NORTH WILDWOOD – The largest Irish festival on the East Coast begins on Thursday, Sept. 21 and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. This festive four-day event is sponsored by James J. Reilly, Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). The AOH is an organization which fosters and preserves Irish culture and heritage.
The success of this festival has been overwhelming, and continues to draw more and more people each year. With over 100 vendors, 16 food vendors and an estimated crowd of over 200,000, this gathering will definitely be the place where you want to be!
The activities begin on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. with a round of golf at Cape May National Golf Club. The fee is $90 on or before Sept. 10 and $100 after Sept. 10, and includes green fee and cart, light lunch, dinner buffet, beer and many prizes. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For additional information, please contact the AOH.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the festivities will take place on Olde New Jersey Avenue. Here the street vendors will display their Irish memorabilia, and the food vendors will offer a variety of Irish and non-Irish treats. These festivities begin at 8 a.m. each morning and continue until 7 p.m. On Friday and Saturday there will be free live entertainment continuously from 12 to 8:30 p.m. The AOH is proud to announce the return of the beer garden located at the Municipal parking lot at Spruce and Olde New Jersey avenues.
Saturday begins with a 5K run. If you are interested, you can sign up at 8 a.m. at the AOH tent (between First and Second avenues) on Olde New Jersey Avenue. Cash prizes will be awarded.
Saturday at 10 a.m., the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibition will take place at Bill Henfey Park located at Eighth and Central avenues, North Wildwood. This event attracts thousands of spectators every year. Come see and hear some of the best pipe bands in the East!
Also on Saturday, the AOH will host free Irish dance lessons at the Anglesea Volunteer Fire House, located in the festival district at Second and Olde New Jersey avenues from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
On Friday and Saturday there will be free live entertainment continuously from 12 to 10 p.m. The concert will begin with the National Anthem. Other featured performers include: Maura McKinney, Broken Shillelaghs, Birmingham 6, the Shenanigans and Brothers McGillan.
On Sunday, everyone is welcome to celebrate our faith and heritage at Saint Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in the Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Glenwood and Atlantic avenues, during 10:30 a.m. mass. There will be a procession starting at the main entrance to the altar by the Protectors of the Faith Guards, the Cape May County Emerald Society Honor Guard and a liturgical bag piper soloist.
Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the parade begins at 20th and Surf avenues and will continue to Spruce and Olde New Jersey avenues. The Irish Fall Festival is proud to announce that the 2017 Grand Marshal will be Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan, Diocese of Camden. In addition, we are honored to have Seamus Boyle, Past National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, as a special guest. The parade also will feature Miss North Wildwood, Mae C. Bischoff, many fraternal organizations, bag pipe bands, Irish dance groups and much, much more. All AOH organizations are welcome to be a part of this celebration of Irish history and heritage.
Irish food and entertainment will be available at most of the clubs and pubs in North Wildwood all weekend long.
As always, bus service will be available from the Anglesea Fire Hall, Second and Olde New Jersey avenues, along Surf Avenue to 26th Street. Additional bus service will be available through Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. For detailed information, please call (609) 884-5230 or visit gatrolley.com.
As a result of this extremely successful annual fundraising event, the AOH achieves significant charitable accomplishments. These contributions reflect the loyalty and ideals which have helped to strengthen our families, community and national character.
This festival is sponsored, in part, by Budweiser, the Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority and the City of North Wildwood.
The AOH would like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Patrick Rosenello, City Council and the City of North Wildwood for their annual support of this event!
For additional information, contact the AOH at 1 (800) IRISH-91 or visit www.cmcaoh.com.