The Holy Hour House Band performs at The Kerryman.
Yesterday's news that the city may cancel or shorten several of its biggest summer festivals came as something of a shock, even if it makes good fiscal sense. Seriously, if the 50-year-old Venetian Night can be chopped, is nothing sacred?
You'd better have a backup plan to get your fest fix. We're not sure where else you can go to see boats loaded up with lights, but we do know of two upcoming ways to dull the blow in case (god forbid) the Celtic Fest is ever sent back to the Emerald Isle.
One: Magners Irish Sessions. This series of concerts sponsored by Magners Irish Cider, which began last month, features the city's best known traditional Irish musicians playing songs in intimate settings (plus, lots of cider). Upcoming events:
- Friday, October 23: The Holy Hour House Band, 9-11 p.m. at Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th, Oak Forest
- Thursday, October 29: Danny Burns and The Defectors, 8-10 p.m. at Mystic Celt
- Friday, October 30: Danny Burns and The Defectors, 9-11 p.m. at Hidden Shamrock
- Thursday, November 5: Danny Burns and The Defectors, 8-11 p.m. at Abbey Pub
Two: iBAM!. Did you know the Celtic New Year is coming up soon? Celebrate it with three days of books, arts and music at the Irish American Heritage Center.
It starts with a $100 black-tie-optional dinner (6-11 p.m.) on Friday, October 30, with entertainment from the likes of Malachy McCourt and Black 47. On Saturday and Sunday, the fun continues, with a $5 admission fee getting you access to book sales, panel discussions, live dance, theater and more (11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily). Because it is Halloween weekend, expect a costume parade, face painting and a presentation on the life of Bram Stoker (writer of Dracula). You'll need to pay a little extra for access to the full Irish breakfast (11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) and concerts from Black 47 (7 p.m. Saturday) and Maura O'Connell (7 p.m. Sunday). Tickets are available on the website.