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Pep rallies and parades as Dublin gets set for the Emerald Isle Classic

With three days of festivities planned around Saturday’s Aviva Stadium showdown, we take a look at what’s on and where.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly will be hoping his side can come out on top in the Emerald Isle Classic.
Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly will be hoping his side can come out on top in the Emerald Isle Classic.
Image: John Raoux/AP/Press Association Images

THERE ARE JUST a few days to go until Ireland plays host to one of the largest sporting events of the year as the United States Naval Academy take on the University of Notre Dame in the Emerald Isle Classic.

However, this is about more than just a NCAA college football game – though that’s a key component – with a huge program of games and events taking place both before and after the ecounter.

The festivities kick off at 5.30pm on Thursday when a parade will take place between St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College featuring all the Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) teams as well as their bands and cheer squads.

An hour later, in Trinity, a pep rally will be held that is expected to continue until 7.30pm. A uniquely North American tradition, pep rallies are gatherings designed to encourage members of a team for which the rally is being thrown.

On Friday, the series action begins with no fewer than six games of American football across Dublin and Meath.

Loyola Academy (Illinois) v Jesuit Prep Dallas (Texas)
7pm: John Carroll University (Ohio) v St. Norbert College (Wisconsin)
Kent School (Connecticut) v National School of American Football (UK)
7pm: Notre Dame HS (California) v Hamilton HS (Arizona)
Oak Park High School (Manitoba, Canada) v Villanova College (Ontario, Canada)
7PM: Notre Dame Prep (Arizona) v Father Judge (Pennsylvania)

Also on Friday, both Notre Dame and Navy will host pep rallies of their own. While Navy’s takes place at 5.30pm at the St. Stephen’s Green Bandstand and is open to the public, the Notre Dame rally is a private event in the O2.


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On Saturday, the day begins with Notre Dame hosting mass at Dublin Castle at 9am followed by a tailgate party in Temple Bar an hour later.

Finally, the sold-out game itself kicks off at 2pm in the Aviva Stadium.

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About the author:

Steven O'Rourke

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