It’s baaaack! The Great Irish Hooley, an honest-to-goodness Irish fest with authentic eats and live music to help us dance away the calories.
Consider it a mini-Labor Day weekend celebration kicking off at 5 p.m. Friday, August 30, at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney, and running nearly non-stop through midnight on Monday, September 2. Irish bands and dancers include Scythian, fresh from the Irish festival circuit, with its rock-infused Celtic and world music; Lisa Canny and her contemporary twist on traditional and folk tunes, and Elevation, the world’s leading U2 tribute band. Seven Hooley bands in all – and they’ll all be on stage for the spectacular Monday night finale “Electric Ceili” (pronounced kay-lee).
Of course, for some of us, it’s all about the food, and Raglan Road never disappoints with authentic Irish cuisine under the watchful eye of Irish celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon. Of course, there’s Guinness and the best beer-battered fish and chips, or Shepherd’s Pie, amazing seafood and more (including gluten free). We might recommend starting your day with the Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch fare on the menu Saturday, Sunday and Monday just for the Hooley. The pancakes with crème fraiche, real maple syrup and mixed berry compote are worth a head start (brunch is served from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., so you don’t have to get up that early). Or get in the spirit with the Full Irish Breakfast with sausage, black and white pudding, bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms and fried eggs with roasties (potatoes). If you have at least six guests, splurge on the deliciously fun Host the Roast feast — but call to order it the day before — with lamb, beef, pork or chicken, generous sides and dessert served family style.
At Disney you’re guaranteed something for everyone. Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley includes Irish dance workshops for everyone in the family — “From Our Roots to Riverdance” — led by renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast. Guests also can kick up their heels during structured set dancing known as the Ceili – a precursor to today’s popular line dances. (Bring your camera.)
Irish music workshops – “Between the Jigs and the Reels” — by Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist and Riverdance musical director Declan Masterson round out the long weekend of entertainment. There’s even Celtic face painting.
For more information and the entertainment schedule, www.raglanroad.com.