Halfway to GAIF Hooley a Rousing Success

February 23, 2018

UTICA – Annual “Halfway Hooley” kicks off the festival year.

On February 9th, the Great American Irish Festival hosted its annual “Halfway to GAIF Hooley” at the Saranac Brewery, located in the heart of Utica’s historic brewery district. The evening, which marks the beginning of the festival year, was filled with food, music, dancing, and Irish community spirit.

Since its inception in 2006, the very popular celebration has provided a much-needed respite from the winter doldrums, with great music, food and drink, and a chance to see what hundreds of Great American Irish Festival volunteers look like in their winter clothes. The Hooley is the festival’s way of saying “thank you” to the hundreds of tireless volunteers who helped make the Great American Irish Festival the fastest growing Irish festival in the land.

This event has also become the forum for presenting the performance lineup for the upcoming festival, as well as the announcement of the board’s selection for the Utica St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal.

While standing amongst previous winners, past GAIF and St. Patrick’s Day parade director Judy Weeks was named the 2018 Grand Marshal. Judy will be taking over the duties of last year’s Marshal, Vaughn Lang.

Music was provided by Lewington-Downie, from the band Enter the Haggis.

This year will mark the 15th anniversary for the Great American Irish Festival, and everyone is waiting patiently for July 27-28, 2018 to once again revel in the sights and sounds of Irish culture and music.

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