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United Way to present Irish music shows in Alexandria, Glenwood

Musician Mikko Cowdery will once again be a featured act at Mikko Cowdery's Irish Music Fun Fest. The two-day event is set for October 17 in Glenwood and October 18 in Alexandria. Echo Press photo.1 / 2
Talented 12-year-old musician Brett Cowdery will be performing at both shows this year. "Come on out and join us," said coordinator Terry Kennedy. "It's a grand time for a great cause." Echo Press photo.2 / 2

The United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties will once again present Mikko Cowdery's Irish Music Fun Fest.

Two events are schedule this year - one in Glenwood and one in Alexandria.

The Glenwood show is slated for Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Central Square. Tickets are $15 and are available at the box office or by calling (320) 643-0400.

The Alexandria show will be Saturday, October 18 at the Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $15, are available at the box office or by calling (320) 762-8300.

These Irish music shows are best known for their rollicking songs, outrageous stories, toasts and poems, and traditional instruments including fiddle, accordion, guitar, mandolin and Irish drums, according to Terry Kennedy, coordinator of the events.

"Over the years, many local residents who winter in the south have expressed their regret about missing Mikko's traditional St. Patrick's Day show. So last year, the United Way sponsored an October show and billed as 'Saint Patrick's Day for Snowbirds,' " said Kennedy. "It was a success worth repeating. And now, with this second annual show, it's on its way to becoming a tradition!"

The shows have also achieved a unique success in introducing some very talented young people to local audiences, Kennedy said.

Fifteen-year-old Sami Steidl is in her third year as a fiddler in these shows, and never fails to impress the audiences with her talents.

Twelve-year-old Brett Cowdery made his on-stage singing debut at the show last March, noted Kennedy, and was rewarded with standing ovations. He will be at the two scheduled shows and plans to once again sing and play the mandolin.

Kennedy said the fall show will also feature the popular Irish band, Skilly and Duff; the amazing accordion and fiddle duets of Fiddle and Squeeze; renowned folk singer Patty Kakac; and other talented musicians.

He described the full evening of entertainment as "musical mayhem."

The Alexandria event will feature authentic highland piper Woody Baybridge, who will lead a pre-show procession from the United Way office to the AAAA box office.

All proceeds from the events will go to the 2008/2009 United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties campaign.

United Way funds many human service organizations in Douglas and Pope counties, as well as providing programs to help people of all ages.

"Come on out and join us for an evening of music and laughter," Kennedy said. "It's a grand time for a great cause."