At the Altan concert, we noticed that the Irish Cultural Heritage Center was also going to be having a Post Parade Party after the Shamrock Club St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday the 13th. It was in the afternoon from 1 to 6PM, and, at a six-dollar admission, looked like good value for the money, so we decided to show up. I picked up Georgie from the library at one, and we headed down, managing to find a parking space not too far away. Things were just starting up as we got there, and we checked it all out. The Irish Center occupies a sprawling old church, with the main hall (called "Hallamor") in the former sanctuary, a barroom in the basement, some function spaces referred to as the "parlors" in the back, and a large room used for dances and dance rehearsal upstairs over the parlors. All these venues had something going on. There was entertainment for children downstairs; music, food, drink, and vendors in the parlors; more music and food upstairs; and Hallamor was the main stage. We listened to the Shamrock Club pipes and drums. (Pretty good, although there were a couple errors in the solo parts of the obligatory "Amazing Grace"-which, by the way, we are really tired of, especially since 9/11. I can think of several equally good hymn tunes that would translate to bagpipe well-why can't anyone else?) They were followed by the Blackcastle Irish dancers, a new group who showed good style and spirit. I only wished their "cheerleader" teacher would talk less. After that came Milwaukee Irish band Leahy's Luck, whom we enjoy. We were particularly pleased to find that they've added "Donal McGilivray" to their repertoire. They were followed by the Irish Center's resident dance group, Cashel-Dennehey. Cashel-Dennehey is a very good group, and will be sending several people to the upcoming world Irish dance championships. We were pleased to see our young friend Kelly Lowrey in her first public performance. She did well!
Between main stage performances, we snatched bits from the other rooms, including local stalwarts Blarney upstairs, and a Madison group called Stone Ring in the parlors. There were others as well, but for some reason there were no programs so I can't tell you now who they were.
Cashel-Dennehey was to have been followed by the Trinity Irish Dance Company, the most famous area group, but we were tired by then and leaked out about 5PM.
After a few hours rest at home, we ventured back out to Barb and Richard Letterman's house for a filksing and had a very good time there as well.