This Saturday, May 2, the Philadelphia Fleadh is moving to a new location. After years at Pennypack Park, the Philadelphia Fleadh will take place at The Cherokee Festival Grounds in Bensalem, just 10 minutes outside Northeast Philadelphia and less than 90 minutes from New York City.
The new landscape offers 15 picturesque acres along Neshaminy Creek with a view of cliffs and a broad skyline. The grounds have been home to the Cherokee Day Camp and some of Bucks County’s biggest festivals as of recent.
Having grown to be one of Philadelphia’s largest Irish events of the year, the Philadelphia Fleadh showcases 14 local and international bands on three music stages throughout the day. There will also be a two stage feis sanctioned by Rince Tuatha Nua and over 20 vendors selling Irish food, spirits and apparel.
Featured Irish rock and folk acts this year include the Mahones from Toronto, Canada, fresh off their European tour with Dropkick Murphys and promoting their critically acclaimed release The Hunger and the Fight. Also playing this year’s Philadelphia Fleadh is Pennsylvania’s own Kilmaine Saints, the always entertaining Seamus Kennedy, folk sensation Ray Coleman, Philadelphia’s own Jamison Celtic Rock (voted Best Irish Band in America), and more.
In addition to the live bands, the Delaware Valley chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) will host two ceili sessions featuring a band of local musicians and dances for everyone to join in. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments to join in the open seisiún, hosted by Fintan Malone, Kevin McGillian and Allyn Miner.
The festival is a family friendly event with a kids’ zone including a playground, bounce houses, a magician, balloonist and face painting too. Co-producer Frank Daly said, “It’s important to me that Irish American cultural events are fun for both me and my kids. As a father of four and a proud Irish American, I look for ways to show my children all aspects of our heritage – music, dance, theater, and fun. That’s what we wanted to create with the Philadelphia Fleadh.”
Co-producer CJ Mills said, “Being a native to Bensalem, I was overjoyed to be bringing the fleadh to my hometown. There is such a large Irish American population in the township that it seemed like such a win-win for everyone. Even the mayor was excited at our announcement of bringing the festival here.”
The Philadelphia Fleadh runs this Saturday, May 2 and goes from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Those wishing to see the start of the feis should plan to arrive earlier in the day. Parking is free, group discounts for 10 or more are offered and kids 12 and under are always free.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.
For tickets, more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.PhillyFleadh.com.