With the new year, your Irish Fest inaugurates a brand new president. It is my great honor to introduce the fearless leader of the 2013 Kansas City Irish Fest to you all. I think you'll find him to be a serious, deliberate and thoughtful young man who fully recognizes the somber task that lays before him. Ladies and gents, meet Davey Colgan.
So, I'm the 2013 President for the Kansas City Irish Fest? Does everyone else know?
To be honest I have no idea how a working class boy form the Northside of Dublin managed to blag his way into this most prestigious of positions but I am honored to follow in the footsteps of each President before me, even though I can't remember any of their names right now.
So, about me...hmm.
Well I'm a Kansas City transplant and originally hail from Dublin, Ireland a small country just east of New York, have you heard of it?
As I've said, I grew up on the Northside of the city in a place called Kilbarrack, which is most famous for being the inspiration for 'Barry Town' the fictional Dublin suburb that is featured in many of Roddy Doyle's books and subsequent films - The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van. All of these were filmed in and around the streets I grew up playing football on, and it always makes me a bit teary and reminiscent when I sit back and watch any of them. I have been living in Kansas City for about 16 years now and this will be my fifth and final year as an active Board member. Then I get put out to pasture with all the other former Presidents, who all just sit around looking regal (ie drunk) and imparting wisdom (ie abuse) to us current Boardies over the weekend of our little Festival.
I have been involved with the Festival in many ways over its 11 year history. I was a vendor with WJ McBride's Irish Pub (remember that place?) at both the Brookside Irish Fest and The Westport Irish Fest. I was a performer with a band, at the Brookside Irish Fest too, extra points for anyone who can name that band....no? BOSCO of course? Now some say that our performance at the Brookside Irish Fest inspired U2 to go back into the studio and rerecord the song "Beautiful Day" after someone sent them the tape of that days gig and I say well then, if you are the 'some' who say that, you must be drunk, insane or quite possibly both.
I have also worked the Festival for many years lugging kegs of Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, Pale Ale and Stout to each bar to keep the masses in liquid refreshment, through my official capacity of On Premise Sales Manger for your hometown beer factory - Boulevard Brewing Company. In fact the KCIF in 2006 was my very first weekend on the job for Boulevard, talk about a baptism of fire, my poor back is still hurting from all those kegs!
No, my title this year is as The President but to be honest there are so many people involved with this festival that it really is a shared title of sorts. Sure I will be the bloke pushed to the radio mic or thrown on the TV but the real president is the entire Board, Committee and Volunteers that put on the greatest party in Kansas City each year. We really are all small cogs in a much larger machine, I'm just the one who's been slapped with the title for 2013. This really is the definition of the ultimate team effort and its been my pleasure to be a part of, going on 5 years now.
Anyway, thanks for your time and please send us your thoughts, input, ramblings. Remember, this is YOUR festival Kansas City, you make it how great it has been and how great it will be.
Go Raibh Maith Agaibh Mo Chairde