ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER: Kicking it up at the Celtic Junction Arts Center. Two weeks of high-jinks will make its 15th anniversary as a beacon of Irish culture in the midwest.

Irish Arts fest kicks off in Twin Cities as Celtic Junction turns 15

The Irish of the St Paul and Minneapolis will be hanging out their brightest colours from tomorrow to celebrate the 15th birthday of Celtic Junction, hub of all things Irish in the midwest.

Taking place from April 12-30, Irish Arts Weeks promise a smorgasbord of cultural delights certain to cheer the Irish of the Twin Cities. 

This year's festivities promise an exploration of Irish heritage, featuring free Irish dance classes,  live music, film showings, and the highly anticipated Irish Language Weekend. Additionally, attendees can look forward to engaging in traditional Irish music sessions and discovering unique, one-off classes on Celtic knotwork, history, and literature.

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Kicking off the cultural carnival, the Irish Language Weekend (Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge), starting tomorrow (April 12) at 4:30 PM, invites attendees to immerse themselves in the lyrical beauty of Ireland's native tongue. Irish instructors from Gael Linn will be joining us from Dublin and Montreal to cater to five levels of speakers, from absolute beginners to advanced.

The popular immersion course cements the Celtic Junction's enduring partnership with Gael Linn and the Aonach Mhacha Gaeilge center in Armagh City. 

Highlights will include performances by Matt and Shannon Heaton, a céilí with the Gunn Slingers, and the Center for Irish Music's Taking Flight Collective Concert featuring 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist Morien McBurnie who "grew up" at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul.

Among films screening during the festival will be 'Gael Linn ag 70', a commemorative program of music and song to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the trailblazing Irish language organization and 'Stories I Didn’t Know'. Movie director Rita Davern, and Dakota Educator Ramona Kitto Stately will be present for the screening and for the Q&A session following the film.

The cultural extravaganza will wrap up with two big CJAC events: the in-person 15th Anniversary Celebration on April 27 and the hybrid 30-Year Eurovision Anniversary on April 30 with special guests Riverdance original cast members Cormac O'Sé — a linchpin of the Celtic Junction —  and a 16-year-old dancer in the line-up, and Katie McMahon, who was the featured soloist and became “the voice of Riverdance.”

For registration information and to purchase tickets, visit the Celtic Junction website.