The 2012 Donnybrook Cup International Rugby League match presented by Harrah*s Chester will feature not only the eighth matchup between the USA Tomahawks and Ireland Wolfhounds but also a series of great events to support the teams during their assembly in Philadelphia.
Local rugby fans, and the huge Irish American population will be able to enjoy international rugby league action in Delaware County when the two teams do battle on St.Patrick's Day at Quick Stadium, Widener University. Associated to the match will be a number of great events for fans to rub shoulders with players from both national teams at Harrah*s Chester:-
- Thursday, March 15 - Official Donnybrook Cup Welcome Reception at 7pm (location at Harrah's TBA)
- Friday, March 16 - Donnybrook Cup Press Conference at 1pm(location at Harrah*s TBA)
- Saturday, March 17 - St.Patrick's Day Donnybrook Cup Post Match Party at 3pm with Blackthorn Irish Band on the deck at Harrah*s
Blackthorn have a celebrated history in the city of Philadelphia, and it will be a huge party as the USA Tomahawks and Ireland Wolfhounds rugby players join all the fans post match on the deck at Harrah*s to paint St.Patrick's Day green! What better way to round out the Donnybrook Cup!
Blackthorn is celebrating more than 20 years at the forefront of the Philadelphia music scene this year. They continue to draw record crowds in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. "It's been an amazing journey, I had no idea when all this started that we would still be doing this today", says John McGroary, button accordion player and one of the founding members of Blackthorn. He adds, "I think we have a special connection with our audience. On any given night you can find several different generations at our gigs. They like the music but I think they also like being part of the Blackthorn family". Keyboardist Johnny Boyce agrees with McGroary saying, I always feel I'm part of something special when I get on stage. How many people get to do something they really love night after night for almost twenty years? The best part about it is the thousands of people we meet each year and the sense of community that has built up around Blackthorn."
Blackthorn has over five albums to their credit. The first album, "It's An Irish Thing" was an instant hit with their fans with songs like "Celtic Symphony" becoming and anthem of sorts in the Philadelphia Area. Within a few years, the band was back in the studio recording "Here We Go Again," the CD that cemented Blackthorn as the premiere Irish Band in PA. Drummer, Mike O Callaghan says, "Those first two albums were really important in establishing us as a different kind of Irish Band. We still paid homage to the influences of the past like the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners but we did our own version of the songs using a more contemporary approach."
Of the very few bands that make it to the level of Blackthorn, even fewer last more than a few years. But Blackthorn is Bigger today than they have ever been. Their music continues to evolve and the community that they started in small bars around the Philly area in the 90s continues to go. Blackthorn is not just a band, it's an institution. There are always five super talented musicians on the stage but they speak with one voice. Maybe that's the magic.
Find out more about Blackthorn here
Match tickets and Match/Band combo tickets will be on sale soon!