The largest Irish festival on the East Coast begins on Thursday, Sept. 19 and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 22. 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 one hundred vendors and sixteen food vendors, this gathering will definitely be the place where you want to be!
The activities begin on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 8 a.m. with a round of golf at the Cape May National Golf Course, located at Route 9 and Fairway Drive, Erma (2 miles south of Route 47). The fee is $110 on or before September 5, then $120 after September 5. This fee includes green fee and cart, light breakfast, buffet lunch, beer, and many prizes. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For additional information, please contact the AOH.
Boxing is back! On Thursday evening, ten amateur boxing bouts will feature the Jack Costello Boxing Club, Philadelphia, PA vs. the Gleann Amateur Boxing Club from Belfast, Ireland. This event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and takes place at Wildwood Catholic High School. Tickets are $30. For advanced ticket sales please call 215-820-1547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. This activity begins at 8 a.m. each morning and continues until 7 p.m. On Friday and Saturday there will be free live entertainment continuously from noon until 8:30 p.m.
Saturday begins with a 5K run. If you are interested, you can sign up at 8 a.m. at the AOH tent (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) on Olde New Jersey Avenue. Cash prizes will be awarded. For additional information on the run, visit TheIrishJog.com.
On Saturday at 10 a.m., the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibition will take place at Bill Henfey Park, located at 8th and Central Avenues in North Wildwood. This event attracts thousands of spectators every year, so 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 Elks Lodge, located at Chestnut and Olde New Jersey Avenues from 10 a.m. until noon. All are welcome.
On Friday and Saturday, there will be free live entertainment continuously from noon until 8:30 p.m. The National Anthem will be sung at noon. Featured performers include Shenanigans, Broken Shillelaghs, Birmingham 6, Timmy Kelly, Galway Guild, and Ballina. In addition, Irish Schools of Dance will perform throughout both days.
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, located at Glenwood and Atlantic Avenues, for 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 bagpiper soloist.
On Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the parade begins at 20th and Surf Avenues and will continue to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Avenues. Once again, 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, Charlotte Mendelson, many fraternal organizations, bagpipe 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, located at 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenue 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 Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, 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 www.cmcaoh.com.