August 15-18, 2019

August 15-18, 2019

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Cultural Village

2019 Highlights:


Cultural Pavilion

  • Galway Historic Maps exhibition: These maps are part of the Royal Irish Academy's Irish Historic Towns Atlas series. Author Paul Walsh and Jennifer Moore from the RIA will be available to offer further insight
  • Maps of Connemara: On loan from the National University of Ireland, Galway, an exhibition of hand-drawn maps and folklore by artist and author Tim Robinson
  • Joan Finnegan: Joan Finnegan, an Irish painter will showcase her artwork
  • Irish Archaeology: Queens University Belfast archaeologists return with a new display on the archaeology of Ireland.
  • Irish Stone Carving: Dominic Keogh is a stone mason from Ireland. He will return to demonstrate stone carving and how to create an Irish stone wall.
  • Meet representatives from the Shamrock Club, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Friends of St. Patrick Centre of Downpatrick, NI, the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center of Wisconsin, and the St. Andrew’s Society of Milwaukee.
  • The Volta FIlm Theatre 

Theatre Pavilion

The Theatre Pavillion offers some of the best Irish plays written by Irish playwrights and performed by Irish (and honorary Irish) players. 

Harp Stage

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. 

Hedge School

The Hedge School offers a series of informal lectures covering a variety of cultural topics from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. The short talks focus on Irish and Irish American literature, history, archaeology, geography and music. Harpist Kim Robertson will share her extensive knowledge of the mythology surrounding the Irish harp, and will play laments and dances for us, and Wade Mahon (UWSP) will present a virtual tour of eighteenth-century Dublin. With the American Geographical Society Library (UWM), we will also be launching a new book published by the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, on Renaissance Galway; author Paul Walsh will join us for a talk and book signing on Sunday. Click here to view schedule and descriptions.

Moore Street Market

The Moore Street Market concentrates on Irish/Celtic artisans. Come and meet the artists and shop your way through the market. It is located on the South end of the festival grounds in our Cultural Village, just south of the South gate. 

Poetry Contest

Milwaukee Irish Fest offers two poetry prizes annually; each award is $100. Winnders will be announced at Irish Fest during the poetry events on Sunday afternoon, August 19, in the Hedge School in the Cultural Village on the south end of the grounds. After the lectures are completed in the Hedge School, the area is opened to the Poetry contest and the Poetry jam. Click here for instructions on how to submit poems to the festival. 

Literary Corner

Information coming soon

Meehan Boat House

The Meehan Boat House displays Currach's for fest-goers to see. Learn about the history of Currachs and sign up to join the Irish Currach Club of Milwaukee. This year's exhibit will feature the famous Galway Hooker sailboats, brought to you by the Milwaukee Currach Club and the Galway City Museum. There will also be a 3D model of the famous Galway Bay, as well as a display of sails & rigging systems.

Gaeltacht - Sponsored by Shamrock Club

Steeped in tradition, brimming with talent and sweetened with native speakers, the Gaeltacht line-up is sure to hit the spot. The Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking area, will showcase the Irish language and traditional Irish culture. You can learn simple Irish phrases or challenge yourself with some flirty chat-up lines! You can stop in any time and enjoy traditional Irish humor, song, dance and language. The Gaeltacht is where the Irish go to feel at home!

The Irish Language Workshop provides resources and materials for anyone interested in the Irish Language (Gaeilge). Grammars, dictionaries, DVDs, books and CDs for learning Irish are available. Also in stock are novels, poetry, biographies, memories, children's books and miscellaneous literature, much of it in Gaeilge with some bilingual and English editions. Dr. Brian O Conchubhair and Dr. Tara MacLeod, professors from Notre Dame University will speak in this year's Gaeltacht tent.


We welcome you to stop in for a quick peek or an in depth consultation about your Irish roots.  Professional genealogists will be available to assist you in your genealogy research. Genealogists from Boston and Minnesota Genealogy societies will be on board for assistance as well. Returning are the surname area walkup kiosks featuring John Grenham’s portal to a wealth of information about Irish names and places and access to records at FindMyPast. Type in your surname to learn where that name is found in Ireland and more. Or enter your ancestral home to learn all about the place.

Our DNA area is expanding along with interest in this hot topic. There will be displays showing the Irish language roots of both surnames and places, and other displays and handouts about steps and resources for Irish genealogy. The Civil War contingent will again offer help with military records.

The Irish immigrant portrait gallery returns, along with the children’s area where you can get your Paddy passport stamped and create a tree for a photo op. As you leave, be sure to stop at “What’s Next” to plan your next steps: scan a website link or take home information about the many resources and organizations, local and Irish, available to help you in your genealogical journey.  


Ward Irish Music Archives

The History of Irish Rock Music exhibit examines through displays and artifacts the development of rock music in Ireland.



Cultural Village

"Casey at the Bat" Irish in Baseball Exhibit

  • Aer Lingus Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor
  • Arena Americas at Milwaukee Irish Fest
  • Catholic Financial Life
  • CiderBoys Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor
  • Epic Creative Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor
  • Five Farms Irish Cream
  • Habush Habush Rottier
  • Jameson
  • Jameson
  • Lakefront Brewery
  • Miller Lite
  • Northwoods Web Solutions
  • Potowatomi
  • Sprecher



  • Center: 1532 N. Wauwatosa Ave, Milwaukee
  • Festival Grounds: Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
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