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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fair Park in Dallas is turning Irish this weekend with music, dancing and delicious food at the 35th annual North Texas Irish Festival. It is the largest Irish festival in the southwest.

The event began at a bar in 1982. Back then, organizers thought 100 or so people might come — but 600 people showed up. I guess you could say the event has been successful because some 75,000 are expected at the events this weekend.

The North Texas Irish Festival is recognized as one of the best locations in the world where true Irish and Celtic performers can be found.

There will be 40 acts, from around the globe, participating and musician Michael Price is one of them. He said, “It’s very much a family atmosphere. It’s an all volunteer group that runs this festival, because it is a non-profit organization. But it’s always a lot of fun because there’s so much to do for everybody in the family.”

North Texas has a huge Irish community, but you don’t have to hail from the Emerald Isle to enjoy the festival — you just have to love good food, music and tradition.

Among those performing are dancers are from the Maguire Academy of Irish Dance. Price said the dance schools in Dallas are tremendous.  “We have a separate area and stage for them, just so people can really get an idea of how hard these kids work,” he said. “We’ve also got an Irish music school, we started a few years back, that’s gone on to become one of the premier Irish music schools in the country.”

Tickets start at $10, you admission is free tonight from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Tonight the festival runs from 6:00-11:00 p.m. On Saturday it’s from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. On the last day, Sunday, March 5, the festival will operate from 11:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.