/UCW/ NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville Mayor Megan Barry along with former Mayors Karl Dean and Bill Purcell joined Belfast’s Lord Mayor Arder Carson among other dignitaries today in the opening ceremony of the second annual Music City Irish Fest (MCIF), Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Mayor Barry presented a proclamation honoring the late Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick, who worked to establish Nashville’s Sister City relationship with Belfast, Northern Ireland. She announced May 22 to be memorialized as “Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick Day” in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Nashville-Belfast Sister City partnership.
“It is an honor to celebrate the lives and legacies of Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick, who were so instrumental in forging a lasting friendship between Nashville and Belfast,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “I look forward to honoring their memory by continuing to strengthen the ties between our two cities by working with Lord Mayor Carson and our partners in Belfast and Northern Ireland through an exchange of culture and music, as well as commerce and trade.”
Councilmember Burkley Allen presented the Brick family with a resolution, passed by Metro Council on March 1, 2016, recognizing the many accomplishments of the Nashville-Belfast Sister City partnership over the last 20 years and honoring Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick for their role in creating the relationship and fostering the many cultural, educational and business exchanges over the years.
Former Nashville Mayors Karl Dean and Bill Purcell were also on hand to share their memories of the late Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick and their extraordinary impact on these two communities.
“Dr. Ian Brick made very significant contributions to the two cities, and actually, contributions that will continue to be a major part of the growth of both cities in the area of medicine, education, international relations and philanthropy. He’s an extraordinary individual,” said Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has been Nashville’s official Sister City since 1995. The diplomatic partnership focuses on social justice projects and educational exchanges along with musical, cultural and economic development opportunities.
“There’s been a long standing relationship with Belfast and Nashville,” said Belfast Lord Mayor Ander Carson. “Dr. Ian and Katherine Brick were instrumental in establishing that link, and it’s an honor to be part of the opening ceremony.”
Nashville’s The Willis Clan celebrated the city’s Irish connection with a special performance dedicated to the visiting foreign dignitaries from Northern Ireland. Live music got under way shortly after the opening ceremonies. This year, MCIF partnered with Tourism Ireland to present some of Irish Music’s top groups: We Banjo 3, The Willis Clan and Altan.
Fans saw several unique moments of music collaboration between Nashville and Irish artists. Runa joined musical talents with banjo-player Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station, harmonica player Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor, whose played with Elvis Costello and is a member of the Time Jumpers. We Banjo 3 and The Willis Clan wrapped up the rain soaked festival with a surprise stage appearance together.
Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President of Tourism Ireland, United States and Canada, said, “Our hope is that the great music and dancing on show in Nashville over the St Patrick’s period will whet appetites for what is on offer at the great festivals of Ireland and encourage vacationers to choose Ireland in 2016. There are deeply rooted and long standing links between Ireland and the southern states of the United States and St Patrick’s week offers us a great opportunity to celebrate these connections.”
The daylong festival ran until 11 p.m. in the Demonbreun Hill area. Other highlights included traditional Irish food and drink, crafts, dance and instruments.
MCIF 2016 is sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Dark Horse Institute, WSM Radio, Lightning 100, CIE Tours, Harp and Fiddle, Guinness, Yazoo, Lyft, McNamara’s Irish Pub, Prime Tours, Sister Cities of Nashville, Yazoo, Barnes and Noble, The Keenan Group, Fireball Designs and CapStar Bank.
Information about Sister Cities of Nashville can be found at cnashville.org
Go Green. Go Nashville. Go Ireland.
— MusicCityIrishFest (@MusicCityIrish) March 8, 2016
— SCNashville (@SCNashvilleTN) March 11, 2016