TUNE IN or JOIN: Alexandria Ballyshaners Going Virtual for 2020 Festival, August 29

For those looking for a little Irish spirit to liven the mood, the Ballyshaners will be hosting their first ever Virtual Irish Festival!

Scenes like these from last year’s Irish Festival on the Waterfront will be replicated virtually for the 2020 event. (Photos: The Ballyshaners)

Alexandria, VA – For those looking for a little Irish spirit to liven the mood, the Ballyshaners will be hosting their first ever Virtual Irish Festival on Saturday, August 29, 2020. The virtual fest replaces their usual outdoor festival that’s held every August in Waterfront Park in Alexandria.

The Virtual Irish Festival on the 29th will begin at 10:45 AM with an opening ceremony. This year’s festival theme will be “Honoring the Community and Thanking Those on the Front Line.”

Kaitlyn Likas, the Public Relations and Fundraising Coordinator for the Ballyshaners, shared that the same spirit from past festivals will be present saying, “We are thrilled to be able to bring the Irish Festival to Alexandria this year virtually! So many festivals have been cancelled due to Covid-19. This year, we have some international participation from some of the contestants of the Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival.” Kaitlyn will be representing the area as the Washington DC Mary from Dungloe.

They will have video presentations of music and dance performances, special messages from the community and local businesses, as well as demonstrations that will be uploaded to YouTube according to the schedule that will be posted on the Ballyshaners’ social media pages and at www.ballyshaners.org.

Likas shared, “We are trying to structure the virtual festival like the actual festival with a set schedule. There will also be a closing ceremonies consisting of a slideshow and tribute. The Ballyshaners are dedicating this festival to the community and those on the front line. Our entertainment schedule consists of cooking/cocktail demonstrations as well as a craft demonstration, story telling, dance routines, pipe band performances, musicians, and special messages from local businesses and the community. We are also very excited to announce an Irish Marketplace as well.”

The Ballyshaners are extending an invitation to participants and spectators alike. Musicians, vendors and other entertainers who are interested in performing in the festival and participating in the Virtual Marketplace should email ballyshaners_festival@yahoo.com.

Ballyshaners means “Old Towners” in Gaelic, the Irish language, and they were founded in 1980 by a small group of dedicated volunteers for the explicit purpose of organizing a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town. The Parade is now well into its fourth decade and the number and variety of participants is greater than ever before.

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