Folks looking for some outdoor activity over the coming holiday weekend need look no farther than the Adams Corner village of Dorchester on Sunday when Dorchesterâ€™s first â€œIrish Heritage Festivalâ€ will be held in the busy business district from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Organized by local residents in the Adams Corner/Cedar Grove neighborhood, the free festival will held on Adams Street, and the stretch of the street between Gallivan Blvd. and Saranac Street will be closed to traffic all day Southbound traffic using Adams Street will be diverted at Ashmont Street, and motorists will be advised to use alternate roads on Dorchester Ave and Neponset Ave.
â€œWe would like to encourage the use of public transportation and our shuttle service will be picking up at Ashmont and North Quincy stations,â€ said event co-chairman John Oâ€™Toole. â€œAlso we will have auxiliary parking at the McKeon Post and Florian Hall and Keystone Apartments all located on Hallet St.; the shuttle will drop off and pick up from these locations.â€ He said additional parking and shuttle service has been added just off the Expressway at the â€œPark and Rideâ€ parking lot in Granite Ave. in Milton.
â€œAlso, this is a family event and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be strictly limited to licensed premises and their authorized patio areas. This will be strictly enforced, no public drinking,â€ Oâ€™Toole said. â€œIt is important to recognize and celebrate all of the contributions made by the Irish in the formation and development of the city of Boston.â€
â€œThe community is coming together to ensure its own history and culture is passed on and we are truly proud to be part of it,â€ added Sean Weir, the eventâ€™s co-chairman. Oâ€™Toole and Weir said that one feature of the day would be a drawing for a pair of Aer Lingus plane tickets to Ireland.
â€The entertainment line-up includes: Robbie Oâ€™Connell, Aoife Clancy, Larry Reynolds, The Harney Set Dancers, Erinâ€™s Melody, Celtic Cougars, the dancer Kieran Jordan (at right) and growing by the day,â€ according to Mairin Keady of the entertainment committee. â€œThis is very exciting and will truly be a hand-slapping, foot-tapping day in Dorchester.â€
In a statement sent to the Reporter, the committee said, â€œThis first festival is dedicated to the memory of Michael Joyce, a man who did so much for so many. His roots were in Bealadangan, Carraroe in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. His heart was in Dorchester and his life was at the State House. Through his actions he taught us the true meaning of life: people helping people. Plans are underway for a permanent memorial in the city.â€
Describing the Adams Corner area as â€œMassachusettsâ€™s most Irish neighborhood,â€ the organizers said, â€œThe committee is united in wanting to give back to the neighborhood and the beneficiary of this yearâ€™s festival is going to be St. Brendanâ€™s School in Dorchester. The Irish Heritage Festival is an open invitation for the Irish, the Irish at heart and the Irish-for-a-day and those OFD (originally from Dorchester) and OFI (originally from Ireland) to experience the dynamic â€˜village areaâ€™ of Adams Corner. Bostonâ€™s Irish community is very much alive and hundreds, if not thousands, are expected to turnout for this first annual event.â€