The Bloomsday Celebration, an annual event all over the world, is held each year on June 16 to commemorate the life of the Irish novelist, James Joyce, and the fictitious events in his novel Ulysses. The story takes place in Dublin in a single day, June 16, 1904. The word Bloomsday is derived from the name of the central character in the book, Leopold Bloom. Joyce chose June 16 because he first went out with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, on that day.The first Bloomsday celebration took place in Dublin in 1954 and continues today. Activities at this event held by the Irish Club include music and merriment, refreshments and readings from works of Joyce and a silent auction. At the event awards are also presented to the outstanding volunteer of the past year who has shown extraordinary work and dedication to the club. The chosen winner receives the Golden Harp award. The Emerald Shamrock award is presented to the business organization which has provided outstanding support to the Irish Club.
The primary event of the Irish Club held each year in July is the Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival. The Festival has grown in scope over the last several years adding more films each year. Wee Irish Film Night is held on Friday at the Manship Theatre featuring a showing of several short films. Audience members are asked to vote on their favorite short with an award presented to the Director of the winning film. A Bagpiper performs on the plaza at the Shaw Centre and leads the festivities into the Manship Theatre for the first film of Festival Day. During Festival Day five more feature films are shown which are complemented by musical performances, fun and refreshments during the day.
The Irish Film Festival helps to bring the Irish Culture to the public where audiences can enjoy a wide variety of films along with music and dance.
A Dinner Theatre is held each year in association with Cafe’ Americain restaurant. The event is spearheaded by local actress, Nancy Litton, and the dramatic presentations always have roots in the Irish culture with Irish playwrights or Irish themes. Plays that have been a part of this program have included In the Shadow of the Glen by John Millington Synge, Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel, Dear Liar by Jerome Kilty and Lafferty’s Wake by Susan Turlish among others.