North Country Goes Green Irish Fest is back bigger and better

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 8:52 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - “My daughter has taken up Irish Step Dancing for the first time, so I’m here to watch her, hang out with some friends, enjoy the atmosphere, and celebrate our heritage,” said John Cain.

The North Country Goes Green Irish Festival is back as folks filled the Dulles State Office Building for the first time since 2019.

“It’s a place to gather and have a good time. Just be happy for the day,” said Cain.

Bands were playing, beers were flowing, and the sizzle and smells of Rueben’s wafted through the air.

Up on the 11th floor, cornhole teams from across the North Country competed for a cash prize and celebrated the sport’s return.

“It’s definitely home. There are so many people that have come up to say hi. We have 46 teams here. So many spectators. It’s such a great time,” said cornhole player Tonee Lavarr.

On top of old favorites, this year’s festival brought something new to the table, and it’s hard to miss.

You may have noticed the bar looks a little different this year. The redesign was actually supposed to make it’s debut in 2020. But like a lot of things, COVID pushed that back.

“They just went to town and did this. It really ties into the whole first floor. It looks great,” said Dave Missert.

The new bar, affectionately titled “J.R. Gaffney’s Publick House”, is partially dedicated to Dick Gaffney, the festival’s co-founder who passed away last year.

“There were a lot of guys and women that we lost in the time since the 2019 festival and today. To be able to honor them is nice and we miss all of them,” said Missert.

A weekend of music, laughter, and drinks a plenty. Watertown’s Irish Festival is back and bigger than before.