For one weekend each March, the sound of slides, bagpipes and sweet Irish brogues mingling with the aroma of steaks and stews rise up from Dallas’ fairgrounds, attracting crowds from near and far. Last year, in fact, the North Texas Irish Festival reigned in about 50,000 revelers, and during its 27th year, March 6-8, organizers expect an equally impressive turnout. “This is just a great entertainment value,” says Sheri Bush, president of the Southwest Texas Celtic Music Association, the group that organizes the event. At no more than $15 a ticket, the festival boasts more than 40 performers, including a variety of traditional (Beoga, Liz Carroll & John Doyle), contemporary (NeedFire, 7Nations), folk, country, and totally eclectic bands; storytellers known for captivating audiences with Irish lore; schools of Irish dance (such as the pictured dancers from the White Rock area’s Maguire Academy of Irish Dance) will commandeer their very own stage; and more than 200 vendors peddling imports, Celtic clothes, designs, delectable dishes, and potent potables (think Guinness pints and Irish whiskey nips). “If you can’t find something you like here … I’d be very surprised,” Bush says. —Christina Hughes Babb  

North Texas Irish Festival
WHEN/ Friday, March 6, 6 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 8,  11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
WHERE/ Fair Park
TICKETS/ $15; purchase online at or at any local Tom Thumb