STEPPING OUT LIGHTLY: Jamie O’Keefe, a UICC member and museum worker puts finishing touches to the new exhibition

San Fran Irish and Historical Soc link arms for Leap Day dance expo

The famed "Keepers of the Steps" Irish Dance Archive program at the United irish Cultural Center in San Francisco is partnering with the city's storied Historical Society to mounting an exhibition at the Society's downtown museum, with the opening tomorrow (29 Feb).

The museum is based in the former premises of the first San Francisco Mint — that withstood the catastrophic 1906 earthquake —. with selections from the UICC's costume collection going on display in an old bank vault.

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Guest speaker a the 'Irish Dance—Celebrating the Roots, Rhythms, and Rituals of the San Francisco Irish' exhibition opening night will be Capt. Jack Hart of the SFPD and a former Irish dancer. Mayor London Breed, who is facing a tough reelection battle after the intervention of Irish American pol Mark Farrell, is also slated to attend. 

This special exhibition explores how Irish dancing has fostered community and celebrated culture since the city’s inception. During the bustling days of the Gold Rush, dance halls and entertainment enlivened the community and allowed Irish immigrants to hold on to and share their heritage.

In the 1970s competitive Irish dancing became further organized under the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin, Ireland, and San Francisco played host to the first annual championship competition in what has since been known as the Western Region—the Western Region Oireachtas.

You can register to attend, tickets are $15, on Eventbrite