Irish summer doesn’t end with Labor Day, though we do look forward to slightly cooler days and evenings that encourage outdoor activities and help stretch the Irish festival season before we are shuttered indoors stoking the fires around the homeplace.

September weekends still have a host of them and it is great time to sample new bands and music and to appreciate familiar fodder as well.  So here are some suggestions near and far within a tank of gas for you.

Coming up this weekend is the Albany-based Irish 2000 Irish Festival actually held in Ballston Spa at the Saratoga Fair Grounds north of Albany.  It’s a two-day affair beginning on Friday, September 14 where the entertainment goes from 5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on multiple stages and continues again all day Saturday, Sept 15 from around noon until 11 p.m.

Among the entertainment offerings are GIRSA, John Whelan Band and the Makem and Spain Brothers. Burning Bridget Cleary is there on the trad front and the very popular festival bands like the Screaming Orphans, Mickey Finns, Enter the Haggis, Prodigals and a rare appearance by the Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIssac who often defies description.  For more information visit

On Saturday down the Jersey Shore is the 14th annual Irish festival at the Sea Girt National Guard Armory ( going from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with entertainment by Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones, Willie Lynch Band and ceili music by Margie and John Reynolds and Paddy Furlong.  This is a family festival with something for everyone with vendors, food and grog.

Looking ahead to Saturday, September 22 is the fourth annual Hudson Valley Irish Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Peekskill Riverfront Green Park on the Hudson River in Peekskill, New York.
Run by the AOH, it helps support the local Hudson Irish Center there in Verplanck and cultural activities throughout the year. Scheduled to perform are Jameson’s Revenge, GIRSA, Black 47, Tim Murphy and some special guests.  For more info visit

These festivals all serve worthy causes and help keep our Irish heritage alive and are family friendly events that help sustain our Irish American community.