Believe it or not, ï»¿Kingstonï»¿ is quite the up-and-coming Hudson Valley Irish destination. While its St. Patrick’s Day Parade and accompanying Shamrock Run 5K are huge draws on March 17, Kingston has been making a major push toward promoting Irish heritage year-round.
The most significant effort to date is the establishment of its Irish Cultural Center, soon to be situated on Abeel Street overlooking the Rondout. Fundraising and deconstruction plans were well under way as of press time, with the center expected to provide major contributions to Irish culture in the city. The organization has already established educational programs like Irish language classes and bagpipe lessons, and is in the process of assembling a Currach Club (a Currach is an ancient Irish rowboat) to compete against other national teams. The addition of this sport should meld nicely with Kingston’s already impressive waterfront community, most notably the Kingston Sailing Club.
The Rondout also holds the Hooley on the Hudson Festival, which takes place during Labor Day Weekend. In 2014, the Hooley invited Irish ambassador Anne Anderson to speak about the bond between the U.S. and Irish culture. Anderson promised to return to welcome the grand opening of the Irish Cultural Center — a sure sign of Kingston’s rising status as a focal point for Irish culture in the Hudson Valley.
As the city waits in anticipation for its upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade, visitors can relax and enjoy authentic Irish cooking (and drinking) at one of Kingston’s staple pubs, Dermot Mahoney’s.
For more information on Kingston or to plan a trip, visit www.kingston-ny.gov.