On March 22 and 23, the Irish Festival will once again return to Richmond at North 25th and East Broad Streets. Many are familiar with the lively sounds of bagpipes, Celtic vendors, live bands, Irish dancing, and festive beverages that surround the streets of Church Hill for the festival each year. The spirit of the festival started in the 1980's to assist St. Patrick's Catholic Church, which was built in 1859, and serves the thriving Irish community of Richmond's Church Hill, Rockett's Landing, Fulton, and Varina areas. The Church was connected to the Daughters of Charity, a religious order that educated the children of this area until just a few years ago when St. Patrick's school closed. For many years, St. Patrick's hosted weekly feeding programs for those in need, and the Irish Festival helped the Church to continue this mission. Throughout the years, the Festival has also helped to restore the historic church to its original beauty. The Irish Festival has donated over $400,000 to charitable, educational, and religious groups in the Richmond community. The Festival is yet another Richmond tradition that should not be missed!