The 31st Annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival will be held September 9-11 at a brand new location, The Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark, and will highlight traditional and new items including music, dance, axe throwing, Carrie Furnace tours, cooking demos, shopping, Irish cuisine and beverages, children’s activities, genealogy, and so much more! Discounted advance tickets are available now at www.pghirishfest.org.
*Events and Activities subject to change
*NEW* CARRIE FURNACE TOURS
Our new location, The National Historic Landmark Carrie Blast Furnaces #6 & #7, opened in 1907 and taken offline in 1978, are extremely rare examples of pre-World War II iron-making technology. The site is managed by the Rivers of Steel. For a small fee, Rivers of Steel will present mini tours of the site during the Festival.
During the tour, you’ll learn about the iron-making process and the men and women who worked there. Many of the workers were of Irish origin or descent and played a large part in the development of the industry and the region. Visit their booth to register for a tour. Space is limited.
*NEW* RIVERS OF STEEL METAL ARTS
Blade Smith Jared Ondovchik, owner of Artifact Metalworks, will showcase various forging techniques during this year’s Festival. Born in Western Pennsylvania, Ondovchik has honed his craft into a successful business, hand-making beautiful and functional knives for chefs, outdoorsmen, farmers, adventurers, home cooks, artisans and anyone who seeks a good-quality blade.
Get ready to laugh your arse off! See Irish comedy on Friday, 9/9 and Saturday, 9/10. The Real Irish Comedy Tour presentation will feature David Nihill, the first ever-Irish winner of the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition, Adam Burke, a regular panelist on NPR’s popular comedy quiz show Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and the winner of Second City’s Up Next Comedy Competition, and Mick Thomas, one of the most sought after acts in Clubs and Casinos up and down the East Coast. *Parental Advisory
NEW* FIVE FARMS IRISH CREAM CELTIC KITCHEN
Presented by Five Farms Irish Cream, watch both professional and amateur bakers and chefs demonstrate cooking and baking some delightful treats! Celtic cooking is hearty, simple, and tasty – enjoy this hands-on look of the preparation of old-world recipes with new world adaptations. Visit the schedule page for a complete of what dishes will be presented when.
A TASTE OF IRELAND
Festival visitors can sample and purchase foods and snacks made in Ireland! Take home items like Guinness chocolate, Keogh’s potato chips, Mileeven Honey with Jameson, soda bread & scone mixes, Butlers candy bars, Irish teas & coffees, and so much more! *Plus, gluten free, plant-based, and organic items!*
ANCIENT CELTIC AXE THROWING
We are partnering with Ace Axe Throwing to bring you the sport of Ancient Celtic Axe Throwing! Guests 16+ wearing closed-toe shoes will get to try their hand at axe throwing for free with festival admission!
Musicians, bring your instrument and get into the Festival for free. Join other musicians and play your favorite Irish songs throughout the weekend!
IRISH AUTHORS’ CORNER
Learn about Ireland and its lore while meeting visiting authors at this year’s Irish Festival. Buy a book and get it autographed. Hear the authors’ tales during the weekend at the Hedge School.
DELIGHT IN DANCE AND MUSIC PERFORMANCES
View continuous entertainment in 4 performance areas, presented by adult and children’s dance ensembles, all colorfully costumed and skillfully choreographed. In addition, our contemporary and traditional Irish musicians will bring you to your feet as they continue the party as only the Irish can!
FEAST ON IRISH CUISINE AND CELTIC BEVERAGES
Relish the mouthwatering sights, aromas and tastes coming from our Irish kitchens! From a bite to a hearty meal, we serve Irish sausage, Irish stew, boxty pancakes, corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, potato soup, fish and chips, colcannon, ham and cabbage, and much more! Our desserts are plentiful and delicious. While you are there, enjoy a wide variety of Celtic beverages at Tara Tea and numerous pubs!
DISCOVER YOUR IRISH FAMILY TREE
Trace that elusive Irish ancestor by visiting the Genealogy Pavilion. Learn how to search locally and online for long-lost family here and on the Auld Sod. Forms and reference books are on-site to guide you as you begin or restart the process of climbing your Family Tree. If you are looking for an ancestor that may have worked at Carrie Furnaces, the volunteers in the Genealogy Pavilion can point you in the right direction!
Visit with the dogs native to Ireland! Meet Irish breeds: Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, Glen of Imaal, Irish Red and White Setter, Kerry Beagle, Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. *Breeds and dog lengths of stay are subject to change and may be limited due to the COVID- 19 pandemic
CULTURAL HEDGE SCHOOL STAGE
One of the most popular areas at the festival is the Hedge School. Based on the infamous Penal Laws, hedge schools developed in Ireland in response to the bans placed on educating Irish natives about their history, traditions, and culture. As a result, lessons were taught in secret in a barn or in the shadow of a hedge. We are proud to offer on-going educational sessions in the areas of history, legends, music, language, dance, sports, and symbols of Ireland.
Leprechaun’s Landing (CHILDREN’S AREA/IRISH ARTS, CRAFTS, & GAMES)
For our wee folk! Take home a hand-made souvenir, enjoy an Irish story, sing-along, and even dance an Irish jig! Play a round of mini golf on our Royal County Down course, hop around on “Nessie” our Loch Ness Monster and The Irish Castle bounce houses, and try your luck at one of our custom games! Get a caricature created by artist, Martina Revilak!
SHOP AT THE IRISH MARKETPLACE
A favorite area of the Festival is the Irish Marketplace where unique shopping booths display a panorama of Irish items for sale. Take home a specialized clothing article, piece of art, interesting trinket or souvenir. Guaranteed Irish, we feature over 50 specialty booths. Don’t forget to visit our Festival’s award-winning merchandise booth!
MEET PITTSBURGH’S IRISH ORGANIZATIONS
Members will be on hand with lots of information and an invitation to join them!
CULTURAL BEVERAGE TASTINGS
For our guests 21+, beverage tasting is included in the price of your Festival admission ticket! Visit our Cultural Beverage Tasting area as we experience the charm, depth and diversity of flavor found in Irish whiskeys, and mead, and more. Each booth will feature professionally curated tastings conducted by a whiskey master, Protector of the Peat, or mead maker. You will get to compare and contrast the unique qualities of legendary brands. This area is brought to you by Kingview Mead, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Five Farms Irish Cream. Visit pghirishfest.org for a complete list of featured brands.
Stop by our Festival Raffle Booth for your chance to win Irish gift items, Festival merchandise, tickets to local events, gift cards, and more! We will also be raffling off a private tour of Ireland* thanks to our tourism partner, Little Gem Tours. *Visit pghirishfest.org for details, rules, and regulations.
WATCH THE GAME
The Pittsburgh Irish Festival usually means it is time for football season! Watch the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt Panthers, and more on our big screen in the Ya Jagoff! Sports Lounge while you enjoy a Guinness and some Irish Stew!
IRISH MASS – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 AT 10 A.M.
Join us for our annual Irish Mass on Sunday, September 11 at 10 a.m. at our Celtic Spirit Stage. The Irish Mass is sponsored by Duquesne University, Central Catholic High School, and Oakland Catholic High School.
OTHER FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Storytelling from Alan Irvine, Celtic Harper – Dennis Doyle, traditional step and ceili dance workshops and performances, Irish instrument and cultural area demonstrations, strolling bagpipers, Gaelic sports demonstrations, and Gaelic names with Sean. You’ll never know what’s around each corner at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival!
The Pittsburgh Irish Festival is September 9-10-11, 2022 at The Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark. More information is available at pghirishfest.org.
About the Pittsburgh Irish Festival
The Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation created to contribute to the rich cultural awareness of Irish history and tradition that exists in Pittsburgh. In addition to our three-day Celtic Celebration, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival has expanded into a year-round resource for education and cultural programs through the creation of the Irish Education Outreach Program. Created in 1991, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Inc. has gained recognition as an important presenter of Celtic culture due, in large part, to our highly successful festival. This event has become one of the nation’s finest Irish-American festivals, and certainly the most comprehensive exhibit of Irish music, lore, food, and dance in the region. The Festival is held the weekend after Labor Day in September. For more information, visit www.pghirishfest.org. the region. Visit their booth to register for a tour. Space is limited.