Pictures and brief stories about our recent big happenings.

Our 2022-2023 Year-End Ceili

Capping a year of dance with our new teacher, Toni, and a greatly expanded slate of social activities, the RKIDs and friends came together at St. Mary's Pavilion in Barnesville for dancing to tunes by Tina Eck, Joe DeZarn and Jesse Winch, expertly called by Larry Frank. Highlights:

Blackthorn Ceili March 2023

What a night of great music and dancing, with a potluck to match! Tina, Joe and Zan provided the driving musical force. Sample some of the experience.

St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2023

Twenty-One RKIDs enthusiastically marched in Gaithersburg's windy and cold 2023 St. Patrick's Day parade. They danced the Six-Hand (Fairy) Reel, handed out festive beads, and floated bubbles throughout the event, delighting the audience. Prince Snowflake, the Celebrity Cat, even seemed to approve. See why in this video.

Christmas Party 2022

The annual Christmas Party at the O'Brien's went off splendidly with copious food, much singing-along, and entertainment by Willie, David D., Toni, David M. and Kathy. Irish Coffee by Roger. Marilyn O. read the Night Before Christmas with the traditional gift swapping ring, but this year, the story ended with everyone holding their gifts! What were the odds, with nearly 40 people in the ring? Well, she quickly read "the" back cover, and then "the" gifts were more evenly distributed. Here's a snippet of the sing along:

Back to the Blackthorn

October 29 marked the long-awaited (since March of 2021) return of the Blackthorn Ceili! The theme was Halloween, the location McCathran Hall, and the music was fabulously performed by Joe DeZarn,Tina Eck, and Zan McLeod, with Larry Frank calling. Obie O'Brien organized it with support from Marilyn and a host of volunteers. Take a look at clips of some of the dances, such as the Merchant, the elegant Waltz Cotillion, the social Siege of Ennis, and the ever-popular Clare Lancers set:

Labor Day Party 2022

It was a relatively-normal post-pandemic Labor Day party, hosted by the ever-energetic O'Brien's. BBQ (plated with the Obie-special: Italian sausages and hot dogs smothered with fried peppers and onions), accompanied by Liz' soda bread and a large helping of lively conversations were the main fare. The tasty dessert came in the form of renewal of friendships after the summer break.

30th Anniversary Party

Around the House
30 Plus Years of Friendship

Actually it was our 31st Anniversary, but the 30th was postponed a year due to the pandemic. On April 23, 2022, we gathered at the appropriately-decorated Old Carriage House Inn in Emmittsburg, MD to celebrate. We started with games like "Find Someone Who ..." then moved onto a great buffet luncheon with a video showing memorable moments from the many years. Following that — an hour of entertaining songs and poetry, beautiful souvenir glasses, and a booklet of Irish-themed puzzles to challenge everyone. We wrapped up with our anniversary cake then a lively ceili driven by musicians Joe DeZarn and friends, and called by Marilyn Moore.

30th Anniversary Celebration Program (PDF)

St. Patrick's Day 2022

Seated and Singing

Our first post-pandemic resumption of the fabled St. Patrick's Day parties at Obie and Marilyn's house. This year, fueled by six corned beef cookers and poems and music provided by Willie, Kathy O and David M, Toni and David D, Brian, Chuck and Friends, Kevin and Dan M, we reveled in our reunions of friendship.

Labor Day Party 2021

Explaining the
Tuber Rules
The first in-person event since March 2020 drew a big crowd. We gathered at the O’Brien’s backyard and we picked up right where we left off. After a tribute to long-time member Larisa, we got into the potato games, including guessing how many potatoes were in the bucket and doing the Hot Potato Reel: an Irish-inspired dance with a spud balanced on your head. Here's the action:

Christmas Party 2019

Singing Along
57 RKIDs and friends packed the heavily decorated O'Brien house for the annual food, fellowship, singing and just all around fun Christmas party. Our photo album tells the tale. If that's not enough, here's a brief video:

Autumn 2019 Blackthorn Ceili

Joe, Billy and Matt
Billy McComiskey said it best, "This was magical," after a rollicking evening of Irish set and ceili dancing at McCathran Hall on a recent Saturday evening in October. The Fall Blackthorn Ceili, organized and managed by Obie, featured three great musicians, Joe DeZarn (fiddle), Billy McComiskey (accordion, including his classic Paolo Soprani instrument), Matt Mulqueen (keyboard), and the renowned caller, Marilyn Moore. Ceili Photos.

Tour of Guinness

Post-Tour Cheer
A goodly bunch of us toured the Guinness Open Gate Brewery near Baltimore. 'Twas a splendid time - a detailed tour of the operations, chance to taste some experimental brews and good eats in the restaurant. View our photo album.

REELaxing at the Beach

View photos from our recent REELaxing at the Beach event. It was a blast! Thanks especially go to Marilyn O., Obie and all the fine hosts.

Labor Day 2019

1991 to 2016: 25th Anniversary Wrap Up

Our final celebration of the 2016 anniversary year was "REELaxing at the Beach." Thirty-two of us congregated at Bethany Beach, DE from September 16 to 18. Among the convivial events were happy hours, surf fishing and lighthouse expeditions, games, lots to eat, and naturally, dancing. Pictures are on our Facebook facebook site.

The main 25th anniversary celebration at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, VA is in the books. What a weekend that was! Special thanks go to Marilyn O'Brien and the planning committee; Marilyn Moore, our expert dance caller; the great band of Jesse Winch, Graham DeZarn, Mitch Fanning and Tina Eck; the staff of Shrine Mont; and all the wonderful people who came to mingle and dance. See our facebook site for photos. Or, check out our gallery.

Celebration Events Schedule (PDF)