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.
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:
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