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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release March 4, 2010

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Historical Museum hosts third annual Irish Fest March 17

Music, dance, art and Café Baratta’s highlight event

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this month with an Irish festival featuring food, music, dancing, art and workshops.

The third annual “St. Patrick’s Day Festival: Irish Fest” will be 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public.

Irish Fest is sponsored by Café Baratta’s, Irish Clan of Des Moines, and Metro Arts Alliance Education Program funded in part by Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Contact Maureen Korte at maureen.korte@iowa.gov or 515-281-4132 for more information.

Café Baratta’s will offer a special Irish-themed lunch menu: corned beef and cabbage, drummery rice, vegetables, Irish stew and Reuben wraps. Additional menu items, wine and green beer also will be available.

The museum will also present a 37-star U.S. national flag – the Irish Harp flag – for viewing 1-4 p.m. Civil War re-enactors will be present and museum staff will be available to answer questions about the flag.

The Irish Fest event schedule follows:

Atrium, First Floor

1 and 3 p.m. – Flatland Ramblers Celtic/Old Time quartet will play traditional Irish jigs, reels, waltzes and hornpipes

2:30-3 p.m. – The Mackenzie Highlander pipes and drums will perform

Auditorium, First Floor

1:45 and 2:30 p.m. – The Foy School of Traditional Irish Dance will present step-dancing in the Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium

Heritage Classrooms A and B, First Floor

1 p.m. – Des Moines Artist Bev Ellis will lead children and adults in the production of Irish funwear – shamrock boas, Irish necklaces, hats, headbands and pins

The Delicate Balance: Human Values and Iowa’s Natural Resources exhibit, First Floor

1 p.m. – Ceili Dancing Workshop with dancer and choreographer Janice Baker

State Historical Library, Second Floor East

1 and 2 p.m. – “All Things Irish” museum artifacts presentation with Curator Jack Lufkin

1:30 and 2:30 p.m. – Viking and Medieval Dublin: Modern Dublin offers an archaeological layer cake of its historic past. Join Lynn M. Alex from the Office of the State Archaeologist for a virtual time-trip to Viking and Medieval Dublin

3 p.m. – Tracing Irish Heritage/Genealogy workshop with genealogist Theresa Liewer

Resource Center, First Floor

1-4 p.m. Weavers and Spinners Guild of Des Moines will spin and talk about the fabrics of Ireland and weaving

Café Baratta’s, Third Floor West

1 and 3 p.m. – Aran’s Daughters, a harp and vocal duo, will play and sing songs in Gaelic on the third floor of the museum


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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