Cultural Village (Ballyfest)
Immerse yourself in Irish art, literature, history, sports and theatre in the newly redesigned Cultural Village. There’s a lot to see in the Village, which is home to the Hedge School, Harp Stage and Moore St. Market. Hear lectures at the Hedge School by Tomás Mac Conmara and Basil McCrea, MLA. The harp is the only musical instrument to be a symbol of a country, and the Harp Stage is the place to be to hear the beautiful sounds of this instrument as it is played by the world renowned Patrick Ball and local Mary Ann Miller. The Bangor Players of County Down return to the theatre. Shop the artisans at the Moore Street Market. Guests can meet their favorite authors at the Literary Corner. Stop at the Village Pub, where you can experience a diverse crosssection of music before you visit the rest of the festival.
The Harp Stage is the place to hear the music of the harp, the only musical instrument to be the symbol of a country. The mix of music marries the ancient to the modern, in an often electric manner, with some of the best harpers in the world.
The Hedge School will offer a series of lectures by leading authorities in Irish history, literature, language, and culture.
Irish Fest wants to thank Little Read Book, 7603 West State Street in the Wauwatosa Village for again being the sponsor of the Literary Corner. Rainbow Books for Children, from West Vliet Street on Milwaukee’s west side, will again be a vendor in the Literary Corner. Both will be located in the Literary Corner with your favorite Irish, Irish American and children’s books.
Visiting the Archives tent brings to life signs of the past. Explore Irish history in music, stories, and biographies through exhibits created by our own Ward Irish Music Archives. Each year's exhibit focuses on unique aspects of the Irish and Irish-American experience.
Steeped in tradition, brimming with talent, and sweetened with native speakers, the Gaeltacht line-up is sure to hit the spot. Performances by award-winning musicians, singers, dancers and actors will bring a smile to your face, music to your ears, and set your toes a tapping! Check out the Gaeltacht schedule!
Irish Language Workshop (Ceardlann na Gaeilge)
Irish language books, games, DVDs and CDs for adults and children for sale. Irish language films to view/buy, plus games to play and Irish speakers to help learners practice the language. Scholarship applications available. Some translating possible. Failte Romhat!!
The Cultural Exhibits Pavilion in 2012 included a number of diverse displays including: the cuimhneamh an chláir - oral history project from County Clare, by Tomás Mac Conmara; Bill Monroe Traveling exhibit, International Bluegrass Music Museum; Exhibit on John Barry - County Wexford native who founded the
United States Navy; Irish science Fiction and Fantasy Writers - from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to James White and Michael Carroll; Irish-American boxers, by the
Ward Irish Music Archives; The Ulster Scots American Presidents, presented by the Ulster Scots Agency of Belfast; Northern Ireland bureau, Basil McCrea, MLA;
St. Patrick Centre of Downpatrick - Co. Down; Titanic - 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Belfast-built ship; The Volta Theatre will feature beautiful People,
a movie about the oldest session in New York by Sam Adelman.
Expert genealogists from Ireland and the US will be here to answer your questions, how to trace your ancestors and why and how they came to America.
Meehan Boat House
The Meehan Boat House displays Currach's for fest goers to see. Learn about the history of Currach's and sign up to join the Irish Currach Club of Milwaukee.
Please join us for the Celtic Groove School and learn hands-on how to play the bodhran. Bodhran lessons provided (no experience necessary). In addition, you can purchase bodhrans and other fine Irish instruments.
Learn about Hurling, the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Milwaukee Hurling Club located inside the new Irish Fest Sports Pub. Try your hand at hurling by giving a sliotar (ball) a whack at our hitting tube. Just outside of the Sports Pub, watch Master Craftsman Philip Doyle Senor of County Wexford as he demonstrates his craft, explains the characteristics of a good hurley and chats about this cottage industry in Ireland. Witness live hurling games at the Urban Hurling Park located just outside of the North Gate.
Moore Street Market
The Moore Street Market is a must-see destination featuring some of the best artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Theatre Pavilion offers some of the best Irish plays written by Irish playwrights and performed by Irish (and honorary Irish) players. The Theatre is rich in Irish theatre tradition and Irish Fest brings a nice assortment of Irish plays for all fest goers to enjoy.