 8 North Winooski Ave., Burlington.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Sunday, March 11

Irish Language and Culture Program

1:00-5:00 pm

Explore Irish language, history, and other culture, such as music and stories.

All above: Contact Liam McKone at [email protected] for further information.

Location: Rí Rá Irish Pub and Restaurant, back room (Library), 123 Church St., Burlington
Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Monday, March 12

Recitations and Readings: “Voices of the Immigrants” – Bill Drislane with special guest Rosa Castellano

6:00-7:30 pm

Bill Drislane

Bill will bring alive the voices of the Irish who emigrated to America. You will hear excerpts from his work in progress “The Murrays” – tales in verse and dialogue of an immigrant family that sailed from Belfast in the 1870s and settled in upstate New York. This wonderful program is part poetry, part dramatic readings – and all in voices that are meant to be heard! Bill Drislane is a singer, songwriter, fiddler, guitarist, poet and performer, with a love of reciting and bringing the art of spoken word to audiences of all ages.

Location: The Burlington Violin Shop, 23 Church Street, Burlington, VT
Admission: Free! Donations welcome.

Tuesday, March 13

Genealogy Workshop: “Finding Your Irish Roots”

7:00-8:30 pm

Vermont Genealogy Library

Join Ed McGuire of the Vermont Genealogy Library for discussion of the records, tools and techniques for searching both here and in Ireland. This session will be followed by tours of the library’s resources and use of their subscription databases including Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.ie. Refreshments provided, Irish genealogy books for sale.

Location: Room 202, Dupont Building, Ft. Ethan Allen, Colchester. Co-presented with the Vermont Genealogy Library. For more information call 802-310-9285.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Wednesday, March 14 and all Wednesdays (ongoing)

Irish Music Open Session

7:00-9:00 pm

Radio Bean Session

Come to play or to listen. The session is open to musicians & singers. Fine local musicians bring their best Irish tunes. This is not a slow session, so sit down and strap yourself in. Come ready to play, sing, dance or tap your toes, and try to keep up.

Location: Radio Bean, 8 North Winooski Ave., Burlington.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Thursday, March 15

Sophie and Fiachra

6:00-8:30 pm

Sophie and Fiachra

Sophie & Fiachra take the traditional Music of Quebec and Ireland and mate it in a unique way, remaining true to their roots while creating a new and original sound. Their sound is rooted in the fiddle playing and singing of Quebecoise Sophie Lavoie, and the uilleann piping and banjo playing of Fiachra O’Regan from Ireland. Their sound is sweetened all the more by Gaelic and French Canadian song arrangements. “Irish Music with a Quebecois Twist at its very, very best,” said Mike Harding. This is no surprise given Sophie & Fiachra’s track record with delighted audiences throughout the world – and their deep love for, and intimacy with, their respective musical traditions.

Presented by Young Tradition Vermont & The Burlington Violin Shop

Location: CHANGED Richardson Place, 2 Church St., Burlington, VT (a short walk from the Burlington Violin Shop)

Admission: Donations, but limited seating. For reservations [email protected]

JCAT Irish Session

7:00-9:00 pm

Jericho Cafe and Tavern Session

Moderately paced, all welcome. Every first and third Thursday of the month, the Jericho Cafe and Tavern plays host to a traditional Irish session open to all Irish musicians. Like all sessions, it has its own flavor. It is designed to be less intimidating and a comfortable place for people of various experiences to share a tune. The intention is to include all who want to play. For more information email [email protected]
Location: Jericho Cafe & Tavern, 30 VT-15, Jericho Center, VT 05465
Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Friday, March 16

Presentation: ‘An Irish-speaker in 19th-century America: Pádraig Phiarais Cundún, Machaire an Fhia, Nua Dhearc’.

Noon-1:00 pm

Aidan Doyle

The man in question settled in Deerfield, Utica, NY around 1826. Dr. Doyle’s talk deals with letters and poems he sent home to friends in Ireland, describing his life in the New World. Dr. Aidan Doyle is a lecturer in Irish at University College Cork, Ireland. He has written on various aspects of the Irish language. His latest book is A History of the Irish Language (2015). Recently he has taken an interest in the fate of Irish-speaking emigrants to North America.

Location: Fletcher Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Saturday, March 17

Children’s Crafts

10:00 am-Noon

St. Bridget's Cross

Share the Irish heritage with a new generation, or expand your children’s cultural horizons by creating some Irish-themed crafts. All ages are welcome.

Location: Pickering Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Instrument Petting Zoo – Young Tradition Vermont

10:00-10:30 am; 11:30 am-Noon

Adjoining the Children’s Crafts event, this is a chance for your youngsters to get up close and friendly with some of the most important instruments used in traditional music. Display and hands-on guidance graciously provided by Young Tradition Vermont. All ages are welcome.

Location: Pickering Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington.

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Irish Music, an Introduction – Dominique Dodge

10:30-11:30 am

Dominique Dodge

An informative exploration of Irish traditional music and song on the harp. Dominique will begin with music from the time of the blind 18th Century harper Turlough O’ Carolan, moving forward in time to trace the lineage of modern day dance forms Irish musicians know and love, visiting a song or two along the way. Dominique Dodge is a harper and singer who grew up in Jackson, NH and now makes her home in Vermont and Cape Breton. She is deeply grounded in traditional music and song. A former Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the University of Limerick with an MA in Irish Music Performance, she has been performing, recording, and teaching traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic for over a decade.

Location: Fletcher Room, Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington

Admission: $8 suggested donation

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh Irish Fiddle Workshop

3:00-4:00 pm

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

A one-time, one-hour Irish Fiddle Workshop with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, renowned Donegal fiddler with Altan, who will be performing the same evening at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington. The workshop is presented as part of the Fiddleheads program through Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop.

Location: Burlington Violin Shop, 23 Church Street Burlington, VT

Admission: $5 suggested donation for children and youth, $20 for others. More info.youngtraditionvermont.org/events. Reservations expected at [email protected].

Concert: Altan – A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

8:00 pm


For 30 years, County Donegal’s Altan has been the gold standard of Irish bands. Led by the spectacular two-fiddle frontline of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Ciaran Tourish, Altan performs a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the MainStage. Armed with fiddles, guitars, a bouzouki, and accordion, the six-piece band infuses a contemporary sensibility into traditional music—all of it sweetened by Mairead’s beautiful voice (the quintessential pure Irish soprano). From hard driving jigs and reels to the sweet and sad ballads sung in Gaelic and English, Altan displays a mastery of form and a freshness of vision. Sláinte!

Location: Flynn Main Stage, 153 Main St., Burlington

Admission: $25-$70 Call 802-86-FLYNN or email [email protected]

Sunday, March 18

Burlington Irish Heritage Festival Ceili

1:00-3:00 pm

Young Tradition Vermont Logo

McFadden Academy of Irish Dance


Festival Ceili - dancers and band

“Ceili” is the Irish word for a music, dancing, hand-clapping good time! The annual Festival Ceili, co-sponsored with Young Tradition Vermont, is fun for the whole family with Irish step dancing and some fine traditional musicians. Hear fiddles and flutes, Irish pipes and pennywhistles; and the bodhrán, an Irish frame drum. This music session will be hosted by Sarah King and Yasi Zeichner (from Young Tradition Vermont) with others. Area musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and join in for a lively seisun. Bake sale; display tables with information on Irish language, culture and other events. Members of the McFadden Academy of Irish Dance will perform and also lead audience participation in Ceili dances. Grand Prize drawing for ‘Luck of the Irish’ raffle at the end of the Ceili.

Location: Contois Auditorium, City Hall, 149 Church St., Burlington

Admission: Free! Donations welcome

Sunday, March 25

Masters of the Celtic Harp: William Jackson & Grainne Hambly

7:00-9:30 pm

Jackson and Hambly

William Jackson and Grainne Hambly are two of the foremost harpers of Ireland and Scotland. Combining their extraordinary talents on harp, as well as concertina, tinwhistle, and bouzouki, The Masters of the Celtic Harp perform all over the world and dazzle audiences with their artistry. With demanding solo careers that often have them performing on different continents, their combined show is a special treat.

Presented by TreeWild with Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival.

Potluck Supper at 6:00 pm. Concert at 7:00 pm. Wine, chai and dessert at intermission.

Location: 338 Thompson Road Shelburne, VT

Admission: $20 (all money for Treewild concerts goes to the musicians). Contact [email protected] for an invitation.

Friday, March 30

UVM Celtic Cats Showcase & Ceili

7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

UVM Celtic Cats



Showcase: The Celtic Cats (UVM Irish Step Dance Club) will perform recent and varied pieces, followed by the Ceili. The Celtic Cats St. Patrick’s Ceili is UVM’s premier Irish cultural event. It is the only strictly Irish event on campus each year. There will be performances by the UVM Celtic Cats and guests, as well as participatory Ceili dances where we will teach you everything you need to know! Irish themed refreshments will also be provided so bring your appetite.

More information here

Location: Dance Studio, Patrick Gym, 97 Spear St., UVM Campus, Burlington. Parking at Gutterson Garage (free). For information, visit Facebook or contact [email protected].

Admission: Tickets can be purchased at the door: $5 with a student/ UVM affiliated ID, $7 for community members