The Great Irish Hooley - KMSP-TV

The Great Irish Hooley

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Labor Day weekend guests at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island can eat, drink, dance and celebrate during Central Florida's first boutique Irish festival -- The Great Irish Hooley -- August 31 through Sept. 3.  The event will be held at Raglan Road.

A traditional Irish social celebration, the "Hooley" combines music ranging from traditional to rock tunes with entertainment and interactive fun for the whole family.  Raglan Road's Great Irish Hooley will make the long weekend memorable with a mix of great Irish bands, Irish Dance Workshops for anyone in the family, structured set dancing known as the Ceili (pronounced kay-lee), Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday and authentic food and beverages for all.

The four-day party kicks off Friday, August 31 at 5 p.m. and continues through midnight Monday, Sept 3.  The Great Irish Hooley entertainment lineup includes six top Irish bands and a troupe of acclaimed dancers:

  • Full Set, a popular Irish band that released its successful debut album last year.  The band plays the festival Friday through Monday to begin a U.S. tour that includes the Milwaukee Irish Fest.
  • Elevation, the U2 Tribute Band.  Elevation will play the pub stage Saturday and a full show under the Florida sky on the patio stage Sunday evening.
  • Creel, Raglan Road's popular house band, will play all weekend.
  • The Raglan Rogues, here from Dublin with their energetic expression of Irish folk and traditional tunes, will play Thursday through Monday.
  • Danny Burns brings his unique blend of Irish ballads and contemporary Irish music to Raglan Friday through Monday.
  • Johnny "Snaggs" Norton is a renowned Dublin entertainer in the tradition of the great Irish folk and ballad groups who has toured worldwide with Riverdance.  His performances Saturday through Monday include sing-along songs from the great Traditional Irish Songbook.
  • The Raglan Road Irish Dancers, the resident six-strong troupe of champion Irish dancers plucked from the stages of the most famed Irish dance shows, perform throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, guests can participate in Irish Dance Workshops -- "From Our Roots to Riverdance" -- with renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast and the Raglan Road Dancers.  Ronan will chart and demonstrate the origins and traditional styles of Irish Dance through to the contemporary styles of dance made famous by Riverdance.  And on each of those three afternoons, guests can step up for a two-hour Ceili (kay-lee) - a traditional music and structured set-dancing event that was the precursor to today's popular country line dancing.

Pleasure Island Downtown Disney is located at 1640 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando FL 32830.  For more information, call 407-938-0300, or visit the website below.


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