WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The luck of the Irish is strong in the North Country.

For the first time in four years, the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival will be held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown. The Festival was last scheduled in 2020 but was canceled the day prior due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival Co-Chair Shanie Strife said this is a long-awaited return.

“It has been such a long time and all we thought about during the break was coming back and getting into the action. So, we’re thrilled,” Stife expressed.

This will be the 35th year the Irish Festival has been held in Watertown. This year’s festival will include a wide array of entertainment, vendors, food and beverages.

“We have a comedy show Saturday night. Then we have everybody’s favorites. We have Miss Ireland; we have Little Miss Ireland, which is new this year; a beard competition and we have a cornhole tournament,” Strife shared.

The Irish Festival is completely volunteer-based. Many of the volunteers have a strong Irish heritage of their own.

This includes William Flynn who is the president of the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. Flynn explained how Irish culture has been present in Watertown since the mid-1800s.

“They had the music, they had their literature, they had their art and they kept it going,” Flynn explained. “So that’s why we have a lot of our cultural things today.”

So as much of a celebration Irish Festival weekend is, it’s also a continuation of the longstanding Irish community within the City of Watertown.

“It’s important to remember our past, to be able to remember our culture and to be able to pass it on to the next generation,” Flynn shared. “So that they can cherish it as much as I do.”

The 35th North Country Goes Green Irish Festival will kick off at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown on Friday, March 17. Events will continue until the afternoon on Sunday, March 19.

The full list of events can be found on the Festival website.