Saturday, November 11, 2006

Maryland Irish Festival

As I posted in September, this year's Irish festival was moved from Baltimore City to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. It was far more crowded than the small one I went to a few months ago. LOTS of people, and VERY LITTLE room! I wanted to save my money, so I didn't buy much of anything - just some Irish county flags (to commemorate my ancestors from counties Kerry and Cavan) and a cross pendant made from hardened peat moss (who knew?).

I didn't get to eat much, just a sausage with onions ($4 - I should have had the salmon for $5) and some champ ($3). Champ is a traditional Irish potato dish (how uncommon!) mixed with scallions, of which this dish had lots. I think it was made by the Ladies Hibernian Society of Baltimore, or something. Man, I didn't realize how many Irish-American and Irish nationalist organizations there are in Maryland! Many, many fliers, stickers and booths for Irish reunification by 2016. Anyway, the champ was very tasty, especially with a dollop of butter.

Though I ate little, there were lots of food options. The next time they hold this, get there early, so you won't have any problem moving around. Also, look for Irish classics such as:

  • Irish soda bread and scones
  • ham, cabbage and potatoes
  • corned beef sandwiches
  • fish sandwiches and fish & chips
  • delicious, wonderful Guinness, Harp and various Irish liquors
  • and of course, those traditional Irish staples, hot dogs and pretzels
Though I didn't try it, I did pick up a menu from the nearby Irish pub and restaurant An Poitín Stil (on pot-CHEEN still), in Timonium - down the road from the Fairgronds, in fact. I'll have to criuse on up there at some point.

I also found out that there is a Greek festival at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation downtown - not too far from the recently reopened Roman Catholic Basilica of the Assumption (the first to be built in, what was at the time, the United States). It's the Annunciation's 100th anniversary, from what I hear, and the Assumption's 200th! I will try to get to the Greek festival if I can. Too bad they probably won't have Guinness.