Can’t hold your excitement for this weekend’s festivities? Well, you’re in luck! Though the Dublin Irish Festival doesn’t “officially” begin until Friday afternoon, there are several activities scheduled for Thursday and Friday morning to kick-off the celebration.

First up on the agenda is the Dub Crawl. Spanning from 5 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, August 2, this event grants visitors the opportunity to explore all that Historic Dublin has to offer. Several shops and restaurants will be open late and offering specials. Street-side musical acts and dancers add to the festive mix. The Dublin Cornet Band will play at Bri-Hi Square from 6:30-8:00 p.m., The Hooligans will play at the Frog Park from 7:45-8:45 p.m., and The Ladies of Longford will be at the Brazenhead from 8:00-11:00 p.m.

The newly added Kids Fun Run / Walk will warm-up the crowds on Thursday evening (6:45 p.m., specifically). This family-friend race will also feature kids crafts and an appearance by Stinger of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Registration is $5 per child.

IGS Energy/Dublin Irish Festival 5K

Celebrating its 10th year, the IGS Energy/Dublin Irish Festival 5K will take participants through Historic Dublin as by-standers cheer them on. Registration fees range from $25 (individuals 18 and under) to $35 (adults over 18). All 5K participants receive a DIF t-shirt and admission ticket. Runners can sign up on the Dublin Irish Festival website or any Columbus Running Company location. On-site registration and packet pickup will be set up in the parking lot behind The Dublin Village Tavern. Participants are encouraged to wear their DIF 5K t-shirts for a chance to win prizes! An awards ceremony, honoring the top three finishers overall and the top two male and female finishers, will be held after the race.

Irish Academy classes begin at 10 a.m. on Friday morning at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin and run until 3 p.m. Master guitarist Dennis Cahill will host an Intermediate Guitar class. The cost is $60. For beginning musicians, Michael Vignoles will hold an Intro to Bodhran workshop. The class fee is $50. Multi-winning musician, Brian McCoy, is instructing a Beginning Tin Whistle workshop, and amateur bagpiper (and Dublin resident) Dave Hopper will teach an Introduction to Highland Bagpipes. All students must be 12 years of age or older to participate in Academy classes, and each class includes a Festival ticket. To register, visit the Dublin Irish Festival website.

*Want to win 2 tickets to the Dublin Irish Festival? Tell us your favorite memory in the comments below (be sure to include your email address for personal notification) by 9 a.m. on Wednesday! A winner will be randomly chosen from the responses on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. and announced on that day’s blog.

~ Post by Dawn