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Embrace the Richness of Irish Culture and Heritage at Irish Festival Seattle | Mar 16-17

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Seattle Irish week continues with the Festál celebration March 16 and 17

SEATTLE – Experience the vibrant spirit of Irish culture and heritage at Irish Festival Seattle, a cherished event within theSeattle Center Festál series. Presented by the Irish Heritage Club, this free public festival takes place on March 16th from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and March 17th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall. Attendees can anticipate an array of live musical performances, genealogy workshops, children’s activities, step-dancing, and a diverse selection of Irish and Celtic food and craft goods.

Reflecting on anticipation for this year’s festival, Irish Heritage Club Executive Director Mark Kohler shared, “The Irish Festival Seattle is the culmination of the annual efforts of the Irish community in Seattle to celebrate its heritage and culture. It is an opportunity for members of the Irish community to reconnect with each other and showcase its proud musical, artistic, and culinary traditions.”

This year’s festival will feature step-dancing troupes, including Caroll-Henderson School, Haley Prendergast School of Irish Dance, Rowan Fae Irish Dance Academy, Comerford Irish Dance, Fire and Ice Irish Dance Company, and the Tara Academy of Irish Dance. Literary accomplishments from Ireland will be celebrated, including honoring those who have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

Exciting additions to the music lineup include Henry’s Drift – Songs of the Seas, The Home Rulers with Susan Burke, Fiddlesticks, Comhaltas Lake Ceili Band, Rabbit’s Rebellion, world renowned button accordion player John Whelan. Guests can learn Gaelic phrases, basic techniques of the tin whistle, a traditional Irish instrument, or research and learn about Irish ancestors in Genealogy and history lectures. With children’s activities, Irish and Celtic craft goods, and more, there is something for everyone at Irish Festival Seattle.

“Irish Festival epitomizes the essence of our Festál series, uniting communities to celebrate their heritage and offering a glimpse into their unique culture,” said Seattle Center Director Marshall Foster. “We are excited to welcome Irish Festival Seattle back to Seattle Center.”

Booth and vendors include Apple Cox, Beannaigh Traditional Handknitting, Carbony Celtic Winds, Celtic Crossroads NW / Wandering Angus, The Celtic Jewelry Studio, Character Cotton Candy, Dot Candle Seattle, Dwiggins Illuminations, Elfstone Celtic Jewelry, History of Names, India Import, Into Totes, Irish Heritage Club  Information, Irish Heritage Club Book Sales, Seattle Gaels / Tacoma Rangers, Seattle Genealogical Society, Tangerine Travel, The Fancy Accent Tea Company, Washington State Jerky, and expanded food offerings from Shawn O Donnell’s,

Irish Festival Seattle is organized by the Irish Heritage Club (IHC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Irish cultural activities in Western Washington, such as performances of Irish music, Irish dancing, Irish language, Irish history, Gaelic games, and cultural exchanges with Seattle’s Sister City of Galway, Ireland. The IHC was founded in 1982, the first year Irish Festival Seattle was held at Seattle Center, and annually, the festival is a highlight of Seattle’s Irish Week events and activities organized to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Irish Festival Seattle continues the tradition of bringing together the Seattle area’s finest performers and artists to provide a taste of what it means to be Irish.

“The Irish Festival is a testament to our commitment to One Seattle, celebrating diversity within our city and fostering community connections,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “It provides an opportunity for greater Seattle to honor our Irish community and strengthens our ties with Ireland, including our sister city relationship with Galway.”

Irish Festival Seattle is the second installment in the Festál series hosted by 24 cultural organizations at Seattle in 2024, exemplifying the city’s dedication to celebrating its rich tapestry of cultures.

About Irish Festival History

St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated annually in Seattle since the latter half of the 1800s, always involving parties and dances, and often times involving impromptu, but unofficial parades. The first official St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in Seattle in 1972 and a parade has been held every year since then in Seattle to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Starting in the late 1970s, cultural events were organized in connection with the parade and were held in various locations until the first Irish Festival Seattle was held at the Seattle Center in 1982. Since then, Seattle has been treated to an annual feast of free Irish entertainment that attracts thousands of attendees to the Seattle Center Armory each year.

About the Irish Heritage Club

In the 1980s, Seattle was home to three Irish community organizations: the Irish American Club, the Irish Festivities, and the Seattle Gaels. Although each had their own focus, club leaders realized how much overlap there was in membership in 1983 and joined forces to form the Irish Heritage Club. The Irish Heritage Club is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization that organizes and promotes activities of an Irish cultural nature in the Greater Seattle area. Information on the Irish Heritage Club is available at and, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Seattle Center Festál 

Seattle Center Festál is where the world gathers to celebrate the people, the places, the stories, and the traditions of diverse ethnic communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. This unique series links together 24 free festivals, each offering its own cultural focus, identity, and range of engaging activities to cultivate a deeper understanding of the diversity of our region. Seattle Center Festál is produced in partnership with community groups, presented on weekends from February to November, and supported by City of Seattle, Seattle Center Foundation, and 4Culture. Festál is also part of the ArtsFund Cultural Partners Network

About Seattle Center 

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts, and family gathering place in the core of our city and region. Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus, centered around the International Fountain, is part of the Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena; more than 30 cultural, educational, sports, and entertainment organizations; and a broad range of public and community programs. In everything it does, Seattle Center’s mission is to create exceptional events, experiences, and environments which delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities.  

Seattle Center has expanded its role to provide maintenance and public safety services for Seattle’s new Waterfront Park, a series of new public spaces on Seattle’s downtown waterfront between Pioneer Square and the Seattle Aquarium. Seattle Center supports managing these new waterfront public spaces in partnership with the non-profit Friends of Waterfront Seattle, which offers the community a range of recreational and cultural programming.   Thanks to the support of Official Seattle Center Partners – Alaska Airlines, The Climate Pledge, Coors Light, Pepsi, Premera Blue Cross, Symetra, T-Mobile, and WaFd Bank – Seattle Center is the #1 arts and entertainment destination in the Pacific Northwest with 12 million annual visitors, generating $1.864 billion in business activity and more than $631 million in labor income annually.

View the 2024 line-up & plan your visits throughout the year!