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Grammy-nominated Cherish the Ladies dances into Emmet Park on Saturday
Irish tradition, ceremony and celebration will be the order of the day at the City of Savannah’s 18th Annual Tara Feis Irish Celebration, taking place March 14 at Emmet Park in downtown Savannah. - photo by Photo provided

Tara Feis 2009 schedule of events

Main Stage
11 a.m.--Opening ceremony
11:30 a.m.--Glor na h’Eireann Irish Dance School
Noon--Harry O’Donoghue (folk singer)
1 p.m.--Cherish the Ladies (international Celtic sensation)
2:15 p.m.--Batt Burns, (Seanachie — Irish storyteller)
2:30 p.m.--Meet ‘The Ladies’ (autograph signing at the ticket tent)
2:40 p.m.--Seldom Sober (musical duo)
3 p.m.--Irish Dancers of Savannah
3:30 p.m.--Harry O’Donoghue
4 p.m.--Cherish the Ladies
4:55 p.m.--Closing remarks

Children’s Stage
11:30 a.m.--Irish Dancers of Savannah
12:15 p.m.--Conrad Hartz’ puppet show
12:45 p.m.--Batt Burns (Seanachie — Irish storyteller)
1:15 p.m.--Sean Driscoll (storymaker)
1:45 p.m.--Conrad Hartz’ puppet show
2:15 p.m.--Sean Driscoll (storymaker)
2:45 p.m.--Glor na h’Eireann Irish Dance School
3:30 p.m.--Batt Burns (Seanachie — Irish storyteller)
4 p.m.--Last Fling (dancers from both Irish Dance Schools)
4:30 p.m.--Stage closed

SAVANNAH—Savannah’s Emmet Park will be transformed into a vision of the Emerald Isle during the City of Savannah’s Tara Feis Irish Celebration, taking place March 14 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Topping the lineup will be Grammy-nominated Celtic music group, Cherish the Ladies.

Now in its 18th year, the family-friendly feis — or festival — will be a feast for the eyes, ears and palate, with live performances, food, art activities, crafts and games hosted with Irish ceremony, tradition and hospitality.

As in previous years, Tara Feis is a free, non-alcoholic event geared toward families and children.

“It is thrilling to see Tara Feis grow in popularity every year,” said Bernadette Winters, chairperson of the Tara Feis planning committee. “Irish heritage is an important aspect of Savannah’s cultural background, and we are pleased that so many people come to Tara Feis every year to learn about, appreciate and celebrate our traditions and heritage.”

Festivities begin at 11 a.m. with an official Irish opening ceremony, headed by local and international dignitaries. The main stage will feature plenty of traditional Irish dancing, as well as live performances by notables such as local folksinger Harry O’Donoghue and musical duo Seldom Sober.

Two performances by Grammy-nominated traditional Irish music group Cherish the Ladies will highlight this year’s feis.

Taking their name from a traditional Irish jig, “The Ladies”—as they are affectionately called—received recognition as the first and only all-women traditional Irish band. Over the past 20 years, they have established themselves as performers without peer, playing throughout the world at international festivals, concert halls and even at The White House. With their unique blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture in an engaging and entertaining package.   

Cherish the Ladies has been named “Best Musical Group of the Year” by the BBC, “Entertainment Group of the Year” by the Irish Voice Newspaper, chosen as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s “International Group of the Year,” and voted the “Top North American Celtic Act” by National Public Radio’s Thistle and Shamrock program.

The Tara Feis children’s stage will feature a full day of entertainment, including performances from storymaker Sean Driscoll, the puppets of Conrad Hartz and traditional Irish dancing performances from Glor na h’Eireann Irish Dance School and the Irish Dancers of Savannah.  

The ancient art of the Seanachie, or Irish storyteller, will come to life as master Seanachie Batt Burns tells the tales of the colorful characters of the hills of County Kerry, Ireland, where he lived most of his life.

Burns has performed at festivals, clubs and campuses throughout the U.S. and internationally. His new book, “The King with Horse’s Ears and Other Irish Folktales” was released in February.

Tara Feis is free and open to the public. Emmet Park is located in downtown Savannah at the east end of Bay Street. For a performance schedule or more information, please contact (912) 651-6417 or visit