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St. Patrick’s Day Fun in Holyoke

SPD_parade+_Holyoke

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Holyoke, Massachusetts

In case you aren’t ready for St. Patrick’s Day to be over for 2014, there’s one more big celebration to come. On Sunday, March 23rd the Massachusetts town of Holyoke hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States (only the New York City parade is larger!)

Holyoke residents are fiercely proud of their Irish heritage, and they know how to show it. The town of about 40,000 will welcome up to 400,000 visitors to its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Here’s what the parade website has to say:

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade has been a cherished institution since 1952. Each March, our city streets fill with happy folks from near and far celebrating Irish heritage, civic pride, faith, family, friendship and tradition. A regional event attracting over 400,000 on street spectators, this Parade is the Pioneer Valley’s biggest homecoming of the year!

Festivities will kick off at 12:30pm on Thursday with the raising of the Irish flag at Holyoke City Hall. Then, at 1:00pm is a preview of the “Grand Colleen” float.

 Photo by Manon L. Mirabelli| Holyoke 2014 Grand Colleen Sheila S. Fallon, of Holyoke, with her father, Daniel Fallon

Photo by Manon L. Mirabelli| Holyoke 2014 Grand Colleen Sheila S. Fallon, of Holyoke, with her father, Daniel Fallon

Many thanks to reader Ed O’Connor for telling me about the Holyoke parade. I am always learning something new about the Irish in America! Good luck to everyone in Holyoke – I hope you have a beautiful Spring day to celebrate your Irish heritage!


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We Have a Winner!

Before we put all the excitement of St. Patrick’s Day behind us for another year, we need to announce the winner of our Book Giveaway! Next time we will have to challenge you guys a bit and make the trivia question tougher – everyone who entered had the correct answer.

Source: writersweek.ie

Source: writersweek.ie

The famous Listowel Writers Week is held each year over the June Bank Holiday weekend. This year the week of writing workshops, competitions, and festivities runs May 28th – June 1st. The full program will be announced in April on the Writers Week website.

We wish we could give you all a copy of Vincent Carmody’s lovely book about Listowel, but there could be only one lucky winner.

THE WINNER IS…

ED MOONEY 

from County Kildare

Congratulations, Ed! Send us your address and your book will be on its way – click here to email us.

A big thanks to Vincent Carmody for sharing his Listowel with our readers through his stories and for donating the signed copy of his book, Listowel – Snapshots of an Irish Market Town 1850-1950

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)


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Reminder: St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

Just a friendly reminder to enter our St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway by 11:59pm EDT tomorrow, March 17th. The winner will be announced Wednesday, March 19th. Simply answer the Listowel trivia question below, fill in your contact information, and hit the submit button.

But first, take a look at what people have to say about the prize, a signed copy of Vincent Carmody’s Listowel – Snapshots of an Irish Market Town 1850-1950:

“A beautifully designed and executed book, wherein the discards of history are put on parade to become a treasure throve of insight into the life of an Irish Market town. Listowel is transfigured; If space allows movement; place is pause at every turn of a page.”     Dr. Patrick J. O’ Connor

“That Vincent Carmody’s Listowel, Snapshots of an Irish Market town is evocative and beautiful is not surprising, but it is also an artful history. Concisely and lucidly told, it is a mosaic of faces and the telling artifacts of everyday life.”    Richard White, Professor of American History, Stanford University

“This book is about more than the shops and the pubs. It is a reminder of the transience of life, of the way that humans move on but a streetscape remains. Beautifully presented, it will appeal to anyone from North Kerry and should give other towns reason to wish they had someone who would do the same for them.”    Frank O’Shea, Irish Echo 

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Good Luck!


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St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend is here and it is time for our Giveaway! This is your chance to win a signed copy of Vincent Carmody’s beautiful Listowel – Snapshots of an Irish Market Town 1850-1950. It’s easy to enter – just answer the question at the bottom of this post, fill in your name and email address, and submit the form.

But first, a bit about the prize. Here’s what the publisher has to say about Vincent Carmody’s book:

This book by Listowel native, Vincent Carmody, is an account of life in a prosperous market town from the years 1850 to 1950. The town in question is Listowel, Co. Kerry, but it could be any town at that time. This is a valuable social history, full of information, gossip and anecdotes, amply illustrated with old billheads and photographs. You will see here handwritten receipts, gentle requests for payment to recalcitrant debtors and rare posters, flyers and other assorted memorabilia from that slower age.

Vincent Carmody’s lovely book paints a picture of a gentler age, an age of craftsmen and industry. This was the era of the horse and donkey and the handwritten letter. It was an era of fairs and markets.

Vincent takes you back in time in this comprehensive account of life back then.The book is a one off, a collector’s item, a treasure for anyone who  values historical artifacts and stories.

Now for a little Listowel trivia! Submit the form below by 11:59 pm (EDT) on Monday, March 17th. We will select the winner at random from the correct entries. We will announce the winner on Wednesday, March 19th right here on The Irish in America. Of course, all personal information will only be used for notifying the winner – we promise!

Good Luck! Winner will be announced here on Wednesday, March 19th!


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Dublin St. Patrick’s Week: Family History Centre

findmypast-logoIf you will be in Dublin next week and are curious about your family history, then you are in luck!

As part of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival and in conjunction with The Gathering Ireland 2013, the folks at FindMyPast Ireland are hosting the Family History Centre on March 14-18. This is an exciting event, with lectures, exhibitors, and FREE access to FindMyPast.ie. This is what they have to say about the event:

80 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry – are you one of them?

The Irish Family History Centre runs throughout the week of the St. Patrick’s Festival and allows you to discover your Irish family history.

Free access to millions of online records from findmypast.ie will give you an insight of what life was like for your ancestors hundreds of years ago in Ireland. Learn how to search for information using the free computers and chat with experienced staff who can answer your questions.

StPatricksFestivalWe can all use some expert advice when it comes to our family history research. So, if you are headed to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, why not stop by the Family History Centre – click here for more information, including map and opening times.

Here is a list of the exhibitors at the Family History Centre. For a full list of lectures and exhibitors, please click here.

 IGRS – Irish Genealogical Research Society 

Irish Family History Society

Genealogical Society of Ireland

Ancestor Network

Flyleaf Press

North of Ireland Family History Society

The Military Archives – Thursday & Friday only

Looks like fun! As if there weren’t enough reasons to visit Dublin this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s another. Hope it is a great success!

And if you need more help tracing the American branch of your family tree after visiting the Family History Centre, look no further…The Irish in America can help! We have had great success finding American cousins for Irish clients. Check out our Find Your Cousins page for more information – click here!