Home News I’m Off to an Ohio Version of the Emerald Isle

I’m Off to an Ohio Version of the Emerald Isle

Kevin Coleman portrays an Irish scribe from 1,000 years ago at the Dublin Irish Festival. (Photo by Stephen A. Wolfe.)

Ross County — You won’t see much from me this weekend – I am headed to Dublin to be an Irishman from 1,000 years ago.

But aside from all the wearin’ o’ the green, it won’t feel like the Emerald Isle – I will be in Dublin, Ohio, at the peak of a central Ohio summer…and I’ll be speaking modern English to cultural tourists.

That’s the Dublin Irish Festival. “For more than three decades, the first weekend in August has been reserved for what is now the largest three-day Irish Festival on the planet.”

I am a volunteer in “Brian Boru’s Ireland,” a cluster of tents inside the festival. We of the Irish Living History Society of Central Ohio do our best to show how the Irish lived during the time of the first true king of the land from A.D. 1002 to 1014.

I portray a scribe and show penmanship of the time period, including calligraphy with quill pens and homemade inks. I can also regale you about the evolution of the Celtic Cross and the range of Celtic art.

But we in Brian Boru’s Ireland offer much more, including weaponry, blacksmithing, a chapel, and our popular king’s tent where we can dress you authentically for your selfie on our hand-carved throne.

The Red Hot Chile Pipers, combining bagpipes, hard rock, and pop music.

Elsewhere in the fest is folk music, Celtic rock, pipe & drums, and Irish dancing – including many popular performers.

The Fitzgeralds, one of many traditional groups at the Dublin Irish Festival.

There’s also genealogy, authors, spoken word, Celtic canines and bog ponies, and art…and more than 90 vendors of everything emerald, knotted, mythical, and lyrical.

The Dublin Irish Festival is 4pm to midnight Friday, 11am to midnight Saturday, and 11am to 8pm Sunday.

Admission varies, but general admission is $30 a day, Senior / Military / Student is $20, and kids 10 and under free. Bring a donation for the for the Dublin Food Pantry 9:30 to 11am Sunday for free admission, including attending one of the seven different Sunday church services. (If the Druids aren’t right for you, there’s a Catholic mass in Gaelic led by a member of Brian Boru’s Ireland!)

Kevin Coleman shed his quill for a sword in the opening parade of the 2016 Dublin Irish Festival.