The Hahn barn.

BANKS - Two local Irish heritage groups are combining efforts to put on an authentic Irish Ceili (pronounced Kay-lee), a community dance event similar to square dancing, at Shirley Hahn’s barn, located on her family’s fourth-generation homestead in Banks, on September 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

While the Hahn Family is hosting the event, the organizers are two local nonprofits. One is The All-Ireland Culture Society, a volunteer, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization that has promoted social opportunities, and Irish entertainment and cultural events, in Oregon and Southwest Washington for more than 75 years, according to a press release. 

The Second nonprofit is the Michael O’Domhnaill Oregon Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE), an international organization headquartered in Dublin, Ireland whose aim is to promote traditional Irish music, dance, and culture, the press release states.

For beginners, there will be a short lesson at the start of the dance. All dances will be “called,” which means the moves will be explained and demonstrated, then a walk through before they are danced to live music. 

Ceili dances are group dances often danced at parties and social events. Set dances are similar to square dances, danced in groups of eight. 

These are not Riverdance or high-stepping, competitive dances, but a dance that can be enjoyed from youth to old age.

Mary Carey, a CCE Oregon board member, said even people who don’t dance should come for the amazing live music.

“We will be dancing to reels, jigs, hornpipes, waltzes, and even a dance called the barn dance,” Carey said. 

Live music will be performed by Portland traditional Irish musicians, including fiddlers Dan Compton and Erik Killops, Fran Slefer on Irish button accordion, and Joe Root on piano. 

Admission to the event on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. is $10 ($5 for students who present student ID cards). Light refreshments will be provided or you may bring your own. The Hahn’s barn is located at 37290 NW Hahn Road in Banks. For more information send email to cceoregon@gmail.com.