NORTH WILDWOOD — The largest Irish festival on the east coast begins on Thursday, September 18, and concludes on Sunday, September 21, 2014. 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 it continues to draw more and more people each year. With over one hundred vendors, sixteen 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, September 18, at 7:30 a.m. with a round of Golf at the Cape May National Golf Course, Route 9 and Fairway Drive, Cape May Court House (2 miles south of Route 47). The fee is $90.00 on or before September 4 and $100.00 after September 4 and includes golf fees, continental breakfast, cart, buffet, beer and many prizes. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For additional information, please contact the AOH.
On Thursday evening, the Irish Fall Festival is proud to announce the return of the Concert at Wildwood Catholic High School, 15th and New Jersey Avenue, North Wildwood. Award winning fiddler player, Haley Richardson, will open the concert, immediately followed by Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. For advanced ticket sales please visit Wildwood Catholic High School during business hours. Please send a check, along with a self addressed stamped envelope. For additional information, please call Wildwood Catholic at (609) 522-7257.
Unfortunately, the amateur boxing matches and the music tent at the Pointe at Moore’s will not be returning this year.
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 to 10:30 p.m.
As always, the concert will begin with the National Anthem sung by Dolly McGee, followed by the Irish National Anthem. Other featured performers include Timmy Kelly, Maura McKinney-Mastro, Ballina, Broken Shillelaghs, Birmingham 6, and many more. Special guest, Haley Richardson, will perform on Saturday. Haley is eleven years old and has won multiple awards both here and in Ireland for her fiddle playing. Stop by and visit the AOH table for additional information.
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.
Saturday at 10 a.m. the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibition will take place at Bill Henfey Park located at 8th and Central Avenues, North Wildwood. This event attracts thousands of spectators. 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 heart of the festival activities at 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
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, Glenwood and Atlantic Avenues for 10:30 a.m. mass. There will be a procession from 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 honored to announce that the 2014 Grand Marshal will be North Wildwood Mayor Emeritus Bill Henfey, who served as Mayor for 8 years, from 2006 to 2013. In addition, we are honored to have Seamus Boyle, past National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, as a special guest. All AOH organizations are welcome to be a part of this celebration of Irish history and heritage. The parade also will feature Miss North Wildwood, Maegan Sharkey, many fraternal organizations, bag pipe bands, Irish dance groups and much, much more.
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 – 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 Budweiser and 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.