Hiking events

Time to break out some hiking boots for Big Irish Campfire (and a passport for Belfast Homecoming)

CAMPFIRE GUEST: US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh with the author in Washington DC on July 20

It’s been three years since Belfast locals were able to invite their Irish American cousins ​​back for the annual comeback, but with Covid on the back foot, now would be a good time for Irish Americans who want to make an effort extra for Ireland to ensure their passports are up to date.

Because on September 29, Belfast will roll out the red carpet for the global Irish family.

“Coming home to make a difference” is the theme of Belfast International Homecoming. The American Irish Legislators Society of the New York State Legislature in Albany will lead a strong international delegation to Homecoming. At a gala banquet at the Titanic Hotel on September 29, a new cohort of Belfast Ambassadors from around the world will be inducted.

Belfast has had plenty to brag about since the city last hosted the Homecoming – Ulster University’s $220m city center campus is nearing completion, a plan is well advanced to create a new visitor center for Belfast Stories, and funds are now flowing into Belfast’s Innovation Quarter. West and East Belfast are also on the rise with the EastSide Visitor Center and Áras Uí Chonnghaile (James Connolly Centre) offering new experiences to the visitor.

Before Belfast, we have the Big Irish Campfire small affair at Iona University in New Rochelle, NY on August 19th. This is the largest gathering of Irish American champions from anywhere in the United States. Born at the height of the Covid storm, Campfire has moved to an in-person format (with live streaming) this year and will feature representatives from top Irish American institutions.

It is an exceptional composition. Irish American activists from San Francisco and St Paul, Cincinnati and Boston, and many other cities where green is worn will gather around the campfire. Gerry Adams will come live from Ireland while Congressman Brendan Boyle will also join virtually. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will kick off proceedings with a video message for campers.