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Get your Irish up at festival

The band's music will be familiar to anyone who saw the blockbuster film "Titanic." There's a scene in the movie that features Irish dancing; Gaelic Storm is the band providing the music.

"Someone saw them performing in a pub and put them in the movie," Nelligan said. "It really launched their careers."

Friday also features Enter the Haggis, a group Nelligan described as "the Celtic Dave Matthews Band."

Saturday, mean-while, brings two more big-ticket acts to the area. The first is Great Big Sea, a group that enjoys immense popularity in its native Canada, where several of its albums have gone gold.

"In the U.S., you don't see Celtic groups going gold," Nelligan said.

Great Big Sea is expected to be a big draw, as is John McDermott later in the day. One of the original three Irish tenors, McDermott "does a ton of concerts," Nelligan said, so people are expected from near and far to hear him.

Beyond the music, the festival will feature "lots of vendors selling everything from sweaters to china to hats," Nelligan said. There will be Irish dancers and attractions for kids, including a bounce house and clowns making balloon animals.

Nelligan said the festival has strived to be family friendly, including in its admission price. Anyone under 12 gets in free, while adult tickets for either day are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, with a two-day pass available for $28. They are available at all Price Chopper locations and can be bought online at www.ticketweb.com or by phone at 888-414-3378.

For information, visit www.irishfest2000.com.""

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