Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

News about the RKIDs

March 14, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017 Celebrations

Parades and Parties Edition

There are many more photos on our web site

 RKIDs Events

On a cold Saturday afternoon in early March, the Old Town Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade's RKIDs contingent marched down King St. towards the Potomac River. After waiting for nearly two and half hours in about 25 degree weather, the nineteen green-sweatshirted dancers did their sevens and threes for the enthusiastic onlookers. Chuck dryly noted "the organizers must have saved the best for last." Afterwards, everyone treated themselves to well-deserved meals and liquid nourishment at the Fish Market. Chuck led the string of toasts for the fine job done by our leader, Emmett, and members Roger, Dan C, Willie, Bill, Evan, Chris, Obie, David D, Evelyn, Marie V, Madelyn, Marilyn O, Colleen, Connie, Sharon C, and Pat.

Ready to March
Done Marching


Gaithersburg Parade and Party

Out of the Wind
After the Parade

The adage "... Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” doesn’t just apply to our mail carriers. The Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers proved they are just as hardy, although some heat would have been appreciated by the gang. In a freezing-weather encore performance, just a week after appearing in the Alexandria parade, twenty-two of them asembled at the Washingtonian Center on Saturday, March 11. Smartly led by Emmett, they danced their way along the Gaithersburg St. Patrick’s Day parade route. The side-stepping members were Dan C, Willie, Sharon C, Chris, Bill, Madelyn, Evan, Sandy, David D, Toni, David M, Karen, Colleen, Chuck, Maureen, Sonja, Tom, Maura, Marie and Michelle. Tom made sure our music wagon's equipment was up to the task and the batteries held their charge. The wind whipped loose the lower pole of our banner, but Dan and David M. were not deterred and kept it aloft. Then there were the Park Police horses and riders, properly dressed for the occasion. Everyone got into the Irish spirit!

Horses and Riders Show their Colors

The fun didn’t stop at the end of the parade. Afterwards, the marchers, family members and friends gathered at the O’Brien’s for their annual St. Patrick’s Day feast. The highlight of the meal, of course, was corned beef and cabbage prepared by our super cooks Sonja, Michelle, Maura, Joe, Emma, and Kate. Willie added his yummy decorated cupcakes to the dessert table. Obie lined up a lively list of entertainers for the afternoon: Hurley School of Irish Dance, Willie on his guitar, and David M on piano. Always fun, Colleen again led the “Unicorn Song.” We appreciated Maura’s husband, Larry, lending his support to the parade and the meal. Many, many thanks to Bill for jumping in at the last second to make the Irish coffees! He hopes he did justice to Roger and Dan O’C’s special recipe, since they couldn’t be there. Ending the party were renditions of the Haymaker's Jig and the Clare Lancers set featuring the RKIDs.

In the Sun Room
Can't Stop Dancing

 Irish Activities

The Blackthorn Dancers’ ceili, held in Washington Grove on Friday, March 10th, drew a lively crowd of fine dancers. The music, provided by Tina Eck, Marc Glickman, and Philippe Varlet (joined by a resident of Washington Grove, Meredith Horan, on bodhran), rocked the McCathran Hall throughout the evening. Larry Frank called all the dances with good humor and precision, even joining a few sets. Emmett won the 50/50 raffle and Colleen won the door prize. All this happened due to the efforts of Obie, who took on the job of continuing these ceilis when it looked like we would not be able to keep the 50+ years-long tradition going. Thanks, Obie! He had lots of helpers: Sonja and Kate managed the potluck, Jim C sat at the door greeting and collecting payment, Ann Marie provided baskets for the raffle, Evan and Bob helped with the set-up, and Dan M ran the 50/50. Many people helped at the end to clean up the hall. It is wonderful to have this event right here in the Gaithersburg area.

Our Fine Musicians
Waltz Cotillion

 Social Group

Several activities are being planned by the Social Committee: a discussion group, movies, a Keys game, Happy Hour at Ruth's Chris, and the usual First Saturday brunches. Put Saturday, April 1 on your calendar now and plan to meet and eat at the Germantown Woodside Deli at 10 am. Stay tuned for details about other upcoming events. Here’s a sneak peek to whet your appetite; a signup sheet is coming soon:

 About Town

Sandy and Hillary

Sandy and her daughter, Hillary, recently attended Giselle, the romantic ballet being performed in the Eisenhower Theater at the J. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Many of the RKIDs remember our 10th Anniversary celebration at the Hilltop House Hotel in Harpers Ferry. At our “2001 — A Dance Odyssey” gala we took over the hotel with workshops, happy hours, movies, and ceilis. Marilyn O happened to be in Harpers Ferry recently and went by the hotel to reminisce. Much to her disappointment, she found the hotel dilapidated and in the midst of collapse. The grounds are fenced off and there is no access to the grand inn which is now in a ramshackled state. We had a great weekend back in 2001 and the photo on the front deck is our only memento now. See if you can find Jack and Joanna, Don and Anne, Sharon P, Carl and Jean, Dick and Dixie, Erin, Roger, Marilyn and Obie, Pat L, Emmett, Kate and Dan, Bobbie, Marilyn M, Kevin and Liz, Pat G, Don K, Linda, and MaryAnn. Here's an article with more info about the sad state of the hotel.

In 2001
Fit for The Shining


Mary Ann is in Florida for a month. She’s visiting grandchildren and then meeting up with friends in Key West.
Mary in Harper's Ferry
Mary made a quick trip to Harpers Ferry to get her senior pass at the National Park Visitor Center and take a quick tour of the historic town. Unfortunately, the lovely Chapel of St. Peter’s was closed, but she still enjoyed the view from the hillside. 

Kevin and Liz will be heading home from Florida during the first week in April. We look forward to their return.



Dan O’C had a bit of a setback during his recovery from bone spur surgery, but he is now back on track and looking forward to beginning physical therapy soon. He's particularly glad that his streak of seven consecutive losses to Kate while playing Mexican Train was broken at a recent tournament. Roger has recovered from a cold; but now Pat has one; Madelyn’s jaw pain has eased up; and Sonja learned not to move furniture all day.