While St Patrick’s Day has become a moment for the world to be a wee bit Irish for one day a year, it looks like the family-friendly spirit of the 4th of July is getting bigger and taking hold in Ireland. I’ve come across not one, not two, but THREE major celebrations in Ireland this summer.
IRISH AMERICA DAY
New Ross, Co Wexford
The area is home to the ancestors of John F Kennedy and the Dunbrody Famine Ship & Emigration Centre, and now it’s where you’ll find one of Ireland’s biggest 4th of July parties. They’ll be re-enacting the Boston Tea Party, Reading the Declaration of Independence, holding a prom, serving up an American-style barbeque, and the list goes on… this one has more ties to American independence than most US celebrations. And if you show your US Passport, you’ll get 10% off in the special market. The only thing missing is fireworks and sparklers.
4TH JULY LIMERICK
Limerick, Co Limerick
The city on the Shannon gets in on the Yankee action with an Irish American Sport Expo, a picnic and mega-barbeque, an American poetry night, cookie making (and I thought apple pie was the all-American dessert), and several other events. Still no sign of fireworks and sparklers.
ULSTER-AMERICAN FOLK PARK
Omagh, Co Tyrone
I’m cheating a little on this one. The Ulster-American Folk Park always shows a bit of it’s red, white, and blue. The living history museum takes a look at life of many Irish families from before the Famine through emigration and settlement in the US. There aren’t any special events posted on their calendar, but you can bet they’ll be in top form… Conestoga wagons and all.