Celtic bagpipe music and the promise of many potato-themed dishes brought many curious and hungry customers to downtown businesses on Thursday.
The second annual March Madness on Main Street is an annual fundraiser for the Ulster Project, which seeks to bring understanding between the Catholic and Protestant divide in northern Ireland.
Families in McPherson offer to host Irish teenagers during the month of July in order to foster understanding and community.
Families who have hosted these teenagers in the past and those who will host them this summer were behind the tables serving Irish dishes to patrons.
Hannah Corbus, who served Irish Soda Bread in Brown’s Shoe Fit Co., and her family will be first-time hosts to an Irish teenager this summer.
“I’m interested in learning about other cultures,” she said, “and I like what they are doing to bring these two groups together.”
Her mother, Missy Corbus, shared similar thoughts.
“I didn’t know about all the troubles they had. I thought, ‘what a good experience this could be.’”
Kim Glazner, who served Irish Hunter’s Pie at The Cook’s Nook, has been on the Ulster Project’s committee for six years and her family has hosted for two years. She described the experience as “life-changing” for her daughters.
“It opened up a whole new world for them,” she said. “It was nice of them to be a part of something that changes their lives.”
Patrons at the event were pleased to support the project and sample the food.
“It’s fun,” said Virgil Versch, one of the attendees at the event. “And we like the Ulster Project.”
“I’m simply glad the weather cooperated this time,” Frances Versch said with a chuckle.
For more information on the Ulster Project, or information on how to donate, contact Judy Casey at 620-245-7995, or Roberta Burghart at 620-245-0617.
Contact Joseph Tuszynski at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @JoeTSentinel.