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One of the largest Irish cultural events in the nation, the 31st AnnualNorth Texas Irish Festival happens this weekend with delicious Irish food, and an amazing array of Irish and Celtic performers the whole family will enjoy.

The North Texas Irish Festival brings together a wide variety of exhibitors, workshops, plays and demonstrations. The popular Scottish Village will feature local Scottish clans doing demonstrations and giving explanations to the strong connection between the Irish and Scots in their music, ancestry and culture. The North Texas Irish Festival features some of the very finest in Irish and other Celtic entertainment including world-famous bands, award-winning dancers, enchanting storytellers, and educational workshops on 13 stages throughout Fair Park. Enjoy top chefs will modernize Irish classics with new flavor twists and cook with traditional Irish ingredients in cooking presentations that attendees can then taste. There will also be blacksmithing demonstrations, archery in a Celtic village, Gaelic football and horse displays allow attendees to experience Celtic culture.

Just for the kids, Urchin Street will offer a special place where the younger Celts can find entertainment, arts and crafts, education, play and fun, including 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. 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. You can also see North Texas Irish Dance schools performing throughout the entire weekend.

Attendees can even peruse for a new pet with the largest gathering of animal rescue groups in North Texas. Last year alone, 111 animals found new homes through the NTIF.

Ticket Information: 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 will be available at area Tom Thumb stores. Children 11 and under are FREE when accompanied by adult family member. Tickets for seniors over 65 or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off. Dogs are allowed in on a short leash with a $1 requested donation to the SPCA. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.

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North Texas Irish Festival

Southwest Celtic Music Association

March 1 – 3, 2013

Fair Park – Dallas