The Wolfe Tones, who perform on Saturday and Sunday in the Main Tent

The Connecticut Irish Festival, Feis and Agricultural Fair returns to the North Haven Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, Route 5, 300 Washington Avenue. The event, presented by the Irish American Community Center, attracts thousands of followers each year and features the finest in Irish music, dance and sports.

The festival, which is the longest running Irish festival in New England, features several top Celtic musical groups performing on both days. A full day dance competition takes place on Sunday at the Annual Feis with dancers dressed in colorful and traditional costumes.

Musical Acts

The Wolfe Tones have had an amazing career of over 50 years with founding member Brian Warfield bringing the group’s distinct Irish folk songs to new audiences. They will perform Saturday 8:30 pm to 11 pm and again on Sunday at 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Four high spirited musical sisters from Ireland, Screaming Orphans, perform Saturday in the Main Tent from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm; and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Their sound has been compared to the Bangles and the Cranberries and their musical influences range from the Beatles, R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Abba, to traditional music.

Mean Carlene is a rock-n-roll cover band, plain and simple. They play music from all eras and have fun doing it. They will perform in the Main Tent on Sunday from 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm.

Performing on Saturday in the Main Tent from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm, McLean Avenue Band are well-known Irish/Celtic performers covering Celtic, Irish and Pop music. Traditional Irish tunes, waltzes, carefully blended with the dancing songs of today's upbeat hits.

The Fighting Jamesons deliver a traditional style of Celtic music in the Main Tent on Saturday from 3:15 pm to 4:45 pm. They’ve shared the stage with legendary Irish rock acts such as the Saw Doctors and the Dropkick Murphys and have stormed on to the live scene as one of Celtic rock’s most sought after groups.

The Narrowbacks are a fresh voice for songs and stories old and new. The brain child of a future banker and drop out bartender, they pride themselves as Narrowbacks: American First, Irish Always! They will perform Saturday in the Main Tent from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

The list does not end there. The Green Gates Ceili Band will liven up the action in the festival’s Ceili Tent on Saturday from 7.30 pm to 10:30 pm. Even more music is set to take place on the Sunday with popular Irish duo The Auld Locals already confirmed.

With this star-studded line-up and more fine Irish music acts on the way, anyone with an appetite for Irish music will not leave the festival disappointed.

Road Race

The festival’s popular Annual 5k Road Race, in aid of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association, is now in its 11th year. There will also be two Kids Fun-Runs with Spiderman.

Entrants who are pre-registered by June 18 will receive special commemorative Irish Festival T-shirts by Graphic FX. Pre-registrants in the Kids Fun Run will receive youth T-shirts and special medals will be awarded to runners who beat Spiderman!

Participants will also receive free parking and admission to the Irish Festival after the race. The top three finishers in each age division of the 5K road race will receive trophies. ASO Athletic & Outdoor Sports Gift Cards will be awarded to the first overall finishers (male and female) and top finisher in each age category. As an added feature, the first North Haven resident finishers (male/female) will also receive special awards.

For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit for online race registration.

Sports Activities and Feis

On Saturday, two teams comprised of members from the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Fire Department New York (FDNY) will play an exhibition Gaelic football game at 6 pm. On both Saturday and Sunday, the New Haven Gaelic Football Youth program will display their talents against other youth teams. The festival planners also hope to arrange Camogie and Hurling matches at various times.

On Sunday the 49th annual New Haven Feis with students in colorful costumes competing at various levels in Irish Step dancing will be spotlighted.

In addition to the outdoor dance competitions throughout the festival grounds, there will be traditional Irish music, language, and Irish Bread Baking competitions in the Cultural Building. Bakers for the Irish Bread will not be charged a fee to enter and must simply bring their wrapped loaf of Irish, Brown, or Fancy bread to the Cultural Tent on Sunday.

For more information on competitions or volunteering to help, contact Theresa O’Brien at [email protected]. The Feis starts right after the 8:15 am Mass held in the Main Tent.

For a complete schedule of activities and times, visit the festival website: or look for CT Irish Festival on Facebook.

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