DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – A popular tradition is back in Dublin this weekend, with a few changes. This year’s Dublin Irish Festival will be modified and known as the Dublin Irish Days.
“We didn’t want people to think that it was going to be the festival that they’re used to because it’s different this year. We had to modify everything,” said event coordinator Cathy Witchey, who explained the adjustments were made to accommodate health and safety measures.
Instead of one large festival at Coffman Park near Dublin’s municipal offices and community recreation center, only ticketed concerts and theater performances will happen in the greenspace. Other events will now take place in Downtown Dublin.
“It’ll be different, but I think it’ll be fun to have different areas to celebrate in. And I think it’ll be a good opportunity for everyone to come together,” said Taylor Waldron, who lives in the Bridge Park area.
Witchey added, “I think we’ve managed to preserve the best parts of the festival.”
Dublin Irish Days will be the first major event in the city since the creation of several designated outdoor refreshment areas (DORA). DORA hours will be extended during Irish Days and guests can walk around historic Dublin and Bridge Park with alcoholic beverages in designated cups.
The event will also feature a family-friendly ‘Dubcrawl,’ highlighting a marketplace in the Darby St. parking lot, a ‘Wee Folk Pavilion’ with crafts and activities for children, specials at nearby restaurants, and shopping.
Waldron said, “I think it’s good to bring it [over here] since this is kind of the new area in Dublin. It’ll kind of draw attention to these other restaurants and maybe encourage people to come down to this area a little bit more.”
Witchey explained it was part of the reason for relocating some of the attractions to other areas of the city. In years past, the Irish Festival has generated $6.8 million for the local economy.
“We’re doing our best to help our restaurants and our shops have a fabulous weekend,” she said.
If all goes well this year, the city may consider bringing Irish Days back to the area in future years.
“We hope there will be a lot of energy and a lot of people down there,” said Witchey. “And that truly would serve as a model to continue it after this weekend.”
Dublin Irish Days will last from August 4-8. Organizers do not plan to accept cash payments and encourage visitors to purchase tickets prior to coming to events.
Find the full itinerary here.