Saturday, September 3, 2011

20th Annual Irish Fall Festival to Begin Sept. 22


The largest Irish festival on the east coast begins on Thurs. Sept. 22, and concludes on Sun., Sept. 25.

This festive four day event is sponsored by James J. Reilly, Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). The AOH is an organization which fosters and preserves Irish culture and heritage.

The success of this festival has been overwhelming, and continues to draw more and more people each year. With over one hundred vendors, sixteen food vendors, and an estimated crowd of over 200,000, this gathering will definitely be the place where you want to be!

The activities begin on Thursday, September 22, at 7:30 a.m. with a round of golf at the Avalon Golf Club on Route 9 in Swainton. The fee is $90 on or before September 15 and $100 after. The fee includes golf fees, cart, cap, buffet, beer and many prizes. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For additional information, please contact the AOH.

On Thursday evening, the festival will begin where Olde New Jersey Ave. meets the ocean. The tent at The Pointe at Moore’s Inlet will be transformed into a boxing arena.

Ten amateur boxing bouts, sanctioned by the Middle Atlantic Boxing Association, will feature the Harrowgate Boxing Club, Philadelphia, PA vs. the Holy Family Boxing Club, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.. For advanced ticket sales please call 215-465-1778.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the festivities will take place on Olde New Jersey Ave. Here the street vendors will display their Irish memorabilia, and the food vendors will offer a variety of Irish and non-Irish treats.

This activity begins at 8 a.m. each morning and continues until 7 p.m. Stop by and visit the AOH table for additional information.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be free live entertainment continuously from noon until 10:30 p.m. As always, the concert will begin with the National Anthem sung by Dolly McGee, followed by the Irish National Anthem sung by Mary Pat Hastings.

Other featured performers include: Timmy Kelly, Maura McKinney-Mastro, Ballina, Broken Shillelaghs, Birmingham 6, Celtic Pride and many, many more.

Saturday begins with a 5K Run. If you are interested, you can sign up at 8AM at the AOH tent (between 1st and 2nd aves.) on Olde New Jersey Ave. Cash prizes will be awarded.

Saturday at 10 a.m. the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibition will take place at the field located at 8th and Central aves. This event attracts thousands of spectators. Come see and hear some of the best pipe bands in the East!

Also on Saturday, the AOH will host free Irish Dance Lessons at the Anglesea Volunteer Fire House, located in the heart of the festival activities at 2nd and Olde New Jersey aves. from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Later that evening join in the action and spend the evening at the Ceili taking place from 7 – 11 p.m.

The Pearl River Ceili Band, featuring Patty Furlong, Felix Dolan and Dylan Foley, will perform at this event. There is a $15 admission fee and includes a light fare (coffee, tea, cookies and cakes). Other refreshments will be available.

On Sunday, everyone is welcome to celebrate our faith and heritage at Saint Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in the Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Glenwood and Atlantic aves., for 10:30 a.m. Mass. There will be a procession from the main entrance to the altar by the Protectors of the Faith Guards, the Cape May County Emerald Society Color Guard and a liturgical bag piper soloist.

Sunday at 1 p.m. the parade begins at 24th and Surf aves. and will continue to Spruce and Olde New Jersey aves. The Irish Fall Festival is honored to announce that retired Staff Sergeant Jon R. Cavaiani, United States Army soldier and recipient of the United States military’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor, will serve as the 2011 Grand Marshal.

Jon served with the Special Forces in Vietnam in 1970, was captured and spent two years as a prisoner of war. Jon was released by the Provisional Government of Vietnam on March 27, 1973.

In addition, we are honored to have Shamus Boyle, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, as a special guest. All AOH organizations are welcome to be a part of this celebration of Irish history and heritage.
The parade will also feature Miss North Wildwood, Grace Lederer, many fraternal organizations, bag pipe bands, Irish dance groups and much, much more.

The official Irish Music Tent, featuring continuous Irish entertainment throughout the weekend is located in the municipal parking lot across from The Pointe at Moore’s Inlet.

The Irish Music Tent will feature non-stop entertainment with The Paul Moore Band, Broken Shillelaghs, Celtic Connection, Sean Fleming Band, Secret Service The Bogside Rogues, The Barley Boys, The Highland Rovers, Split Decision and Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones.

For discount weekend admission tickets, $20 for all three days, please call 215-397-5909.

Irish food and entertainment will be available at most of the clubs and pubs in North Wildwood all weekend long.
As always, bus service will be available from the Anglesea Fire Hall – 2nd and Olde New Jersey Ave. along Surf Ave. to 26th St. Additional bus service will be available through Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.

As a result of this extremely successful annual fund raising event, the AOH achieves significant charitable accomplishments. These contributions reflect the loyalty and ideals which have helped to strengthen our families, community, and national character.

This festival is sponsored, in part, by Budweiser and Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.

The AOH would like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Bill Henfey and the City of North Wildwood for their annual support of this event.

For entertainment schedules and biographical information for Staff Sergeant Jon R. Cavaiani, CLICK HERE.

For additional information contact the AOH at 800-IRISH-91 or

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