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New Haven Feis (Irish Dancing Competition) at the 50th Anniversary of the CT Irish Festival

50th Anniversary of the CT Irish Festival and the New Haven Feis June 23rd and 24th.

The Connecticut Irish Festival will be Saturday, June 23 and Sunday June 24 at the North Haven Fairgrounds, 300 Washington Av, Rt. 5, North Haven, CT.  One of the main highlights of the Festival on Sunday, June 24 is the New Haven Feis (pronounced Fesh).  

The Feis consists of Irish dance, Irish music, Irish language, and Irish soda bread competitions. Mass will be held in the Main tent at 8:15 A.M. on Sunday and directly after the Feis will commence. 

Some great dancers have performed/ competed at past events.  Michael Flatley first danced/starred in the River Dance and then he created "Lord of the Dance" himself where he was the lead dancer.  Jimmy Murrihy's , whose parents are members of the was also a phenomenal championship dancer in Lord of the Dance.  Jimmy also competed against Michael Flatley and in some competitions he won.

The Irish dance competitions start the day off with beginner dancing and going up to the Championship levels. Each dancer is dressed in colorful traditional costumes of Celtic design and dance with grace and skill. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some great Irish dancers. The dance competitions will be held outdoors on stages under opened tents so bring lots of sun block because the end of June is usually sunny and hot. 

The dancers will compete in light jig, reel and slip jig dance competitions wearing their soft shoes (called Gillies) as well as in hard shoe competitions dancing a treble jig, hornpipe and/or traditional set.  Competitors will be coming from all over the state of CT as well as NY, NJ, MA, RI, PA, NH, VA and even as far as California and Canada.

The cultural building at the festival will feature the Irish music, Irish language and Irish soda bread competitions. The Irish music competition will have beginner and advanced beginner musicians playing the fiddle, tin whistle, accordion, flute, or any other instrument which is not electronic or amplified. Musicians can compete solo or as a duet or trio and must play traditional Irish music.

Singing is also a part of the Irish music competition where each entrant sings an Irish song in English.  The Irish language competition facets Bun Rang (beginner), Meán Rang (advanced) and Ard Rang (expert) levels where each competitor is to recite a short poem in Irish. 

Lastly, there are 3 different Irish Soda Bread competitions:  Brown, Raisin and Fancy Bread.  If interested in entering in the Irish bread competition please bring your bread to the cultural building by 10:00 A.M. on the day of the Feis.

Admission into the Connecticut Irish Festival/New Haven Feis will be $12.00 at the gate or $10.00 in advance. Under age 16 are free.

If you are interested in entering in the New Haven Feis for Irish dance, Irish music, Irish language and/or Irish bread competition please contact Theresa O’Brien, New Haven Feis Secretary, at nhfeis.secretary@hotmail.com for further information or go to www.ctirishfestival.com to download the New Haven Feis Syllabus for details on how to enter. 

Entries for the Irish music, Irish language and Irish bread competitions can be registered for ahead of time or on the day of the Feis.  However Irish dance competition entries must be mailed in and postmarked by June 9, 2012 to avoid a late fee and must be received by the June 16 deadline. 

The Connecticut Irish Festival is sponsored by The in East Haven, CT.  Please go the Festival website at www.ctirishfestival.com for details on all the activities on both June 23 and June 24. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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