How It’s New York (New Jersey):   The   IAANJ Annual Irish Feis is the Feis of the Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey.  The 30th Feis from the org starts at 8:30 and runs until 6, on the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey!  This is a great time of year for Irish Festivals– there’s another next week in Sea Girt, the Irish Festival at the Jersey Shore; watch for my feature on it here and in Irish Examiner!

How It’s Irish:  A Feis is a grand old tradition.  Here’s the IAANJ description:

A Feis (fesh) is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival. The plural forms are feiseanna.

In Ancient Ireland communities placed great importance on local festivals, where Gaels could come together in song, dance, music, theatre and sport. The largest of these was the Aonach, the great festival at Tara, which was then the city of Ireland’s Ardrí, or “High King”.

These feiseanna were a rich opportunity for storytellers to reach a large audience, and often warriors would recount their exploits in combat, clansmen would trace family genealogies, and bards and balladeers would lead the groups in legends, stories, and song.

These gatherings eventually gave rise to athletic and sporting competitions, including horse- and chariot-racing, as well as feats of strength and endurance.

September 11th is of course a memorial day now, but it also remains the second Sunday in September and as such some outdoor fun events still need to go on. Because life goes on!  There will however be a massed band remembrance at 10:20 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Admission is just $15, with discounts for students and seniors.

There are music and dance and soda bread competitions; there’s a “Kids’ Koral;’ there’s music from Celtic Cross, Willie Lynch Band, Kindred Spirit, Patty Furlong on 3 different stages.  It’s a party!

More info after the jump; parking is free and directions are at the IAANJ site!  From their page:

Schedule of Events
Adults (18 & Over)
$15.00 Solo Piping & Drumming  8:30 AM  
Seniors (65 & Over) $12.00 Dancing Competition 8:45 AM
Students (12-17) $ 8:00 Music Competition 10:00 AM 
Children under 12 admitted free 9/11 Remembrance 10:20 AM

Admission to be paid at gate
Mass 10:30 AM
Anthem 11:30 AM
Free Parking
Children Activities 11:30 AM
Willie Lynch 12:00 PM
Kindred Spirit 12:00 PM
Bagpipe Band Competition 1:00 PM
Ceili   1:00 PM 

IAANJ President
Soda Bread Competition 1:00 PM

Keith Wood 973-903-9410
Celtic Cross 2:00 PM
Celtic Art   2:00 PM
Feis Chairman
Massed Bands (including 9/11 Remembrance) 4:30 PM

Bill Schoeck 973-729-9687
IAANJ Dance OFF Not before 5pm
Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.