Friday, July 18, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolis Irish Festival - Tshirts!

I found a few shirts I liked ...

... I may need "Party Like A Pict" for next year's RT Booklovers' Convention.

I chatted with the Warrior Brotherhood before Albannach's second set - they are veterans serving veterans.

This was an appropriate tshirt for Albannach's performance.

Geico gave out "hand fans" featuring their famous mascot.   The fans came in handy with the summer heat!

How can you not smile at this tshirt?


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolish Irish Festival - Out and About

The Infamous Welsh Cookie Co. intrigued me.  From its website (link),

Welsh Cookies are known by many other names, including Miners Cakes or Welsh Cakes. The Welsh name for them is Pice Ar Y Maen. Generations of coal and slate miners in Wales took these nutritious “cakes” to work every day. Traditionally, Welsh Cookies contained black currants and nutmeg. Miner’s wives rolled and fried the cakes each morning much like we now make pancakes. The resulting cookie has a biscuit-like flavor and texture. I often tell people that if you combined the best characteristics of pancakes, shortbread, scones, and biscuits, the result would be a Welsh Cookie.

Of course I had to chat with the teens manning the Kona Ice truck.   The guys told me they had lei tucked away ...

... and I asked them to wear the lei and give me the shaka!

Kudos to the Vets for their service!


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolis Irish Festival - Chesapeake Caledonian Pipes and Drums

Here comes the Chesapeake Caledonian Pipes and Drums. From its website (link),

The Chesapeake Caledonian Pipes & Drums was formed in 1985 to promote the highest standards in both traditional and contemporary bagpipe and drum ensemble performance. Since then, the band has regularly participated in parades, concerts, and pipe band competitions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

The band wears the Ancient MacDonald tartan coupled with white police shirts, black tie, and black waist-cropped Naval mess jackets, in honor of the Naval heritage of Annapolis.The most distinct feature of our uniform is the cap badge representing a Maryland Blue Crab, a symbol of the Chesapeake Bay, the region that is home to our pipers and drummers.

There's nothing like the pipes and drums to make the heart beat faster.

I spotted at least two women in the band.

The audience enjoyed their performance!


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolis Irish Festival - Irish Dancing


We discovered The Shamrogues at the Annapolish Irish Festival.  From their website (link), 

Formed by banjo player and County Laois native Jim Phelan, the band features Adam Wyatt on Vocals and Bodhran, the internationally renowned fiddler Johnny Benson, Chris Marsheck on Guitar, Gary Peresta on Bass, Rich Boshart on Drums and 8-time World Irish Dancing Championship finalist Katie Fox.

The music was fabulous - check out pictures of the band on yesterday's post at this link.  Katie Fox, the champion Irish dancer, was the icing on the cake.

She raised the energy level on the stage ...

... and to the audience. 

A good time was had by all ages!


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Future dancers

Monday, July 14, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolis Irish Festival - The Shamrogues!

We arrived early to the Annopolis Irish Festival to beat the rush hour traffic.  We found a shady spot near the entrance to soak up the atmosphere as the volunteers scurried around to open the festival.  We chatted with a gentleman sitting at gate, Jim Phelan, who turned out to be the founder of The Shamrogues.  From the band's website (link), 

Jim was born in Co. Laois, Ireland. He began playing guitar at the age of twelve and two years later was playing in local pubs with his first band 'The Exploding Appletarts'.

Raised in a family steeped in tradition he was born with a love of Irish ballads and picked up the tenor banjo and mandolin at an early age. He soon got involved in Sunday ballad sessions with several of the country's top Irish musicians including his close friend Seanie Smullen, one of Ireland's most talented banjo players (The Mighty Ghosts of Erin).

After emigrating in 1996, Jim started Irish sessions in countries as far flung as Japan, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. He settled in America in 2006 and launched The ShamRogues in April of 2009.

Jim's banjo inspired the audience to join the fun!

The band played for an hour and half ...

... with a champion Irish Dancer!  

I'll share more pictures of Katie tomorrow!   Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing more of The Shamrogues at local venues as they hail from Baltimore!

Do you have an favorite Irish band from a festival or even pub?


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Aloha to the Annapolis Irish Festival - Albannach

The Anne Arundel Fair Grounds welcomed the Annapolis Irish Festival (link):

Since the Inaugural Festival in 2011, the AIF has become an Annapolis tradition, thanks to the support of the business community and the people who share our passion for the Emerald Isle and the magical Celtic traditions and music we hold so dear.

We specifically attended the fest to see Albannach.  From their website (link),

Albannach is Scots-Gaelic for "Scottish" or "Scotsman". That's exactly what we are. Albannach are all born and bred in Scotland and our purpose in life is to share our intriguing culture, history and heritage with you by means of our music.

Albannach are not just another Scottish 'Pipes & Drums' band, indeed we bring a new and exciting form of music to your living room. A championship winning piper, an extremely talented main drummer, bass drummers and bodhran musician bring you a brand new approach to percussion and Celtic music. Our style of music is exciting, energetic and enchanting and we promise to leave you begging for more.

Yes, the music is exciting, energetic, and enchanting.

Albannach left the audience begging for more.

I was ready to follow the bagpipes into battle ... 

... the drums are equally compelling!

Jamesie creates such a frenzy among the crowd!

Jacquie treated us to soulful vocals about Alba - Scotland.

After their show, Albannach met with their fans of all ages! Here is Donnie ...

... Jacquie and Colin!

I hope to see Albannach again at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair in early October (link).

Have you attended a Celtic Festival? 


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Perhaps Jamesie could have been cast as Jamie Fraser in OUTLANDER.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Aloha to the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMCB)

My oldest son is a senior and it's time to visit college campus.   Last week we visited University of Maryland - Baltimore County, aka UMBC, at this link.  It is a midsize campus of @10,000 students with a reputation as an Honors University.

Its mascot is the True Grit, a Golden Retriever.  True Grit was the faithful pet of the first chancellor.

The students rub True Grit's nose for good luck!

The school attracts many international students, whose countries' flags hang in the student center.

Likewise, UMBC students also study abroad ...

... taking True Grit's spirit with them! 

UMBC has several collegiate teams ... while football is played at neighboring University of Maryland - College Park.  Go Terrapins!

Still, UMBC has a champion chess team!

After our tour, we visited Taste of Aloha (link), offering authentic Hawaiian food. 

My son thought the proximity of UMBC to Taste of Aloha might sway his decision!   We will be visiting other campus in Maryland and even our home state of Florida in the coming weeks.

Any advice on searching for colleges?  


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City