Fantastic weather brings optimistic crowd to Hanceville’s 4th annual Irish Festival

A lucky leprechaun is caught on camera Saturday at the Hanceville Irish Festival. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune) 

 HANCEVILLE, Ala.The city of Hanceville celebrated its Irish heritage Saturday with the fourth annual Hanceville Irish Festival, enjoying perfect weather and a noticeable increase in attendance from past years. It was a stark contrast from 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic loomed large. There was a sense of optimism and joy, as festivalgoers came out for the weekend celebration.  

The festival is organized by The Friends of the Festival’s Nolan Bradford and Tim Burney. Bradford was pleased with the turnout Saturday.  

“This is our best year so far and the weather couldn’t be better,” he smiled. “We are so happy it didn’t rain because it seems when we plan an event in Hanceville, it always rains.”  

The festival kicked off with The O’Toole Brothers followed by festival newcomer Dave Boling. Returning was crowd favorite, The O’Faolain Academy of Irish Dance. The young dancers have become a mustsee for the festival crowd. The afternoon concluded with Black Market Haggis and A Shamrock in Kudzu.  

Commercial Street was lined with craft vendors and the downtown merchants and Cafe Tula Taqueria remained open to welcome shoppers. Over on Bangor, the festival’s main stage showcased the talented lineup of artists performing traditional Irish music and dancing. The seating stayed full, with folks out enjoying not only the festive song and dance, but also a return to socializing with friends and neighbors.  

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