By Kevin Hall
The Second Annual “¡Que Vivan Los San Patricios!” St. Patrick’s Day Concert is coming soon. Last year, local musicians and dancers from the Irish and Mexican traditions combined their talents in a unique event to raise funds for immigrants’ rights and independent media.
The concert was a huge hit with artists and audience members alike, and everyone wants to do it again. Songs, dances and tunes from both cultures will be showcased and combined in honor of the memory of the St. Patrick’s Battalion, the courageous Irish immigrants who joined with Mexicans to defend their country against invasion and occupation.
This year, organizers hope to also host the Baile Céilí (BUY-lay KAY-lee), a uniquely named social reception that takes its name from the Spanish and Irish words for dance, immediately after the concert. The concert and dance will be a single, combined event.
“We’ll get everyone out on the floor dancing together, musicians jamming, and there will be more time to visit at the tables of all the great community organizations,” said event committee chair Pam Whalen. “Everyone is welcome to table this event. We want to bring everyone together.”
Although the exact location is still to be determined, the date is certain: St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17. Our needs are many, but our dollars are few. Concert doors will open at 2:30 p.m., and the music kicks off at 3 p.m. The Baile Céilí will follow immediately afterward. Tickets and price information will be announced on March 1.
If there is a clear link between the local Irish and Mexican communities, it is immigration, and half of the money raised at this year’s event will go toward supporting participation at this year’s Immigrant Day in Sacramento. The other half raised will be used to support the important work of the Community Alliance newspaper, the voice of the progressive movement here in Fresno and beyond.
Kevin Hall is the organizer of the Community Alliance newspaper’s annual St. Patrick’s Day concerts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.