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Boston to Host 2013 Irish Dance Championship

By Ed Forry, May 18, 2009

An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission) has awarded Boston and the Hynes Convention Center the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships. Boston won the event over 20 other cities around the world. This will be only the second time these championships are held in the United States and the first time they have come to Boston. Glasgow, Scotland, Dublin and Belfast are hosting the event through 2012.

"We're so pleased to be bringing this unique event to Boston," said James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns and operates the Hynes. "We were in competition with Chicago and other big cities, and we won based on our award-winning facilities, our top-tier service and - we admit it - being the most Irish city in America. We can't wait until 2013."

"Ireland has a long association with Boston, and the strength of Irish dancing in the city and its environs is a very tangible illustration its bond with Ireland," said An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha spokesman Seamus O'Se. "One could almost say that, as far as the decision on a venue 2013 World Championships was concerned, this was a one horse race. We are looking forward to working closely with the people of Boston over the next four years to make this the greatest Irish Dancing event ever".

"As a father of four Irish Step dancers, I can fully appreciate the level of excitement with Boston being chosen as host to this world class competition," said state Senator Jack Hart. "Young dancers from all over the globe must qualify to participate in this event. I welcome these dancers to our great City of Boston."

The Hynes Convention Center in the heart of Boston's Back Bay will house the event, which will bring more than 6,500 competitors and their families to Boston. Teams from Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are expected to attend the eight-day competition, which will start on March 24, 2013. The event is expected to generate 17,800 hotel room nights in Boston and an estimated $11 million in economic impact to the city and Commonwealth.

"We are honored that Boston was chosen to host the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championship competition," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "This event will not only bring together Boston and Ireland once again, but will also showcase our talented cultures in a new way through dance."

Dancers will compete in age-grouped solo competitions from under 11 years old up to senior level, which is for dancers over 21 years old. The program of events will also include Ceili and Figure Dance competitions as well as Dance Drama. Separate competitions are organized for male and female competitors in solo events. Team competitions have sections for mixed and unmixed teams. Philadelphia hosted the 2009 championship and venues were packed throughout the week.