Later this month, Boston will serve host to the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships. 7,000 dancers and their family members, friends and spectators from Ireland and elsewhere worldwide, are expected to hit town for the competition which will take place from March 24-31 in the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. The “Worlds,” as they are popularly know will bring some excitement to the area — along with, of course, a hoped-for economic windfall.
The Worlds are held under the auspices of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, or Commission for Irish Dancing, created as an authority in 1930 to promote and foster all forms of Irish dance. In the decades since then, the commission has established regional councils in the US, Canada, Australia, and other parts of the world. Dancers compete in local feisanna, with the highest finishers advancing to the Oireachtas, or regional and national competitions, and from there onto the Worlds, which until recently have been held in Ireland.
Dancers will compete in age-grouped solo competitions from under 11 years old up to senior level, which is for dancers over 21 years old. The program of events will also include group events, ceilí and figure dance competitions as well as dance drama.
The impact of the Worlds, however, extends considerably beyond the Irish dance community, says Pat Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Competitors and other visitors will account for almost 20,000 hotel rooms and the total impact for the regional economy is expected to be close to $13 million.
“That’s quite a spending kick for the region and our hotels, restaurants, and retailers,” he says. “Much like a Super Bowl, the economic and tourism impact ripples out beyond the week-long activities. No convention or visitors bureau has an advertising budget to rival what the Worlds deliver.”
For more info on the event see www.clrg.ie/boston2013.