The United Irish Counties Association of New York Inc. 76th Feis was held on June 8th, 2014 at Saunders Trades High School in Yonkers, NY.
The venue is a typical Mid-Atlantic high school with a twist. Small hallways, crowded stairwells, but it was a trade school, so we were able to admire the woodworking, auto mechanic and cosmetology information on the walls. There were about 75 parking spaces in the front of the school and quite the maze trying to figure out how to get to the two parking lots in the back of the school. Many locals at this feis, so they seemed to find the parking easily. The auditorium was spacious with plenty of room to spread out. Early in the day, one of the volunteers locked one of the exit doors (thank goodness there wasn’t a fire!) which created an issue getting in from one side of the auditorium to the other (no path – had to climb over everyone or walk directly behind the judges). This is a very “old” feis, run by lovely elderly Irish enthusiasts. While these volunteers were always pleasant, a common answer to my questions were “I’m not sure”. Where are the awards? – I’m not sure. Where are the bathrooms? – I’m not sure. A friend had a daughter on the grades stages in the basement. She said that the temperature was “sweltering”. The auditorium was a pleasant temperature.
Overall grade: 7
I am not sure – too crowded to get to it.
There were three of them :)
One for champ stages, daughters said they had no issue hearing the music
The typical vendors, shoes, headbands, socks, sock glue. I didn’t see anything special.
The grades trophies appeared to be large, from the dancers carrying them around, but that is the highpoint. The awards for champs were in a small dark classroom in the basement. Once your time was posted, we were instructed to stand in the hall (not allowed in the room) until the scheduled time. This of course caused a big crowd in the hall near the vendors. Once allowed in, we crammed all dancers, parents and on lookers into the tiniest room while awards were called. No medal rounds for PC, only OC. No sashes, no podium and only one trophy for the 1st place winner. All other placers did receive a nice plaque though. Next, was a large picture taking session with many of the wonderful elderly volunteers who were very excited to take pictures with all of the dancers.
Overall rating: 5
If you didn’t read the syllabus, you would be unaware that all adults would be charges $10 admission. This seemed to shock some people and the line to get in was quite long. The feis tried something new this year – mailing competitor cards ahead of time. It would have been helpful to tell people ahead of time, since the replacement line was long and only manned by two of the lovely elderly enthusiasts. By the third competition of the day, the feis was already 1 ¼ hours behind schedule. We did not stick around to see if competitions were moved or if they picked up in some way. The schedule for the feis did not come out until Friday night, late, after a social media outpouring from concerned parents – Facebook and Voy Boards. Apparently, this is unusual for this feis. Past years the feis posted the schedule early on Thursday.
Overall Rating: 4