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City Desk

An Ri Ra weekend: The Elders say farewell and Dublin Gulch return


Diane Larson


2018 is a year not to miss An Ri Ra. So many new and exciting things are happening, and sadly it will be the last year for some. So don’t miss it. An Ri Ra happens August 10, 11, and 12 in Butte, America.


The Celtic Rock band, The Elders will make its final appearance at An Ri Ra this year. The band began their career in 1998, formed in Kansas City. Since that time they have brought, “their own musical mix of raucous, foot-stomping Americana & Celtic folk-rock,” according to their biography.


This will be the last time to see The Elders. The 2018 Festival season will be their last. In an article for The Kansas City Star, the band’s lead singer and percussionist, Ian Byrne said, “We want to sizzle, not fizzle.”


The band is at its best and has “never sounded as good as it does right now. But I didn’t want to not be able to do it. I didn’t want to hit the point where I was getting tired of it,” said Byrne.


The band made the decision last year that the 2018 Festival Season would be their last. The band has played the An Ri Ra festival and is always a crowd pleaser, we will be sad to see them go.


Joining the music line-up this year is “Girsa’ which means ‘young girls.’ Girsa consists of seven young women from Pearl River, NY. Their music, according to their Facebook biography, “is a fusion of the traditional music of Ireland and modern folk music.”


Butte’s own Dublin Gulch will grace our stages again this year.


There will also be chances to see Rory Makem & Donal Clancy. Liam Clancy, who is Donal’s father will be joined by his two brothers Paddy & Tom, along with Tommy Makem, Rory’s father, who will make up The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem. Brendan O’Shea will also be back this year.


The fun, foot stomping, fantastic Tiernan Dancers will be back this year with special guests from the Trinity Dance Company.


Another new item this year is the Irish Road Bowling event that is being put on by Butte Celtic Sports Association. Irish Road Bowling combines bowling, golf, and bocce ball. It is a boisterous, social sport which originated in Ireland in the 17th century. The “Irish rebels would “liberate” the English of their cannon balls and roll them home by the light of the moon,” according to BCS Facebook page.


The sport very naturally found its way to America during the Civil War through the Irish soldiers. This year Butte Celtic Sports brings the delightful game to An Ri Ra.


Please note that the Lecture/Author series will take place at the Covellite Theater at 215 West Broadway Street. On Friday at 9:30 am Bill Farley will talk about James A Murray, Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire. Then at 10:30 am Katy Meyers talks about Pulling Strings: The History & Use of the Celtic Harp, and at 11:30 am Myles Maloney, Hurling: Ireland’s National Sport.



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