By Amanda Bonafiglia
As the St. Patrick’s Day festivities came to an end, Loyola welcomed students to a free St. Patrick’s Day concert in the Centennial Student Forum from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday. The concert was hosted by Loyola’s Department of Programming and featured the Irish band Character Fleadh
“We wanted a band that could bring the Irish spirit to campus,” said Matt Ackman, concert director for Loyola’s Department of Programming. “Character Fleadh knows traditional Irish and Celtic music but they bring a unique contemporary flare to it.”
The band played song after song that students of all nationalities and cultures could enjoy. The members of Character Fleadh are originally from Chicago and travel throughout the area playing acoustic folk Irish music at public and private events all year, not only on St. Patrick’s Day.
Several of the Irish students at Loyola were excited to celebrate their heritage during the concert. For some, the Chicago area brought the celebration of the day to a different level.
“My father would always play Irish music on the piano to end our St. Patrick’s Day celebration,” said Bridget Fahey, a senior at Loyola. “I was so excited to attend the concert, it made me feel at home.”
However, not everyone attending the concert was of Irish decent.
“Being Italian, St. Patrick’s Day was an event we only celebrated in school,” said Allie Puleo, a freshman at Loyola. “However this year celebrating was much more exciting. Hearing Character Fleadh play their unique sound allowed me to become part of the Irish heritage in my own way. “
The event also featured traditional Irish food for those who attended the concert. While most of the food was different from the normal food offered on college campuses, students and friends were glad to add another level to their enjoyment of the celebration. Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, typical Irish items, were just some of the foods offered during the concert.
“We just wanted to bring as much Irish spirit to Loyola as we could,” said Matt Ackman. “The concert was the perfect end to a hectic and crowded St. Patrick’s Day. It allowed students to see another side to the celebration.”