Appalachian Thursday–Going to Ireland
When I drive from NC to the farm, I get to pass through Ireland. Of course, like Paris, KY, or Rome, GA, it’s really a sweet little town stateside. Still, I get a kick out of it.
This week they’re holding the Irish Spring Festival, which is always planned around St. Patrick’s Day. There’s lots of green, shamrocks, good food, and road bowling (more about that in a moment).
The event was launched 36 years ago by the Shamrock Community Educational Outreach Services Club. A king and queen are selected and there’s typically a parade populated with pedestrians, farm equipment, animals, and a whole lot of kids. There are probably more people IN the parade than watching it.
The festivities actually kicked off last Sunday with a flag raising, the dedication of a free library, and a Pot ‘O Luck covered dish dinner. The day wrapped up with a Psalms of Ireland hymn sing at the United Methodist Church (see photo above).
And, of course, there’s road bowling. Ireland is famous (well, locally famous!) for being a hub for the sport. Basically, the idea is to roll a heavy, metal ball (it used to be cannon shot) as far as you can along the road without it rolling out of the road. Curvy, mountain roads are, of course, more challenging.
Back in 2012 some road bowlers ended up playing along the rural road where I live. Turned out they were from West Virginia! Click HERE to read more about that.
All in all, the Irish Spring Festival is exactly the sort of thing I miss about my West Virginia home. Local people getting together for some pretty uncomplicated fun and fellowship. If you’re ever in central West Virginia, check ’em out