Hair of the Dog

The music is absolutely fantastic.

With live bands, family-friendly fun, craft vendors, and maybe a bit of beer, the sixth annual Rockaway Beach/Breezy Point Irish Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3.

The organizers — members of the Rockaway-based Division 21 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians — claim this is the biggest Irish festival in the United States with about 5,000 attendees last year, and live music is the main reason for its success. The Saturday lineup begins with Bangers and Mash, a unique fiddle-and-guitar band with an alpaca as a mascot, at 12:30 p.m. Consider it a mix of traditional Irish music and modern rock.

Girsa, an all-female, fiddle-and-flute-heavy ensemble with great harmonies, does time-honored Emerald Isle tunes at 2:30 p.m, followed by the urban, postmodern folk group Shilelagh Law at 4:30 p.m. The NYC-based U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire is scheduled to take the stage at 6:30 p.m. From wardrobe to sound to lighting, this group strives to recreate U2 concerts down the most minimal detail.

The Sunday run-of-show starts with The Jeff Conlan Band and its own “AmeriCelt” genre at 12:30 p.m. Hair of the Dog, a Celtic rock quintet whose name is derived from a hangover cure, plays at 2:30 p.m. Then, the Gobshites bring their Celtic punk at 4:30 p.m., before The Canny Brothers close the festival with traditional music at 6:30 p.m.

The fun is set for the parking lot at St. Camillus Roman Catholic Church at Beach 100th Street and Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Park. (An opening Mass is scheduled inside the religious institution on June 2 at 10 a.m.)

Admission is $10 a day for adults with tickets sold at the gate. (Children under age 12 can enter for free.) The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 21 donates proceeds to various local charities and churches.

Most famous for organizing the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan, the Ancient Order of Hibernians is the country’s oldest Irish-Catholic fraternal organization. Founded in St. James Church in Lower Manhattan in 1836, the agency now has branches throughout the world.

Unforgettable Fire

Unforgettable Fire


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