The seventh annual Robert Emmet Society-Blissfest hoolie will take place beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at City Park Grill in Petoskey.
“The mood for these hoolies since the first one seven years ago is always electric. It is that time of year when people want to let go and have some fun and St. Patrick’s Day is a good excuse,” said event organizer, George Colburn.
Seating will begin at 5 p.m., with Irish music beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Dr. Goodhart and the Hooligans.
At 6:30 p.m., the Celtic dance performance will take place.
There will be prizes for members of the audience who tell the best Irish joke, and there will be a “Danny Boy” singing contest.
Those attending will be able to order off the regular menu, or can enjoy a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. Other Irish specials will also be available.
The hoolie is one of two major fundraising events hosted each year to raise money for the Robert Emmet Society’s Joseph McCarthy-William McCullough Scholarship. The scholarship sends one North Central Michigan College student for a semester of study in Galway, Ireland.
The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarship is Thursday, March 17.
“Five winners who still live locally are likely to be there,” Colburn said. “Dane Schmidt, the 2010 winner who is still a student at North Central Michigan College, will speak briefly about his experience last fall in Galway. ”
Door prizes and silent auction items include jewelry from Ireland, courtesy of the County Emmet Celtic Shop and Irish-themed jewelry from Arlington Jewelers. There will also be tickets to Blissfest events, passes to the new Mackinaw Maritime Museum and even two round-trip airplane tickets to Beaver Island.
“Plain and simple, it is a fun few hours in downtown Petoskey. It’s an event that many put on their calendars each year because they had such a good time last year,” Colburn said.
There is a $5 cover charge. However, the charge is waived for Robert Emmet Society members, citizens of Ireland, North Central Michigan College students, and anyone who joins by paying the $100 membership fee or donates $25 to become a friend of the society.
The cover charge is also waived for those who reserve a table. To reserve a table, send a check for $30 to the Robert Emmet Society, P.O. Box 2027, Petoskey, Mich. 49770.
The fee is also waived for citizens of Finland and residents of the Upper Peninsula in honor of St. Urho, whose birthday is celebrated on March 16.
For more information, call George Colburn at (231) 535-2440 or the Blissfest Music Organization office at (231) 348-7047.