March 5, 2018 at 4:52 PM

When one thinks of traditional Irish heritage, Shamrocks and Shillelaghs normally come to mind, especially around St. Paddy’s Day. Little do most know, there is a Celtic Destination in the heart of Downtown Bethlehem that is about so much more.

Nestled at the corner of bustling Main Street, residents will find a cozy Irish Pub connected to a unique gift shop, featuring the best of Ireland and the British Isles. A visit to both is like a journey to the Celtic lands, with no passport or plane ticket required.

Neville Gardner always had a vision of bringing what is at the heart of his heritage and his homeland of Ireland to Bethlehem: a love for the arts, a love for their culture and a love for gathering people together. Since he opened Donegal Square in 1985, and with the more recent opening of McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar, the foundation has always remained centered around creating a feeling of “failte” or being welcomed, displayed in the art of storytelling, great food and a friendly atmosphere, which is representative of Irish culture. Through this core belief, his goal was to provide a place for the community to gather, or “Ceili,” to support each other’s mission and goals while relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. His belief is that when you support the entire community, it can grow and thrive. This is also found in “The Angels’ Share,” their charitable community events program, which features a different local non-profit each month. The goal of the program is to bring the community together, to increase awareness for each individual non-profit’s mission and to raise valuable funds to further the impact they can make.

This year, Gardner saw a new opportunity to bring Celtic culture to the Lehigh Valley and to bring together the community of businesses in the downtown area. The result is the creation of “Failte Festival,” a St. Patrick’s Day celebration of community and culture. The premise behind Failte Festival is to welcome Valley residents and outside visitors to Downtown Bethlehem for a family-friendly night celebrating Celtic heritage, including music, dance, community, local residents, great food and drinks. This opportunity brought several local businesses together, including Glemser Technologies, Donegal Square, McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, to support the Downtown Bethlehem Association. Proceeds from the event will help to further the mission of the DBA, which is to revitalize, rehabilitate, promote and advance downtown business areas within the city of Bethlehem. Support of this organization will ensure that more family-friendly fun and cultural events can be enjoyed by all for years to come.

Stop over to The Ice House on Thursday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. to enjoy an evening of culture, live music, entertainment and good craic!

Click here for tickets and event information.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Donegal Square and Lehigh Valley Style.

Red Stag Pub