"Indy’s busiest weekend

Here we go again… Each year this weekend puts so many cultural events together not even a cloning laboratory could help. Changes are afoot, however. The more this weekend grows (see My Daily Constitution) the more it changes (Masterpiece in a Day in Fountain Square has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 23) and the more this weekend has competition from other weekends in the Department of Too-much-stuff-to-do.

That said, this is the worst weekend of all — or best, depending on your point of view. And we’re here to help. This weekend marks the delicious demolition derby of Fiesta, Irish Fest, Oranje and My Daily Constitution, along with the opening of James Still’s adaptation of The Gentleman from Indiana … and the annual Chocolate Fest and … the French Market and …

The Irish connection

Celebrate Celtic traditions at Indy’s 11th Annual Irish Fest

Indulge in rugby, sheep herding, a Celtic Mass, live music and all the best authentic beer you can drink this weekend at the 11th Annual Irish Fest in downtown Military Park. The festival attracts thousands of Indiana residents and beyond in celebration of Irish traditions, music, food and culture.

Encamped Civil War re-enactors tell their tales in period garb, while an Irish market offers guests more than 25 vendors and exhibits of Irish history, genealogy and gifts to explore. In addition, live bands including Searson, Síocháin, The Kells, Brigid’s Cross, Cloigheann, Three Men in Kilts, Gael Slí, Gaelic Storm (who appeared on the movie Titanic), New York’s Irish “jig pink” band The Prodigals and others will keep families doing the merry jig.

Other entertainers include the Celtic Footforce and the Richens-Timm Academy of Dance. World-champion dancer John Timm leads the group of Indianapolis-based youth and young adults through beautiful demonstrations of grace and athletic ability with traditional Irish foot stomps, similar to Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

On Friday, highlights of the festival include College Night, a performance by The Prodigals (see our Music section for a profile of the Prodigals), an Irish Festival 5K Night Run and the semi-final round of the Irish Toast Contest.

Early on Saturday, a rugby tournament will launch social, high school and college games, as well as separate high school soccer games. That evening, the Irish Toast Contest Finals will crown the winner of ongoing local pub toasts, awarding them two tickets to Ireland.

Sunday morning kicks off with a Celtic Mass. Later in the afternoon, participate in the Third Annual Kilted Mile, during which people dressed in kilts will run a one-mile course, while bagpipers cheer them on. Awards will go to the person with Bonniest Knees, Hairiest Legs, Best Dressed Kilt and the runner Least Likely to Finish.

Throughout the festival, kids can also get into the competitive spirit with Reddest Hair and Greenest Eyes contests. Families can enjoy time together by tackling a climbing wall, creating crafts and getting their faces painted with Celtic designs. In addition, Irish water spaniels, wolfhounds, red and white setters and other dogs will be on display.

With men in kilts, reels and jigs, bagpipes galore, fiddle tunes and sing-alongs, the Irish Fest is the best place to rest your weary head this weekend. Step beyond the mainstream consciousness and expand your cultural horizons by experiencing first-hand the wonders of the Irish culture.

WHO: Irish fest: Local and national Irish performers, vendors and exhibitors

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 15, 4:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 16, 11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m. (Celtic Mass) – 7 p.m.

WHERE: Military Park, downtown Indianapolis; adults $12/day, students ages 14-18 with student ID $10/day, children age 13 and younger free, weekend pass $20, Friday, Sept. 15, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. free, $5 for college students with college ID and college apparel; www.indyirishfest.com

Who are “We the People” anyway?

For the next week, Indianapolis celebrates “we the people” in a variety of festivals and events as diverse as we are. But there is a new event added to the mix this year that kicks off on Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution 219 years ago. My Daily Constitution is a week-long, city-wide public art project dedicated to the collective exploration and interpretation of who “we the people” really are and what are Constitution says about us and does for us.

It will be a remarkable week — with events ranging from a public reading of the Constitution at the Indiana Statehouse, a free film festival at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, a hip-hop constitutional poetry slam, a debate by Arsenal Tech’s award-winning Constitution team and more than a dozen “Constitution Cafe” discussions held in venues around the city, addressing issues ranging from the War Powers Clause to eminent domain to the constitutional rights of non-citizens. Think of it as a civic Fringe Festival.

All events are free and open to the public. For complete event information, go to www.mydailyconstitution.org.


Sunday, Sept. 17

2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Opening event: Constitution Day Ceremony

A public reading of the Constitution, with Hoosier Constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers.

Where: The Atrium, Indiana State House Building

Monday, Sept. 18

12:15 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “What does the ‘liberal’ in ‘liberal arts’ mean? The difference between constitutional freedom of speech and academic freedom of speech.” Host: Susan Erickson (IUPUI)

Where: Democracy Plaza,IUPUI campus

Monday, Sept. 18

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Who are “We the People” Anyway? Personhood, Citizenship and the U.S. Constitution” Traditionally Americans have regarded themselves as a “nation of immigrants” grounded in an increasingly inclusive, “civic” identity consistent with the ideal of pluralism. As America becomes demographically more Latino and Asian, and with Islam as the country’s fastest growing religion, will we still advocate inclusiveness and pluralism as our national ideal? Hosts: Pierre Atlas (Marian) & Charlie Wiles (Peace & Learning Center)

Where: Old Centrum, 1201 North Central Ave.

Tuesday, Sept.19

12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Hate Speech, Pornography, Prayer before Football Games: What are Legitimate Limits to Free Speech?” Everyone knows you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, but are there other limits to free speech? Host: Art Farnsley (American Values Alliance)

Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus

Tuesday, Sept. 19

7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Can we have national security without sacrificing our core American values?” How can we tell if the government has gone too far in its search for security, or if it has not gone far enough? What can citizens do to maintain the balance between security and individual rights?

Host: Lena Snethen (ACLU-Indiana)

Where: AthenaeumFoundation, 401 East Michigan

Wednesday, Sept. 20

12:15 p.m. —1:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “International Agreements in War Time: Do U.S. Signatures on a Treaty Mean Anything?” The War in Iraq and the apparently broader series of events called the War on Terror challenge those Americans who believe in international treaties.

What will the consequences be in terms of International Law and our chances of conducting a successful foreign policy?

Host: Ed DeLaney

Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus

Wednesday, Sept. 20

7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Constitution Debate: “The Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team” This award-winning team will debate the merits of a constitutional government vs. an autocratic or dictatorial government.

Where: Spades Park Library 1801 Nowland Avenue

Thursday, Sept. 21

12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Taking private property for public use: When and how should the power of eminent domain be employed?” Can public good be defined to still respect individual rights? Hosts: Abdul Hakim-Shabazz (1430) & Jeffrey Stake (IU Law)

Where: Shapiro’s Downtown, 808 S Meridian St

Thursday, Sept. 21

7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “The War Powers Clause and the U.S. Constitution Today” In waging war, what should be the proper balance between Congress and the President? What should be the balance between the Constitution and security in an age of terrorism?

Hosts: Andy Jacobs & John Clark

Where: Indiana Historical Society, 450 West Ohio St.

Friday, Sept. 22

12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Who’s First Amendment? Reclaiming the Public Interest in Our Media” It sure isn’t your father’s media: five mega-corporations own most of the nation’s newspapers and broadcasters, while bloggers and internet sites proliferate. What is news, what is infotainment? Where do Americans get the information required for informed voting and self-government?

Hosts: Sheila Kennedy (SPEA) & Andrea Price (Public Access of Indianapolis)

Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington St

Friday, Sept. 22

8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Liberty, Equality, and LGBT Rights”What do liberty and equality mean in Indiana and the United States today?

Hosts: Ellen Anderson (IUPUI) & Gary Welsh (Advance Indiana)

Where: Outward Bound Books:625 North St

Saturday, Sept. 23

10:00 am — 12:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: (English/Spanish) “Do U.S. Constitutional Rights Extend to Non Citizens?” What rights do non-citizens, documented and otherwise, have for free speech, the workplace, voting, free association, equal protection, criminal law, and other aspects of our Constitutional democracy?

Hosts: María Pabón López (IU-I Law) and Teo Cain (local organizer)

Where: St. Mary's Catholic Church, 317 N. New Jersey St

Saturday, Sept. 23

1:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

Organization for Neighborhood Empowerment Bus Tour: “Case Study: Air Quality Indianapolis — A tour of an East Side Neighborhood” This bus tour will visit the neighborhood surrounding the Citizens Gas & Coke manufacturing plant on the east side of Indianapolis.

Where: Family Center,Christian Park, 4200 English Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23

2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Public Participation in Environmental Regulation: Theory vs. Reality” State environmental agencies are charged with the protection of all citizens of the state. In reality, groups with the greatest resources exert a disproportionate influence on the enactment of environmental regulations.

Hosts: Michael Sutherlin (Hoosier Environmental Council) & Dick van Frank

Where: Family Center, Christian Park, 4200 English Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23

5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.

Constitution Café: “Constitution Who? Constitutional issues about Students and Young People.” What are constitutional rights for students and young people?

Hosts: Jacquelyn Bowie-Seuss

(ACLU-IN) & Warren Watson (J Ideas)

Where: Glendale Library, 6101 N. Keystone Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23

7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Hip Hop Poetry Slam and Open Mic: “Constitution Who?” Featuring DJ Dicky Fox

Where: Glendale Mall First Floor Indoor Court

Sunday, Sept. 24

My Daily Constitution Film Festival

11:00 am Control Room: A documentary about the world?s perception of America?s war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera’s coverage

1:00 p.m. Persons of Interest: A documentary about the detention of Muslim-Americans in the wake of 9/11

2:30 p.m. Our Brand Is Crisis: Documentary about US political pros designing an election campaign in Bolivia.

Where: Indianapolis Museumof Art: 4000 Michigan Road Indianapolis 46208

Sunday, Sept. 24

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Constitutional Café: “The Right to Vote and American Constitutional Democracy” When it comes to voting, how are our state and the rest of the country progressing? Hosts: Rod Bohannan (Indiana Legal Services) & Amos Brown (WTLC-AM)

Where: Bethel AME Church, 414 W. Vermont St

Chocoholic bonanza

Chocolate Fest, Young Audiences of Indiana’s annual orgy of deliciousness that benefits arts education programs in Indiana schools is back again. More than 25 of the city’s top chefs will present their most artistic desserts at the Artsgarden at Circle Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 10 in the morning until 2 p.m. Featured chocolatiers and restaurants include: Agio, The Best Chocolate in Town, Blondie’s Cookies, Breadsmith, The Canterbury, The Classic Kitchen, The Conrad, Deano’s Vinos, DeBrand, Endangered Species Chocolate Company, 14 West, Ghyslain, Godiva, Good’s Candy Shop, Great Harvest Bread Co., The Hamilton Restaurant, Ivy Tech State College, Matteo’s, McCormick and Schmick’s, Omni Severin, Peter"


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