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Oh, The Irish

By Staff | Feb 23, 2012

St. Pat’s is only three weeks off??Thanks for the reminder, Dave.

We’ve been at this celebration for so many years that there are milestones to be celebrated. This year is the 50th Anniversary of Emmetsburg, Iowa, and Dublin, Ireland, officially becoming Sister Cities.

There is another celebration in Iowa that may interest you. Winterset annually holds the John Wayne Birthday Celebration. This year they are saluting 60 years of “The Quiet Man” movie, in which John Wayne starred.

Brian Downes, director for the John Wayne Birthplace in Winterset, notified us of this celebration.

“Rumor has it that you have a couple of Irish people living in Emmetsburg so I like to share some news that may be of interest,” he wrote. “On John Wayne’s birthday, May 26, we are throwing a lavish event to honor the movie ‘The Quiet Man.’ It promises to be as memorable as a trip to Ireland…without crossing the Atlantic!”

Must admit, I had to look up the movie: A retired American boxer returns to the village where he was born in Ireland, where he finds love. Director:?John Ford; with stars:?John Wayne as Sean Thornton; Maureen O’Hara as Mary Kate Danaher; Barry Fitzgerald as Michaleen Oge Flynn; Ward Bond as Father Peter Lonergan; and Victor McLaglen as Squire “Red”?Will Danaher.

Here’s a little more on the film: Sean Thornton has returned from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Sean’s eye is caught by Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful but poor maiden, and younger sister of ill-tempered “Red”?Will Danaher. The riotous relationship that forms between Sean and Mary Kate, punctuated by Will’s pugnacious attempts to keep them apart, form the main plot, with Sean’s past as the dark undercurrent.

Big screen presentations of this “beloved movie classic” will be held in Winterset May 25-26 during the John Wayne Birthday Celebration. There will also be live theatrical presentations of “Maurice Walsh’s The Quiet Man” and Loopline Film Documentary “Dreaming The Quiet Man.” By the way, the movie won two Oscars.

In May, John Wayne’s daughter, Aissa, will host an auction of unique John Wayne and Irish-inspired/Quiet Man items. Lindsay Nevins and Lacey Black will perform songs from “The Quiet Man.”

While in Winterset for the celebration, the public can tour the home where Marion Robert Morrison (John Wayne) was born May 26, 1907. The home contains a collection of John Wayne memorabilia.

The Little Dublin Irish Pub, located just off the Courthouse Square in Winterset, offers authentic Irish music. There is also an Inisfree Race 5K Run.

You can learn all about the John Wayne Birthday Celebration at www.johnwaynebirthplace.org.

Brian Downes promises to keep us informed of this milestone celebration in Winterset.