There will be vendors around the park featuring food, Irish wares, crafts, and jewelry, as well as community and commercial services. The festival is actually a fundraiser for Old Town’s Saint Patrick’s Parade that takes place the first Saturday of March every year. Majority of funds are raised from beer sales at the festival as well as donations.
“Ballyshanners” actually means “Old Towners” in Gaelic. The Ballyshaners were founded in 1980 by folks that wanted to have a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town — next year will be the 37th year of that parade.
The Ballyshaners describe themselves as “a non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-partisan corporation organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. All members of the organization are volunteers and do not receive compensation for their participation. Our goal is to promote and preserve Irish Heritage. One way we do this is by organizing and running the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria and the Alexandria Irish Festival, in conjuction with the City of Alexandria.” If you’re interested in joining or getting involved with the Ballyshanners you can find out how by clicking here.
images from the Ballyshanners’ website
Categories: Around Town