Thousands of Irish dancers compete in Schaumburg
The Mid-America Oireachtas Irish Dance Competition focused on teams rather than individuals Saturday, the middle day of its weekend-long stay at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg.
A qualifying event for the world championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in March, the competition brought about 3,500 dancers and a total of 15,000 attendees to the village.
The dancers, ranging in age from 5 to adult, came from as far away as North Dakota and Kentucky. The musicians and adjudicators present hailed from throughout the U.S., Canada, Ireland, England and Scotland.
The event's attendees stayed in at least 12 area hotels.
The competition was organized by the Irish Dancers Teachers Association of Mid-America, with local coordination handled for a second time by the Schaumburg-based destination marketing organization Meet Chicago Northwest.
"We chose Schaumburg for many reasons," said Mary Mayer, treasurer of the association. "The beauty of the Renaissance Hotel and attached convention center was the main reason. The surrounding area with all the restaurants and attractions then added to our decision. Last, but certainly not least, the Meet Chicago Northwest group just made us feel more than welcome."
Dave Parulo, president of Meet Chicago Northwest, was happy to announce that the event had already booked a third stay in November 2020.
"This is very exciting for Schaumburg and our communities," Parulo said. "Not only does this event help fill our hotels, but restaurants, retail and attractions will also benefit from these visitors."