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Cultural Village

Irish Fest features an area on the south end of the festival grounds dedicated to Irish and Celtic culture. On the schedule page of our website, click "culture" on the filter dropdown to view the cultural programming for this year's festival!

Cultural Pavilion

The Pavilion continues its long tradition of bringing all things Irish and Celtic to the festival through digital and physical displays. New this year, Limerick born artist and photographer Paul Ward is displaying his Imagining Ireland photo exhibit to the festival. Black and Irish in Dublin is set up to highlight and celebrate the identity of Black and Mixed Race Irish people. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland and the Irish Consulate in Chicago will again be providing a pop-up display, curated by their staff. We will again have and exhibit on the 100 Anniversary of the end of the  Irish Civil War, which ended in 1923. We will also have a return of the Mythology of Ireland; the Fauna of Ireland; and the story of Colmcille. We will work with Niamh Hamill on an exhibit about St. Brigid. And also new to the festival this year, we will feature the life surrounding and in Ireland's waterways. We will also have an interactive child's aquarium, filled with stuffed whales, dolphins and octopus. 

Literary Corner

The Literary Corner of 2024 presents an excellent mix of histories, memoirs, mysteries and other genres for your reading pleasure.

- Shawn Wilson
    Duplicity and Relentless
Shawn introduces her iconic detective, Brick Kavanagh, whose exploits will engage all mystery lovers.

- Tracy Helixson
    Fields of Promise
An Irish immigration story about the importance of protecting one’s land that was not available to the Irish in their home country.

- Malcolm McDowell Woods
    What the Tide Leaves Behind
A first novel by a well-known Irish author, Woods has captured the essence of the novel form in this delightful story that makes Donegal an integral part of his writing.

- John Sexton
    Adventures of an Irishman in America
John returns to the Literary Corner with the second installment of his Irish and American exploits that he first introduced here a few years ago. The Big Yank was a big success here and readers will be anxious to read the next chapter.

- Gabrielle Woeltje
    Solitary Faries Life or Death
    Irish Fairies Fearsome or Friendly
    Out the Gap
    O’Meachair
Originally from County Tipperary, Ireland, Gabrielle writes books that are a mix of what some may call fanciful (but they could be very wrong, just a bit of a warning) a memoir, and a history that blends family and country in intriguing currents. She also has several children’s books written in the Irish language.

- Jack Bodkin
    Briarhill to Brooklyn
Currently a resident of West Virginia, Jack has written a faithful history of the immigration story of his family that is somewhat atypical of many experiences of other Irish immigrants.

- Donna Rewolinski
    Ireland
Husband and wife team, the Novices, will satisfy the curiosity of mystery lovers in this first novel as they follow myriad clues to solve the case before them.

Hedge School

History, genealogy, politics, literature, modern culture and more will be discussed in the Hedge School. Enjoy presentations and discussions from Dr. Niamh Hamill, Brendan O'Leary, Brian Ó Conchubhair, The Black and Irish Organization, Terry Clavin, Bishop Thomas Daly & Fr. Michael Mahar, Rónán Ó Dochartaigh, Ron Bowen, Consul General Kevin Byrne, Minister James Browne, Dr. José Lanters, and Tyler Farrell.

Theatre Pavilion

In keeping with the rich Irish association with theatre performance, Irish Fest will again present a range of plays for audience enjoyment. This year, we are pleased to welcome Fishamble: The New Play Company from Dublin, Ireland. Take a look below to learn more about this year's featured plays!

The Wheelchair on My Face by Sonya Kelly
“Part memoir, part theatre and part stand-up comedy” (Irish Independent), this delightful story of how a seven-year-old overcomes stigma was originally produced by Fishamble: A New Play Company in Dublin.

Bedtime Story by Sean O’Casey
O’Casey’s time-honored comedy tells the tale of John Jo, who has spent a night with the seductive Angela. Full of remorse, and dreading the ruin of his reputation, he tries to get rid of her, fearing that his landlady might find out. A play by one of Ireland's great playwrights.

In the Shadow of the Glen by J. M. Synge
Synge captures the bitter humor and biting wit of peasant life in this classic one-act from 1903 set in an isolated Wicklow farmhouse, where long-suffering Nora Burke is tending to the corpse of her ornery husband. But not all is what it seems in a wild twist of this tale. Yeats said that Synge was "the greatest dramatic genius of Ireland.”

A Series of Tiny Plays: Series 1
In an innovative collaboration with Dublin’s Fishamble: The New Play Company, an eclectic collection of tiny plays by contemporary Irish playwrights with themes ranging from humorous to heart-wrenching to thought-provoking.

  1. Poster Boy by Antonia Hart
  2. Calling Time by Michael West
  3. Debris by Evan Lee D’Alton
  4. Soulmates by Maeve Binchy
  5. Straight Talk by Keith Farnan
  6. Somewhere by Mark Cantan

A Series of Tiny Plays: Series 2

  1. Between Us We Have Everything by Karl O'Neill
  2. It's a Lovely Day, Bill Withers by Jody O'Neill
  3. Ode to Life by Richie O'Sullivan
  4. Unrequited by Michael Cussen
  5. Where Will We Go? by Dermot Bolger

Gaeltacht

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! 

This year's Gaeltacht features Alicia Guinn, Máirín Uí Chéide, Cathal Ó Curráin, Enda Reilly, Ray Mac Mánais, Shane Hennessy, and more!

Genealogy

How Did your Celtic Ancestors Get to the Midwest? Find out at the Genealogy Tent, located on the south end of the grounds in the Cultural Area. This year’s interesting new displays focus on the immigration of your Celtic Ancestors and their travel to midwestern states which includes mapping of these immigration routes. Come meet Professional Genealogists who will make presentations and provide consultations. The tent will also bring back favorite exhibits on DNA, Irish First Names, Irish Surnames, and much more to assist you in your genealogical journey. One-to-one Researchers will also be available to support you in your searches. Don’t miss out visiting this area to complete your Irish Fest experience!

Irish Language Workshop - Ceardlann na Gaeilge

Learn more about Gaelic, the Irish language, and its history at our Irish  Language Workshop tent! This year's workshop features Dr. Brian O'Conchubhair, Joe Ó Donaill, Dineen Grow, Rebecca Shields, and Rónán Ó Dochartaigh.

 

Sports

Sports

Currach Races
This year's Irish Fest will feature currach races, which you can watch along the lagoon on Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m.

More details coming soon.

Gaelic Football

Have you ever played soccer, basketball, volleyball, or just enjoy sports? Interested in trying an Irish sport that dates back to 1308?  Join the members of the Miltown Gaels as they demonstrate the ins and outs of Gaelic football. Activities will include live demonstrations of the sport, interactive drills, and prizes. Past recordings of Gaelic Football matches will be available for the curious to view.

 

 Sponsors 

Ireland Bluffs

Aer Lingus Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor

Arena Americas at Milwaukee Irish Fest

Audio Biz

Catholic Financial Life

CiderBoys Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor

Epic Creative Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor

Five Farms Irish Cream

Habush Habush Rottier

Jameson

Tourism Ireland - Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor

Lakefront Brewery

Miller Lite

Northwoods Web Solutions

Parkview-Senior Living Community Center

 

  • Artist
  • Paddy
  • Celtic Canine & Kid
  • Artist with Violin
  • Crowd
  • Irish Fest Fans
  • Young Irish Dancers
  • Young Kid and Dad
  • Wisconsin Irish
  • Young Kids Dancing

Milwaukee Irish Fest Logo
 

CelticMKE
1532 N. Wauwatosa Ave
Milwaukee, WI
414.476.3378
Festival Grounds
Henry Maier Festival Park
Milwaukee, WI
info@irishfest.com

 

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