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GUEST,Claymore Irish American Folk Park (6) RE: Irish American Folk Park 12 Dec 04

My friends and I played there for three days over the American 4th of July celebration there. It is located just north of Omagh and has both performance areas and a trail of historical homes, cabins and barns etc. A vistor pays about 6 pounds and starts the trail which takes a vistor from the homes and buildlings of Ireland to a seaport in Belfast, the trip through a famine ship and out into Boston. From there the trail takes you through various homes etc of America. The Mellons who lived in that part of Ireland and later made their fortune in America, sponsored the museum and run a Center for Irish Migration studies. You can locate more info at

Playing there is a ball and I would reccomend that any American folk musician try and get a gig there. They generally want Old-Time, Bluegrass or some distinct form of American music, and you perform in one of the venues on the trail. At the time we were there we had a Patsy Cline cover group from England, some Native Americans displaying some of their artifacts, a Vaudville act from Branson, Miss., and a large number of American Civil War reenactors from all over Britain. They put you up in a motel on the Center, and feed you in a large dining hall. The pay isn't much, but all your expenses are taken care of.

Our evenings were spent shooting black power muskets, giving Indian war hoops and rebel yells, playing every song you could imagine, and drinking tons of beer. The staff were marvelous, and the meals were excellent. You send them a CD or a video to audition.

Incidently, they also have a major Appalachian/Bluegrass festival in September, as well as other musical festivals which draw large crowds. We were drawing from 6-8 thousand vistors a day, and the Park was packed. It's more fun than Americans should have in another country.

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