Friday, 02nd Sept, 2011
The Irish-American Association guarantees that the Feis (Irish festival) on Sunday, Sept. 11, will be a great day for all ages. It will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, Route 206 in Augusta, just a mile north of Route 15 North. Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m.
The Feis was originally a parliamentary assembly of all the provincial kings, nobility, judges, poets and bards of Ireland at Tara, the seat of the Árd Rí or High King. It was an event of great pomp and protocol where judgments were handed down and laws enacted. There was great music and poetry and one can imagine the competition as each king brought his own bard and harpist. In the year 1169, the line of chariots carrying the nobility stretched for six miles.
This 30th annual Feis, sponsored by the Irish-American Association of Northwest Jersey in Rockaway Township, will be bigger and better than ever. It will include a massed bag pipe band exhibition and competition, 1,000 competitors in dance, traditional music and Celtic Art.
There will also be a soda bread competition. Just bring the bread by 11 a.m. Admission covers the entry fee — but they keep the bread.
There will be five show bands, and patrons are encouraged to dance to the music of the Willie Lynch, Eamon Ryan, Ian Gallagher, Dicey Riley and Kennedy Brothers bands. The Patti Furlong Band will provide traditional Irish music; listen or join in the Ceili and set dancing.
Visit the Irish language booth to hear Irish spoken.
See Celtic Art by Patrick Gallagher, and relax with a beer or soft drink in the beer tent and do some shopping for Irish goods in the vendors’ tent.
All events except the pipe band competition and food vendors are held in pavilion-style buildings. See a video of the 2009 Feis and get more information at iaanj.com
Admission fees are: over 18, $12; seniors, $10; 14-17, $8; under 14, free.