50th anniversary of Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas in full swing

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The 50th anniversary of the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas competition in Philadelphia is in full swing.

Aubrey Luce, 13, and Madison Pennington,12, are moving up in the world of Oireachtas — Irish step dancing — after competing and winning among a pool of hundreds of other dancers. 

And this year is big. 

Bridget Flynn has students competing.

“They can qualify for worlds or nationals, so it’s very important,” she said. 

The earliest known reference of Irish step dancing in the U.S. occurred in Philadelphia in 1789, and Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas is carrying on that tradition. They do it in Center City every year, just one day after Thanksgiving, with all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. 

“It’s what I love, it’s my passion and the gift I was given,” said Owen Lubber, one of the many male dancers who say dancing in Philadelphia during Thanksgiving weekend is a family tradition. 

There are eight categories, and dancers can compete as a team or individually. Competitions run through Sunday. 

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