Colorado Irish Festival to Honor18 years of dedicated Festival Leaders at “The Gathering”

When the gates open for the Colorado Irish Festival (CIF) July 13-15 at Clement Park in Littleton, it will mark the 18th consecutive year of celebration of Irish culture and entertainment. Over that time, and prior to, there were many people working behind the scene giving of their time and expertise to help make the event happen each year.
On Sunday July 15 the current CIF/Colorado United Irish Societies (CUIS) Board of Directors will honor some of those dedicated people at the Celtic Stage at 10:15AM.
Board member Ciaran Dwyer said that it is time to acknowledge past CIF leaders. “It takes a lot of hard work to plan, organize, and implement all the details that make a successful event. It is time that we show appreciation to those who built the foundation of the festival and made it possible to grow into a destination event.”
Dwyer said that he likes the reunion aspect to “The Gathering,” “I do like the reunion idea behind ‘The Gathering’ that helps build connections and community, and would like to see it developed into an annual component of the festival. Also, we recognized that we would not be able to identify and locate all of those people who should be honored at the first ‘Gathering,’ so we intend to do a better job of it every year”

Ken Hannon Larson, a veteran CIF volunteer himself, was asked by Dwyer to help gather names and contact information for The Gathering 2012 Honoree List. He forwards the list to the CIF/CUIS Board for review and follow-up. “I am honored to have been asked to head up ‘The Gathering 2012,’ said Larson, “This is an event long overdue. Honoring those who gave their blood, sweat and tears to the festival over the nearly past two decades is appropriate.” He continued, “But there is much more! We want their stories. We want their memories of the good and bad times. Those are the memories of the Colorado Irish Festival that cannot fade, we will not let them fade into history – but resurrect those stories so all can enjoy. That is what being a Colorado Irish Festival volunteer is all about!”
Larson said that the hard part of his project was knowing that not all people who should be honored would be identified this year, especially some of the great contributors who did not hold an official festival title; but he hopes people appreciates the continued efforts. “In 2013 those who may have been overlooked and additions to the list will be considered by the Board… Overall this will be a positive event, a renewal, and a tribute to those who worked hard over the years.” He added with enthusiasm, “There will a a gift box presented to all of the honorees, and added with a laugh, “but we want to keep the contents a surprise!”

Everyone is invited to the first Gathering- a show of community thanks and support is welcomed and encouraged.”


Tony McAleavey, former owner of Sheabeen’s and one of the Founders of the Colorado Irish Festival and friends gathered together at Sheabeen’s on June 24th to celebrate his contributions to the Denver Irish community. There was a great turn-out, with music, song and great stories.
Shelly O’Hara, President of CIF/CUIS made a formal presentation to Tony, as health concerns might keep him from participating at ‘The Gathering.’
Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to Tony.

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