SPRING LAKE — The Spring Lake Irish Festival had something for everyone to enjoy on Saturday. From food and drinks to craft vendors and a live petting zoo, the fun continued all afternoon in the heart of the borough.
“We are the Irish Riviera and we wanted to have an Irish-based event,” said Ellen Manger, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, which presents the event each year.
“We started very small on the west side and we just had a few vendors and some music, it was very popular then and it just became more and more popular,” Ms. Manger said.
Irish bands including The Snakes and Bantry Boys provided the live music while patrons browsed the booths of local merchants and visiting vendors.
The Irish Centre, also an event sponsor, had a booth directly across from their store. Moya Rush, one of the owners, said that she has been participating in the festival since its inception, with help from husband Aidan and daughter Keira.
According to Ms. Rush, the event could see as many as 2,000 to 3,000 attendees throughout the day.
“We start meeting in January to prepare for the event in June,” said Ms. Rush. “It is really a focus on family fun day. There is something for the whole family.”
Her booth displayed all types of merchandise from locally-made leprechaun dolls and decorative signs to Notre Dame apparel and clothing and jewelry straight from Ireland.
“We go back to Ireland all the time to get things for the store and visit family,” said Ms. Rush. “We try to keep the tradition alive here at the Jersey Shore … we just want to see it continue for future generations.”
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