Old Town

Celebrate Irish Culture at the Ballyshaners’ Annual Irish Festival — Music, Dancing, Food and More

It’s almost time for the Ballyshaners’ Annual Irish Festival. Thousands will gather in Waterfront park at the Potomac’s edge to celebrate Irish culture and entertainment. There is an all day line-up of Irish music and dance. And there will be vendors around the park featuring food, Irish wares, crafts, and jewelry, plus community and commercial services.


This years festival Saturday, August 25th from 11 a.m. until 7 o’clock. 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 the festivals beer sales as well as donations to the Ballyshanners. “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 38th year of that parade. So if you love Old Town’s St Patrick’s parade come show your support and enjoy the festival too.

Irish Festival

Saturday, August 25th 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Waterfront Park

1-A Prince Street 

Old Town, Alexandria, VA 22314


All photos by Kimberlee Bryce for The Ballyshaners, Inc.

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. If you’d like to be a vendor at the festival you can find more information here.

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