Did you hear that down by the lakefront? Drums, tin whistles, mischievous leprechauns? It can only mean one thing: Milwaukee Irish Fest has come once again to our shores! Billed as the world’s largest Irish cultural festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest reigns as our city’s crown jewel of summer ethnic festivals, entailing four days of music, dance, and cultural exhibits to give a slice of the Emerald Isle. Whether you attend every year or it is your first go round, there is always something worthy of your attention.
Favorites from years past have included Jameson whiskey tastings, Irish dance troupes, red hair competitions, and the closing musical performance featuring a collaboration of prominent musical acts from the festival, dubbed the Scattering. One gets the sense that the performers really do treasure this fest in particular as something special that they look forward to every summer. I also always make sure to stop by the genealogy tent to see if they can help me untangle some murky family history (still trying!). Firsts for me this year included Irish cream sampling, haggis, and a scotch egg (Ok there is some Scottish stuff there too). If you are lucky enough, you might even be served some tasty beverages by one of the headlining bands, who always pitch in at one of the drink tents.
As previously reported, the festival grounds feature the National Spinal Cord Injury Association Respite Pavilion, which provides a welcome reprieve for people with disabilities on those scorching August days.