The Maine Irish Heritage Center is hosting the fourth Annual “Best of All Things Irish in Maine” awards, which will take place on Saturday, November 18th. This is our major fundraising event for 2023, and all proceeds will support our mission to keep the Irish arts rich and flourishing in Maine. In addition to fantastic bands, singers, and performers, we will also choose The Best Irish Beers of Maine. Maine breweries will showcase their best Irish-style beers, and attendees will vote for the winners, who will be announced at the end of the evening.
We are very excited to welcome The Friel Sisters from Donegal for their first concert in Maine in our magnificent sanctuary. They have enchanted audiences worldwide with their award-winning mixture of music interspersed with songs in English and Irish, many from their family repertoire. Being siblings, they achieve a close blend on fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes. They have released 2 albums thus far, playing all over the world in various venues and festivals and have appeared on stage and toured with acts such as Altan, The Chieftains, Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon, The Máirtín O’Connor Trio, Cherish the Ladies and Solas. The girls have won many prestigious titles and competitions over the years, most recently Clare receiving the huge honour of TG4 Young Musician of the Year/Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana. The Friel Sisters will be joined by Marty Barry, guitar player and singer from Banbridge, Co Down and Cathal Ó Curráin, bouzouki player and singer from Gaoth Dobhair, near the girls’ family home in Donegal, who was recently awarded Best Emerging Artist for 2022 at the RTÉ Folk Awards in Dublin.
On our lower level, we’ll have Bitter Brew playing from 5 – 6 PM, followed by “Best of all Things Irish in Maine” winners from past years on our Unplugged stage. You’ll feel like you’re in an Irish pub but can enjoy the Best Irish Beers in Maine and vote for your favorites. At 8PM, Slane will take the stage for an encore performance of their extensive repertoire of U2 hits.
The Best of All Things Irish will be held at the Maine Heritage Center on the corner of State and Gray Streets in Portland, and an iconic landmark of the Portland skyline. Rarely open in the evenings to the public, it will be a fantastic venue to celebrate the best Irish-inspired music, food, and beer.
The live show and Irish craft beer fest will be on Saturday, Nov 18th, from 6 pm to 9 pm. The VIP Happy Hour will kick off the evening at 5 pm.
Many of Portland’s best food trucks with food options will be stationed on Gray Street, right outside the front doors.