Mark your calendar: Great American Irish Festival slated for July 26-28

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FRANKFORT — The 16th annual Great American Irish Festival is being held Friday through Sunday, July 26-28 at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds.

The festival will run Friday from 5-11 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s Catholic Mass will include the musical talents of nationally renowned Andy Clooney, who will perform on stage following the service.

There will be again this year the opportunity for patrons to purchase a pass to a VIP area, to be located immediately adjacent to the main performing Contemporary Stage; a “sip and Paint” area; Whiskey Tasting; Irish Cultural Exhibits; and a Bag Pipe competition, along with traditional and contemporary Irish music hourly. Featured performers include the High Kings and Enter the Haggas.

Friday night and Saturday afternoon will have the return of the Highland Games.

The Highland Games are a centuries-old tradition of celebrating Celtic culture. It involves a large number of different male and female athletic tests of strength known as heavy competition. This includes the hurling of logs, stones, and hammers for distance measurement. Competitors will be from across the Northeast and will feature former track-and-field athletes who are continuing their athletic endeavors from high school and college.

A new addition to Sunday this year will be “Family Fun Day”. The festival will offer additional activities specifically designed for children and the entire family.

On the net: greatamericanirishfest.com

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