The State Historical Museum is celebrating the heritage of many Iowans on this St. Patrick’s Day with "Irish Fest." Maureen Korte, the museum’s special projects director, says the event will feature a wide sampling of Ireland’s culture, dance, food — and especially music.
The Irish band "Four Shillings Short" is featured. The band, which is touring the U.S., plays a wide variety of instruments, including the hammered dulcimer, mandolins, Renaissance woodwinds, sitar, recorders and banjo. There’s also Tim Britton, a piper and pipe maker from Fairfield, who’ll be playing the harp, pipe and penny whistle.
Also, Darren Raleigh of Des Moines will be telling Irish folk tales and playing the harp. Korte says several styles of Irish dance will also be highlighted. The Foy Dance troupe from Des Moines will be performing step dancing, while Janice Baker, a professor of dance at Iowa State University, will be teaching and performing the Irish folk dance known as Ceili (pronounced KAY-lee).
Korte says there’s plenty more to see and do throughout the afternoon, whether you’re Irish or not, including puppet making for kids, fairy crafts, cookie frosting, geneology workshops, tours of the museum’s library and the unveiling of an Irish battle flag.
Korte says folks who attend the festival will also be able to hear from an expert from the State Archaeologist’s Office who’s hiked through Ireland, watch a spinning demonstration or sample an Irish language class. The festival runs from one to four p.m. at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. For more information, visit www.iowahistory.org or call (515) 281-5111.