Bloomsday is celebrated throughout the world by Irish people and James Joyce fans alike. The name “Bloomsday” derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist in Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, which chronicles a day in the life of Bloom and is set in Dublin, Ireland.
For the ninth straight year, the Irish Cultural Center will hold its own Bloomsday celebration, accompanied by a beer festival. The 9th Annual Bloomin’ Beerfest takes place on Saturday, June 13, kicking off at 7 p.m. at the Irish Cultural Center, located at 1106 N. Central Ave. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the event goes until 11 p.m.
Bloom’s journey included stops at more than a few pubs. The Bloomin’ Beerfest features a wide array of specialty beers produced in Arizona and Ireland, as well as a full bar. Food also will be available for purchase.
True to the Bloomsday tradition, readings from “Ulysses” will be performed throughout the evening by the ICC Academy Readers Theatre and the Ulysses Readers. Often cited as the greatest novel in the English language, “Ulysses” is definitely geared to an adult audience with its bawdy themes and salty language, so admission to readings will be limited to guests 18 years and older.
Irish music by The Irish Cultural Center Academy Band, Seanachie, and SHEELA–na-Gig will be performing throughout the evening.
The price of Bloomin’ Beerfest tickets includes admission to the event, 16 tickets which can be used for food or beer tasting, and admission to the McClelland Irish Library. Presale tickets can be purchased online for $25 through noon on June 13 at www.azirish.org ($35 at the gate).
“Teetotaler” (no alcohol) admission to the Bloomsday celebration is $10 at the gate, and includes all Bloomsday activities plus two tickets for free soda or bottled water. Children 11 and younger admitted for $1.
Additional tickets for beer or food will be available for purchase on site.
The Roosevelt Street Light Rail Station is just steps from the Irish Cultural Center gate. Visit www.valleymetro.org for the day’s train schedule.
For more information, call 602-258-0109 or go to: www.azirish.org.