On the evening of Thursday, March 7, Celtic spirit took over the J.C. Williams Center as Franciscan University of Steubenville students emerged from their midterms-induced hiding for the music, food and fun of Irish Fest.
As students entered the J.C., they were greeted by truly festive sights and sounds: tables decorated with forgetful leprechauns’ pots o’ gold, students dressed with Irish flair and the buoyant Celtic tunes being performed.
Indeed, Franciscan University was lucky to welcome Ceili Rain, an Irish-American band whose fusion of pop and rock with traditional Irish tunes kept the audience members tapping their feet and singing along for hours. In the Gentile Gallery, students recovered from the previous day’s fast, savoring appropriately green desserts, appropriately potato-y tater tots and appropriately restricted beers.
Upstairs, the line for airbrush tattoos stretched from Switchboard to Cupertino’s Cafe as students jumped at the chance to sport the temporary tattoos, the designs of which ranged from Celtic knots and shamrocks to fairies and ostriches.
At 9:30 p.m., the Franciscan Irish Dancers kicked off their much-anticipated performance, garnering cheers, whistles and applause from the enthusiastic crowd.
Sophomore Isabel Nishimuta, who performed with the group, said, “I really enjoyed dancing for the Irish Fest because it’s just a really fun way to just exercise and have fun at the same time, and the audience was very enthusiastic and playful. … It’s probably the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!”
Eventually, the celebrations began to wind down, and students trickled out of the J.C., leaving only the most steadfast groups behind to get one last tattoo, enjoy the music or, at one table, indiscriminately dance the Hustle to every song.
Most importantly, the festival gave students a chance to celebrate the end of midterms together before heading off campus for spring break.
Junior Rose Cory emphasized this aspect of the night, saying, “I liked the music, and it was just good to see everyone because I haven’t seen any people since midterms started.”