Dublin is a city, located in central Ohio, the state capital. In 1987 Dublin's resident Maria McLernon visited Ireland to learn more about traditions and culture of the country. This has resulted in Dublin's acquiring the status of a city. Thus the first anniversary of Dublin, Ohio as a city coincided with the millennium celebration of Ireland. McLernon was trying to establish connection between two Dublins through Irish music, art and culture. For this reason 1/1000 Committee was created with the purpose of hosting events like the party "Happy Birthday, Dublin". The members of the committee included Bill Denihan, Terrie Conrad, Mary Margaret McLernon, Jack Eggspuehler, Barbara Avery, Chuck Kranstuber, Kay McGovern, Phil Price and Morton O'Kelly, who made significant contributions to the establishment of the Dublin Irish Festival, one of the top Irish fests in the United States.
The first Dublin Irish Festival was held in the City of Dublin in 1993. Since then it has reflected the original intent of its founders: to showcase high-quality Irish entertainment and culture. Entertainment is provided by a variety of performers, both regional and international. Six stages of the festival feature a number of performances by popular entertainers from the United States and Ireland. The "Cultural Center" of the festival includes workshops, exhibitions, theatre performances and story telling. "Emerald Isle" offers the unique chance to purchase original works of art, while "Marketplace" is helpful in selecting souvenirs.
In nearly every corner, Irish crafts people and musicians demonstrate their talents. With its Wendy's Wee Folk Area, growing each year, the festival turns into the perfect place for the entire family. The 25th anniversary of the Columbus Festival brings together more than 1,500 top Irish dancers.
In 2005, the headliners were National Champion Dancer Heather Team, the Columbus Celtic Dancers, Tim Academy of Irish Dance and Junior Academy, and the NiChiara and the Shanagan Dance School. Irish dance competition occurs on Saturday, the second day of the festival.
Over the years the Dublin Irish Festival Committee has expanded the holiday to a great extent, maintaining the goal of introducing people to unique Irish culture. While establishing regional, national and international relations, the festival has acquired the status of one of the leading cultural events nationwide. Attendance of the festival has increased over the years from 12,000 as of 1995 to nearly 75,000 visitors in 2003. The festival is greatly supported by volunteers, who have raised over $140,000 for their organizations' support during the period of 1999-2003.
The 2006 Dublin Irish Festival is scheduled for August 4-6. As always, it will take place in Dublin's Coffman Park. This year, a three-day event is expected to attract 85,000 spectators from the Central Ohio and Dublin area, all of whom are interested in the cultural heritage of Ireland. In 2004 the American Bus Association ranked the festival among the top 100 events in the nation.