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Raglan Road brings back the ‘Re-plugged’ Great Irish Hooley

by Susan and Simon Veness

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs is bringing back their popular music festival from Sept. 3-6, with the Re-plugged Great Irish Hooley, a celebration of fantastic food and outstanding entertainment.

Great Irish Hooley - The Gothard Sisters

After a year’s hiatus, top Irish bands will return to Raglan Road for a party like no other. The Re-plugged Great Irish Hooley will feature hand-crafted cocktails and creative foods designed especially for the event, along with new local craft beers and the superb Rollicking Ragland Brunch.

You may be wondering: what is a “hooley”? It’s the Gaelic term for festivities centered around song, dance, and family-friendly entertainment, ranging from traditional tunes to Celt grass and blues — and Raglan Road features the only authentic Hooley in Central Florida.

The “craic” (“fun”) kicks off with the introduction of “De Fesht” (“festival”), a limited-release, medium-bodied amber lager boasting underlying notes of hazelnut and honey. This new offering was designed in collaboration with The Tank Brewing of Miami.

“It’s a seasonal, one-batch brew perfect for the end of summer into fall,” says Raglan Road general manager, Alan Delahunt. “It’s a traditional-style Marzen, which would be consumed by the liter at Munich during Octoberfest.”

The Hooley’s outstanding attraction is its music, and this year’s headliner acts include:

Great Irish Hooley - Raven's Rock band
  • Raven’s Rock – All-star Band featuring members of Lúnasa: Cillian Vallely and Kevin Crawford, current members of one of Ireland’s most progressive traditional bands, Lúnasa, join Matt Mancuso (from Eileen Ivers and Lord of the Dance) and Allan Murray (Ivers and Paul Brock), for daily one-off performances.
  • The Gothard Sisters: Celtic folk music with “an optimistic style” is what makes this dynamic sister trio so beloved with their fans. 2021 marks their debut at the Hooley, and their acoustic instrumentation combined with vocals and themes of resilience and adventure makes for a stirring addition to the event.
  • The Byrne Brothers: This talented family hailing from Donegal, Ireland, are long-time Hooley performers. Dempsey, age 12, is an Irish dancer, singer, and bodhrand and whistle player. Finn, age 15, dances and plays banjo, mandolin, and guitar; while Luca, age 17, dances and plays button accordion. Their father, Tommy, sings and plays Uilleann pipes, bagpipes, fiddle, and whistles. Watch for them from Sept. 4-6.
  • House artists Slygo, Aaron O’Grady, and the Raglan Road Irish Dancers will also perform throughout the Hooley.
Great Irish Hooley - Raglan Road Grilled Lollipop Pork Chop

It wouldn’t be a party without food, and the Raglan Road kitchen will be serving up a few new entrees, including a Grilled Lollipop Pork Chop with spiced pineapple chutney, purple kale, parsley mashed potato, and smoked butter sauce.

“We crated this dish to complement the festival beer,” says Sean Griffin, director of pub operations at Raglan Road. “De Fesht would pair best with pork and smoked flavors. Of course, there are many other dishes to try if you prefer fish, beef, or a vegetable-forward dish.”

Great Irish Hooley - Raglan Road Florida Key Lime Salmon

Also on offer is the pub’s Florida Key Lime Salmon, a whiskey-cured, lightly smoked Atlantic salmon, Florida key lime and herb crushed potatoes, peas, shaved horseradish, and crispy salmon skin. Those who prefer “vegetable-forward” dishes won’t want to miss the new all-plant-based Shepherd’s Pie.

Raglan Road is known for its stand-out, long-time favorites, the beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist, and exceptional desserts, some gluten-free. Want to make their superb Irish Soda Bread at home? We’ve got the recipe for you right here.

The Rollicking Raglan Bruch runs from Saturday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and the restaurant’s regular menu will be available from 3 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The Hooley begins at 4 p.m., and there is no cover charge. Reservations are recommended.

For more information, visit RaglanRoad.com.

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