The 30th Pittsburgh Irish Festival will highlight music, dance, axe throwing and a number of other activities when it returns to The Lots at Sandcastle this weekend.

“We’re so excited to be presenting an incredible entertainment line-up at this year’s Pittsburgh Irish Festival,” said Mairin Petrone, executive director of the festival. “Guests who have joined us at any point during the last 30 years can expect to see some familiar faces on stage as we celebrate this momentous anniversary.”

Four performance areas will offer continuous entertainment from dancers to musicians. Headliners include Gaelic Storm, The Bow Tides, Screaming Orphans and Eileen Ivers.

Among the new attractions are the Cultural Cottage: Ireland in Blood, featuring flowers and plant life that thrive in Irish soil.

On Friday and Saturday, comic Sean Finnerty will perform. Finnerty is the first Irish comedian to perform on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and the top ranked roast comic in New York City.

Another new addition is “A History of Ireland in 10 Words,” which presents a history of Gaelic Ireland through 10 words used by its people.

Festival goers also be able to sample a taste of Ireland, including boxty pancakes, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew and shepherd’s pie.

Curious about Irish roots? A genealogy pavilion will offer tips on how to search locally or online for long-lost family.

The festival also includes an Irish Mass on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. on the Celtic Sprit Stage.

For more information, including a full schedule of performances, visit

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