Festival Fever: Bennington Irish Music Festival, 8/20-21/11

The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers performing at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival earlier this summer (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

The Bennington Irish Music Festival returns to Bennington’s Colgate Park for the second year this weekend, and of course, the line-up features some of the best regional Celtic talent around, including Hair of the Dog, the McKrells, the all-women Trisklele, the Makem & Spain Brothers and the Berkshires’ own Celtic folksters Rakish Paddy.

But there’s a lot more to the musical festivities than just jigs and reels and pub sing-alongs. This year, they’re mixing up the music a bit with performances by the award-winning bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers, as well as the wry bluegrass-meets-Americana foursome Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys.

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There’s also a Dance Tent, where John Kirk & Trish Miller will be offering lessons and calling dances at 1:30pm on Saturday. And weather permitting hot air balloon rides will be held on Saturday, too.

In addition, there are Celtic Kid Zone activities scheduled for both days, and a variety of craft and food vendors will be on hand.

Tix are $20 per day or $35 for both days. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. The festival will benefit the Sacred Heart-St. Francis DeSales School in Bennington.

Here’s the schedule of main stage performances for the 2011 Bennington Irish Music Festival:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20
12noon: John Kirk and Trish Miller
1:30pm: The McKrells
2:30pm: The Gibson Brothers
4pm: Donnybrook Fair
5pm: The Makem & Spain Brothers
6:30pm: Hair of The Dog

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21
12noon: Triskele
1:15pm: Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys
2:45pm: Rakish Paddy
4pm: The McKrells and Donnybrook Fair

MORE FESTIVALS ON THE 2011 CALENDAR:

Word x Word Festival @ various locations, Pittsfield, Through August 21, mostly FREE
Bella Terra Festival @ Gardner’s Farm, Stephentown, August 18-20
Bluestock Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, August 26-28
Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival @ Corning Preserve’s Riverfront Park, Albany, September 10, FREE
LarkFest @ Lark Street, Albany, September 17, FREE
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17-18, FREE
Hippiefest @ the Palace Theatre, Albany, October 13

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