Every once in a while, I mention my history with The Wild Rover Pub in Manchester, NH in a post. What can I say: it holds a special place in my memory. After all…
- When I went to college in Manch-vegas, I spent more than a bit of time there.
- When I lived in Mont Vernon, I’d go every Thursday night to hear Marty Quirk sing.
- I became friends with some of the regulars and they invited me to join Manchester’s Ancient Order of Hibernians.
- The Rover is where I learned to play bodhran, where I first got on stage to sing, and where I had my first St. Patrick’s Day gig as part of the band, Shillelagh.
Well, I’m happy to say I’ve got a bit of a homecoming in a couple of weeks, as Dave and I will be playing the Wild Rover Celtic Festival. This is a tremendous event that includes three features:
1) The 21st Annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5K Road Race, which is benefits the Make A Wish Foundation. (I remember working a mile marker for this race when I was with the Hibos.)
2) A St. Baldrick’s fundraiser. This is a fun event that involves people shaving their heads for money, and that money goes for childhood cancer research. This local event is part of a national campaign which has seen 187,000 “shaves” raise more than $114 million since 2000.
3) And, of course, there’s live music and exhibits throughout the day. My friends Marty Quirk and Kevin Dolan will be playing earlier in the afternoon, and after we play there will be a U2 tribute band called New Years Day. There will be several schools of Irish dance taking the stage for demonstrations, and countless booths from local vendors and exhibitors to visit, including our good friends from Celtic Crossing in Portsmouth and the Seacoast Irish Cultural Association (SICA).
The race starts at 10 a.m. and the festival starts at 11 a.m. We’re tentatively scheduled to play between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., so we hope you’ll stop by to visit and enjoy the day.
And if you decide to shave your head…lemme know and I’ll kick in a few bucks.