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Irish Days Festival Celebrates Roots

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About 200 people came out to enjoy Irish music, food, and dancing Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. The Broome County Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians has been hosting the event for over 20 years. 

The festival attracted local artisans and vendors that sold Irish crafts and jewelry. Volunteers spent the morning cooking soda bread, scones, and corned beef sliders.

Co-organizer of the event and member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sheila Madigan, said that the event is unifying for members of the local Irish community.

“We have a lot of Irish in the community. It keeps them interested, it keeps them happy,” said Madigan.

The Edward P. Maloney Pipe Band kicked off the day’s festivities, followed by two troupes of Irish dancers and a live band. Madigan said next week’s parade will continue to honor Irish tradition.

“It keeps the heritage alive when we do events like this, and the parade is always a big hit. You know, they come from everywhere for the parade," said Madigan. "We have so many ethnic groups in this area, it’s good to keep your own alive and well."