Irish Fest features an area on the south end of the festival grounds dedicated to Irish and Celtic culture!
The Pavilion continues its long tradition of bringing all things Irish and Celtic to the festival through digital and physical displays. This year, you will step into a wild array of what Ireland has to offer.
- We will again feature the Irish life quilts of Penny Barnes, of Iowa, and Nikki Foley, of Killarney, Co. Kerry.
- The Centenary of the Irish Civil War is revealed in an exhibit from the National Museum of Ireland ( https://www.museum.ie) and Milwaukee Irish Fest. Learn about the conflict, and the aftermath of the Peace Treaty that triggered a short but deadly Civil War that killed over 1000 Irish men and women.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs will present a large display on James Joyce, and on the 100th Anniversary of Ulysses.
- The story of Colmcille, one of the Irish triumvirate of Saints, and his life from the city of Derry to the monastic island of Iona, and the development of the Irish Celtic Church, will be presented in a display developed by Milwaukee Irish Fest.
- The story of the very Irish phenomenon of Fairy Forts returns for a second year.
- You can discover the dark mythological creatures of Ireland in a newly created Milwaukee Irish Fest display.
This year the Literary Corner will feature seven authors, one returning and others new to our festival. Their books represent a wide variety of subjects that should be very interesting to our patrons. As always the authors are happy to chat with everyone who stops by and of course will happily sign all books purchased.
Northern Ireland author and Milwaukee favorite, Tony Macaulay, author of Paper Boy and Bread Boy, is returning for the American debut of his latest novel, Belfast Gate.
Dublin native, Mary Behan, has written a memoir with her sister of their days at boarding school in Ireland, Abbey Girls. She has followed that with a novel, A Measured Thread and a book of short stories, Kernels.
Pat O’Neill and Tom Coffman have authored a well-researched biography of a little-known man who was most influential in the founding of organized baseball in the United States. Ted Sullivan, Barnacle of Baseball introduces this interesting character.
Two authors with books on a similar topic but with very different approaches have written about their experiences traveling to Ireland to locate their roots. Lois Farley Shuford has written Finding Home and Sharon Bossard has written Finding My Irish. Sharon has also authored a memoir, Veil of Silence.
Patrick McBride, M.D. has written a memoir, The Luckiest Boy in the World, of his youth growing up in Wauwatosa, WI where he was a Bat Boy for the Milwaukee Brewers, a Ball Boy for the Milwaukee Bucks and a Locker Room Attendant for the Green Bay Packers when they played at the old County Stadium.
Plan to stop by the Literary Corner, meet the authors and visit our book sellers, The Little Read Book and Rainbow Books for Children.
History, genealogy, politics, literature, modern culture and more will be discussed in the Hedge School. Tyler Farrell will lead the popular Poetry Hour on Sunday. Head to the schedule page to view this year's Hedge School presentations.
In keeping with the rich Irish association with theatre performance, Milwaukee will again present a range of plays for our audience enjoyment. We have some comedy, some love story and a wide selection of other topics. There might even be a chance for an audience member to join in the fun! Head to the schedule page to see when you can watch these plays!
Dead Men’s Bells by Meabh de Brun
A gothic rural tale. Three sisters take us on a journey through the misdeeds of their brother, the family farm that is up for grabs and the actions they felt driven to.
Melody by Deidre Kinahan
Two lonely souls, a bachelor and a widow discover they share many common interests including classical music, ham and cheese sandwiches and massage parlors.
Julia Elizabeth by James Stephens
An independent woman who resists her parent’s best efforts to encourage her towards marriage
Casey at the Bat / Casey’s Revenge by Ernest Thayer/Grantland Rice
The classic poem about Casey at the bat, this time followed by the next step in the story.
Bring You’re A Game by Meabh de Brun
Two strangers use the time stuck in an elevator to get to know each other in a quirky and humorous encounter.
Thirst by Miles na Gopaleen/Flann O’Brien
When a sergeant finds him serving after hours, publican Ignatius Cornelius Coolahan regales his accuser with a protracted story of military service in the desert in the hopes of tapping into his sense of thirst.
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! Danielle Enblom returns to demonstrate Irish dancing techniques. Head to the schedule page to view the weekend's Gaeltacht program!
The Genealogy Tent is located on the south end of the grounds in the Cultural Area just south of the Water Street Brewery. The tent is bringing back favorite displays including DNA, Irish First Names, Irish Surnames, Map of Ancestor locations, and much more to assist you in your journey of finding your ancestors. There is some one-to-one research support for attendees as well as computers available for individual lookups.
Richard Hill, Genetic Genealogist, will be available for several hours each day to discuss and answer questions about how DNA assists you in your family search. Mr. Hill will also be presenting at the Irish Fest Summer School.
Come learn about Irish surnames, given names, and DNA. Tag the giant Ireland map with your family’s ancestral home. Discuss your genealogy search questions with volunteers in this area.
Irish Language Workshop
Learn more about Gaelic, the Irish language, and its history at our Irish Language Workshop tent! This year's workshop features Dr. Tara MacLeod and Dr. Brian O'Conchubhair from Notre Dame University. Head to the schedule page to see what kinds of language workshops are being offered all weekend long!