BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. >> Thousands of event-goers celebrated their Irish heritage on Saturday at the Irish 2000 music and arts festival.
The event was held all day on Saturday at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear Irish music, watch Irish dance, eat Irish food, and drink Irish beer at the festival.
Two stages, a rock stage and an Irish pub stage, featured live entertainment throughout the day and evening. Some of the most popular acts to perform this year were Ireland’s own Screaming Orphans, locals Hair of the Dog and headliner Off Kilter, which recently finished a long standing gig at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Established in 1996, Irish 2000 is one of the region’s largest Irish festivals. It is known for offering a unique lineup of Irish music, including everything from Celtic punk and jam music to traditional bagpipes songs and everything in between.
More than two decades in, the event organizers’ aim remains to create a family-friendly atmosphere where people can enjoy Irish culture and Irish music, said Brian Nelligan, president of the nonprofit Irish Music and Arts Festival Inc. Part of the purpose behind Irish 2000 is to expose younger generations to traditional Irish culture, he said. To keep them thoroughly entertained, a Celtic Kids area at Irish 2000 features rides and games just for children.
Nelligan has been involved with the festival since its 1996, when his brother Matt Nelligan and Jim Shaughnessy cofounded it.
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