North Texas Irish Festival Returns to Fair Park March 1-3

North Texas Irish Festival dancing
Photo courtesy North Texas Irish Festival

The North Texas Irish Festival brings Celtic culture to Dallas’s Fair Park March 1-3. This family-friendly festival celebrates the best in music, dance, food and spirits, storytelling, art, and more from the Emerald Isle.

It’s the largest cultural celebration in DFW, produced by the Southwest Celtic Music Association and staffed by hundreds of volunteers. Some have volunteered for decades, often alongside generations of their families. Circle of Life, this year’s theme, acknowledges the dedication of volunteers present, past and future. The theme is symbolized by Celtic-style art depicting the tree of life.

Bring your family, friends – even the family dog – to Fair Park in Dallas March 1-3 to enjoy 10 stages of live music and Irish step dancing. Chef demonstrations and more activities can be found indoors and outdoors. Guests will also enjoy beer and whiskey tastings (for 21+), shopping, horse shows, and sheepherding demonstrations. Animal rescue groups, child-friendly entertainment, and free arts and crafts for the kids are also featured.

North Texas Irish Festival returns to Fair Park
Photo courtesy North Texas Irish Festival

“Our attendees enjoy being able to walk from stage to stage, settle into a comfortable chair, and enjoy the very best Celtic music in the world, live and right here in front of them in North Texas. There is so much here for everyone, from children to adults and more. How many places can you sit and enjoy multiple concerts in a weekend with a beer, your family and your dog?” said Sheri Bush, president of the Southwest Celtic Music Association Inc. The nonprofit organization produces the North Texas Irish Festival and provides music and dance scholarships to local students.

North Texas Irish Festival Fun Run

The North Texas Irish Festival Fun Run kicks off the festival with a jaunt through the beautiful grounds of Fair Park at 8 a.m. March 2. Perfect for runners or walkers of any age or ability, this activity is perfect for the whole family (even the family dog). All registered participants will receive a T-shirt, a “bottle opener” medal, one ticket to the North Texas Irish Festival, and two beers after the run (over 21 only). This non-timed 5K fun run benefits Fair Park First and the Southwest Celtic Music Association.

Every year, the festival is able to bring some of the biggest names worldwide to Fair Park. The following musical headliners will appear this year: Breaking Trad, Dalliance, Ed Miller, Eileen Ivers, Socks in the Frying Pan, The Byrne Brothers, The Langan Band, and The Town Pants.

North Texas Irish Festival musicians
Photo courtesy of North Texas Irish Festival

Musical performers from the North Texas region include: BEHAN, Beyond The Pale, CLEGHORN, Emerald Accent, Jiggernaut, Kinfolk, Misty Posey, Plunk Murray, Reel Treble, River Driver, Skyland, Slugger’s Rule, Sombati, The Selkie Girls, The Whalers, Threadneedle St, Tuatha Dea, Tullamore, Vintage Wildflowers, and Wolf Loescher.

Irish Step Dancers

Fans of “Riverdance” know that the rhythmic magic of Irish step dancing is enchanting to watch and impossible to resist tapping your toes along with the dancers. At the North Texas Irish Festival, Celtic music comes alive in the steps of dancers of all ages, including those from The McLane School of Irish Dance, Maguire Academy of Irish Dance, Inishfree School of Irish Dance-Dallas, McTeggart Irish Dancers of North Texas and the Shandon-O’Regan Irish Dance Academy, delight audiences. Irish step dancers perform on a dedicated dance stage and also with musical performers throughout the festival.

Chefs doing their own modern take on traditional Celtic fare, or using traditional ingredients in new ways, invite audiences to learn and sample the fare on the chef stage. Don’t miss special mixology demonstrations on Friday night. Whiskey tastings are also available through a special ticketed event located inside the North Texas Irish Festival.

Irish step dancers
Photo courtesy North Texas Irish Festival

Urchin Street at the North Texas Irish Festival is a special place where kids can find child-friendly entertainment, education, play and fun, including crafts, music, dance, storytelling, magic and mystery. Storytellers — or “Shanachie” – will tell traditional Irish stories in the way that the Irish learned of their history for hundreds of years.

The North Texas Irish Festival is pet-friendly. From dogs to rabbits, cats and even a squirrel or two, guests bring leashed pets to the festival to enjoy indoor and outdoor festivities. Need a new best pal? Animal rescue groups at the North Texas Irish Festival are happy to help you find a new “fur-ever” friend.

North Texas Irish Festival Schedule

Gates open on at 6 p.m. March 1. Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is FREE on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $15 after 7 p.m. for adults and $10 for children ages 6-11 (children ages 5 and under get in free). A one-day ticket is $25 on Saturday or Sunday at the gate, while a weekend pass is $45 for adults and $20 for children.

Discount tickets are available at area Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores for $20 for a one-day ticket starting February 1. Children under 6 are FREE when accompanied by an adult family member. Seniors 65+ or current military members (with valid military ID) receive $5 off all gate prices. Pets are allowed in on a short leash. Leprechauns (in full ceremonial dress and carrying pot of gold) are FREE.

For more information, including updated schedules for performers, please visit

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.

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