Erin Go Bark! It’s the theme of the 32nd North Texas Irish Festival which was derived from the phrase “Erin Go Bragh!”, a traditional Irish saying meaning “Ireland Forever”. The North Texas Irish Festival is back with Canines and Celtic Culture this Feb. 28 to March 2! I’m so happy I’m back here in Dallas because I can take my baby Louis to a dog-friendly event here in the Big D! So to all Canine lovers out there, come on out at the Fair Park grounds and celebrate with us and your mutts! The largest celebration of culture in Southwest goes to the dogs as its 32nd year showcases all things Irish, including dogs, dancing, dining and more in Dallas’s Fair Park.
North Texas Irish Festival Does Erin Go Bark
The theme of this year’s festival, this phrase reflects one of its most-loved traditions as it celebrates the role of the “Celtic canines” in this beloved dog- and family-friendly festival. From the famed Irish Wolfhounds to Irish Water Spaniels, Kerry Terriers to Irish Setters and more, dogs are one of the many aspects of Celtic culture that is for everyone to enjoy in Dallas’s own Fair Park.
Whether your dog is Irish, Celtic, or just a friendly mutt, he or she is welcome to accompany you and your family to enjoy the music, culture, fun and food. Just make sure you keep them away from the Guinness! New this year, the festival added a pet pavilion in the Grand Place, dedicated to dogs and other friendly pets. Attendees can search for a new pet in the largest gathering of animal rescue groups in North Texas. Last year alone, almost 100 animals found new homes through the festival.
Music, Dance, Food and Culture
The “First Texas ‘Ceili” (pronounced “kay-lee” and meaning “gathering” in Gaelic) was held in 1983 at a local Oak Lawn pub and has grown into the largest celebration of Irish culture in the Southwest as the 32nd Annual North Texas Irish Festival, presented by the Southwest Celtic Music Association.
Music is at the very heart of the festival as it is in Irish culture. That’s why there will be lots of music all weekend long. Musicians, performers and more will keep you entertained. The popular Celtic Village will return to feature archery and a number of local members of Scottish clans will be on hand to assist you in tracing your Celtic roots to the highlands. Urchin Street will offer a special place where kids can find entertainment, education, play and fun, including crafts, music, dance, storytelling, magic and mystery. Storytellers — or “seanchaí” in Gaelic – will perform traditional Irish stories in the way that the Irish learned of their history for hundreds of years on the Schanachie Stage devoted to this historic craft.
The Spirit of the Celtic Horse and several other equestrian shows, blacksmithing, archery and other amazing demonstrations will be performed in the Marine Square and Fountain Plaza area of Fair Park. And not to forget that the Irish do love their “sport,” hurling and Gaelic football will also be featured throughout the weekend and in two special demonstrations.
Hours, Admission and Location
- Friday, Feb. 28: 6 to 11 p.m.
- Saturday, March 1: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
- Sunday, March 2: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Tickets can be purchased online at www.ntif.org
*Admission is FREE on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $10 after (50% off coupons online at www.ntif.org). A one-day ticket is $20 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday at the gate, while a two-day ticket is $25 and a weekend pass is $30. Discount tickets for all three days will be available at area Tom Thumb stores in February. Children 11 and under are FREE when accompanied by adult family member. Seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off all gate prices. Dogs are allowed in on a short leash with a $1 requested donation to animal rescue groups supported by the festival. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.
The festival is located at the Dallas Fair Park: 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75210.
Parking is available in and around Fair Park, or attendees can take the DART Green Line (take the Green Line and save some green!) to the front entrance of Fair Park and the North Texas Irish Festival. Detailed directions and parking tips are available at www.ntif.org.