One day in mid-September, the streets of Shirlington will be filled with bagpipes, dancers, men in kilts and pints of Guinness.
“Beckett’s Celtic Festival” will be held from noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 in Shirlington. During the festival, S. Quincy Street will be closed between S. Randolph Street and Campbell Avenue.
The event is being organized by Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub. Owner Mark Kirwan said he saw a dearth of Irish events in the area, and took it upon himself to organize the festival.
“I think I’ve looked around and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Arlington that celebrates not just Irish but the Celtic heritage,” Kirwan said. “We just wanted to try to acknowledge the relationship that the Celtic nations have had with the USA. It’s nice to come out and put your kilt on and celebrate your history here.”
Kirwan said there will be a stage set up for bands brought over from Ireland to perform. The U.S. Marshal Pipe Band and several Irish dancing schools will put on displays of traditional Irish music and performance. Vendors will be set up in tents selling Celtic crafts, and classic Irish dishes — like Shepherd’s Pie, bangers and mash, corned beef sandwiches and Irish curry — will be served.
Kirwan said there will be a 40-foot Guinness “gig rig” trailer dispensing beer. Wine will also be sold.
“It’s going to be very much a family-oriented day out,” Kirwan said. The festival will be free for all to enter. “It should be a great day.”