West Virginia's Annual Irish Festival Belongs On Your Springtime Bucket List
Irish Spring. Is it a date in a certain place? Is it a brand of soap? Or is it a one-of-a-kind festival in the highlands of West Virginia? It’s all of the above, that’s what it is!
Ireland, West Virginia is a unique little community in Lewis County where magic things happen.
Unique things, like road bowling. Silly things, like eggs balancing end up. Big things, like a man who lived through 114 springs during a time in history when the average life expectancy was only 38.
And fun things, like the annual Irish Spring Festival celebrating the miracle and the magic of a West Virginia spring.
Named after the old country and settled by Irishman Andrew Wilson, Ireland, West Virginia is one of the most magical spots in the Mountain State. It started with Andrew Wilson himself (nicknamed "Old Ireland"), who reached the ripe old age of 114 when most of his peers didn't even reach 40.
When members of the community realized just how miraculous their founder's lifespan was, they became convinced that the area around Ireland, West Virginia contained a magical ingredient that lent itself to long life.
And they decided that the best way to celebrate such magic was with a festival that also celebrated the coming of the most magical season of the year: spring, the season of life. And so, the Irish Spring Festival began.
The festival is always held in March, and always spans several days leading up to spring. It begins with a special flag raising ceremony at the Ireland Church and ends several days later with an official declaration of spring at almost midnight on the vernal equinox.
In between, expect a Pot O' Luck, a gospel sing, a King and Queen crowning, live music, Irish dancing, vendors, Irish food and drink, Irish harp lessons and music, costumes, house decorations, a duck race, bingo, road bowling, a bike tour, a parade, a 5K, a pet show, a hike up to Blarney Rock, and so much more.
To learn more about the Irish Spring Festival happening in Ireland, West Virginia this spring, visit the festival’s Facebook page
here. Have you ever attended this unique, magical spring event? If you love spring, or Ireland, or both, then this is an excellent year to start! But make time to say goodbye to Old Man Winter first.
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