Preparing for our seventh annual festival!It's that time again! We are in the process of finalizing the schedule for our 2014 festival. This year, we return to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. We'll be in the Communications Building again this year, but a recent remodel should make it much more comfortable than it was before. We hope you will join us Presidents' Day Weekend!
Where and WhenWorkshops on Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16, 2014 will be held in the Communications Building. The Friday evening ceili will be in the Longhouse. Saturday's concert will be in the Experimental Theater in the Communications Building. Parking will be available in Lots B and C and there's no charge on the weekends.
CostEARLY BIRD COST: Adult Full Weekend Pass $65, Kids Full Weekend Pass $32.50 until December 31, 2013.
FULL COST: Adult Full Weekend Pass $75, Kids Full Weekend Pass $37.50 starting January 1, 2014. Single-day Passes also available for $45.
Workshops AvailableThis year, we plan to offer classes in:
Beginning & Conversational Irish Language
Traditional Irish Dance
Traditional Singing in Irish & English
Irish Art & Knotwork
Irish Storytelling & Film
Irish Fiddle & Uilleann Piping
Travelling in Ireland
If you'd like to see a copy of last year's program or this year's tentative schedule, check out the links on the right side of the screen.
Festival DiscountsWe have partnered with the Olympia/Lacey Ramada Hotel to offer Festival attendees a discount on hotel rooms. They are offering a single King room or two Queen room for $99 plus tax, which includes a full hot breakfast! To take advantage of this offer, please call the hotel directly at (360) 459-8866 and use the discount code "SNNW Irish Festival." Reservations must be made before January 31, 2014. This discount is NOT available on Ramada's web site.
The Ramada is conveniently located off I-5 Exit 109 and is walking distance to many restaurants, including our Session location, O'Blarney's Irish Pub!
I'm new to all this -- what should I expect?Welcome! We're especially glad you joined us! Here is some helpful information and a few answers to common questions we are asked.
Sessions, Ceilis, and the Concert
If you've never been to an Irish session, you're in for a treat! These are casual get-togethers that are common in Ireland. A session is kind of like a no-host party at the local pub. Musicians will play tunes, dancers might get up and show off their steps, and singers will entertain those in attendance with their melodies. If you're lucky, you might even get to hear a famous poem or funny story. Our festival session will be held at a local pub. There is no cover charge for this get together, but food and drinks are on your own.
A ceili is similar to a session, but is a little more formal and is focused on social dancing. Don't worry if you don't know the steps -- the Caller will teach you the basics at the beginning of the evening and your fellow dancers will help you along.
Sean-nos NW is proud to offer a concert as part of our festival, featuring each of our instructors demonstrating their craft. You'll be able to hear and see some of the best traditional singing and dancing around! You can get tickets to the concert as part of your workshop package. A limited number may also be available separately for those who can't come to the workshops.
What should I bring and what should I wear?
Our festival is very casual. Jeans are completely appropriate. Since it is February in the Pacific Northwest, we recommend you wear layers to account for our ever-changing weather. We also recommend that you bring a notepad. If you're going to take one or more dance classes, you should bring a water bottle and appropriate shoes (character shoes, ballroom dance shoes, penny loafers, or men's leather dress shoes are good choices if you don't have dedicated dance shoes). NO METAL TAPS, PLEASE! Wood taps are fine.
Lunch is on your own. Please feel free to bring a lunch, but be aware we don't have refrigerators or microwaves available. There are coffee shops on campus, but no chain-type restaurants within walking distance.
Please feel free to ask us questions! We're here to share knowledge -- don't be afraid to ask!
The Sean-nos Northwest Festival celebrates and promotes three aspects of traditional Irish culture: Sean-nos singing, Sean-nos dancing, and the Irish (Gaeilge) language. These cultural treasures are incredibly rare to find anywhere outside of Ireland. We aim to sustain a vibrant community for these and other Irish cultural arts throughout the Pacific Northwest.