Long-time resident of the Kansas City metro area, Dublin’s Rory O’Connor gets his name in the paper in Ireland. In the Irish Times no less. In its blog sections, specifically in the section called Generation Emigration - “The Irish Times Forum By And For Irish Citizens Abroad”.
Rory tells us his personal history of how he arrived in Kansas City from Ireland and in his time here how his generation of Irish immigrants (of which I was one myself) contributed to the Irish history in Kansas City by founding the Celtic Fringe and iin turn ts role in the creation of the two KC neighbourhood Irish festivals that would ultimately unite into the KC Irish Fest.
When you have enough young expats in a place, and if they have a mind to do so, great things can be accomplished. The older generation had their own clubs, but we had philosophical differences with them and so started our own. Over the years, Celtic Fringe has provided a place where friendships and bonds can be formed between people with a common history.
In the early days we also had two small neighborhood Irish festivals generally attended, staffed, and promoted by members of the Celtic Fringe. Ultimately it made more sense to combine them, resulting in the Kansas City Fest, now is in its 11th year.