Hanceville enjoys 2nd annual Irish Festival

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Tracy and Shawn Burgess were two of the colorful attendees at Saturday’s Hanceville Irish Heritage Festival. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The second annual Hanceville Irish Heritage Festival was held Saturday. Organized by Hanceville Friends of the Festival, the event featured a packed lineup of entertainment, including Black Market Haggis, A Shamrock in Kudzu, Chuck Carpenter and Tommy Chapman. Dancers from The O'Faoláin Academy of Irish Dance also performed.

The clouds and cool weather gave way to sunshine and warmer temperatures by the afternoon, and the crowds began to pick up. By 1 p.m., the festival had lots of folks doing a jig and having a great time. Downtown merchants welcomed shoppers and Bulldog Country Cook’N had a packed house for its special Irish menu. 

The Hanceville Drug Company offered green milkshakes as a St. Patrick’s Day special. Vendors were set up on Commercial Street, while Bangor Avenue offered carnival games, a kids’ area, food vendors and the main stage. Irish folk group A Shamrock in Kudzu took the stage and attracted a nice crowd as they sang traditional Irish folk songs like “Waxies Dargle.”

“Waxies Dargle” is a traditional Irish drinking song, but despite the great effort, no alcohol was served at this year’s festival. Although the Hanceville City Council approved the special permit, the state did not.

Event organizer Tim Burney explained, “The state kept asking for more paperwork and more background checks. This went on for two months before we gave up and decided to just try again next year.”

Burney was otherwise pleased with the Saturday turnout, saying early in the day, “It’s better than last year despite the cooler temperatures. People are having fun and we have great acts coming up later. We have lots more coming up this year in Hanceville. We are really trying to bring more back to the community.”

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