Each year as the New Year begins, the Cracker and I begin planning our assault on the North Texas Irish Festival. Their website has the list of performers up. This festival always provides a great weekend of entertainment. We head down on Friday, stopping in Texarkana to get the Cracker his Whataburger fix. On Friday, we'll either head down to Fair Park for the evening's music or hang out at the hotel to listen to the seisuins.
Seisuins (or sessions), for those who don't know, are where musicians gather together for the joy of playing. Sometimes the most amazing music comes out of seisuins; sometimes new bands are formed at seisuins. I have this great memory of Eileen Ivers playing at a seisuin in Dallas with a family of youngsters. At NTIF, you just wander the ground floor of the host hotel and you're likely to find seisuins in empty meeting rooms, hallways, nooks and crannies, anywhere there is a space big enough for a couple musicians.
Then there's the actual festival! We go at the beginning and stay until the end, or close to the end. We may do a little shopping with the vendors and the CD booth, but it's mostly about hearing as much music as we possibly can. Oh, visiting all the doggies with the different rescue groups--Irish Wolfhounds, Greyhounds, and little dogs too.
Here's a video that gives a flavor of NTIF from 2007
This one shows more of the dancing, but we usually don't see a whole lot of that:
NTIF is a time when we get to see friends that we only see once or maybe twice a year. I have been going to NTIF since 1999, without missing a year. The Cracker didn't travel with me for only 3 of those years. Anyway, we highly recommend this event.
In addition to the music, the seisuins and the old friends, we also get to eat at one of our favorite eateries, Cafe Brazil. Yummy!
We'll see you in Dallas, March 6-8!