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2021 Poetry Contest 


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2021 Poetry Contest - Opens June 1, 2021; Ends July 17, 2021
The Milwaukee Irish Fest poetry award for the Donn Goodwin Prize will be given to the entry that best reflects Irish or Irish-American poetry traditions. Although the poems do not necessarily need to have direct Irish or Irish-American themes, the winning entry should have a cultural or literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry.

  • The Donn Goodwin Prize is named after a Wisconsin poet, linguist, and educator who was active in supporting poetry events at Irish Fest. This contest is open to all.

2020 Poetry Contest Winner - Lee Nash
Click here to read Nash's poem, "Birth River"


Rules for Submitting Entries
Please read all instructions before submitting your form. Submissions Deadline is July 17, 2021.

  • Each contestant may submit no more than one poem.
  • Each entry should be the poet's original work and should not have appeared previously in publication.
  • Entries will be accepted until 11:50 pm (CT) on July 17, 2021. They must be received by July 17 to be considered.
  • All entries must be emailed or snail mailed.
    Email your entry to:
    Or mail your entry to:

         Milwaukee Irish Fest
         1532 Wauwatosa Ave
         Wauwatosa, WI 53213
  • Each entry should have a cover document that contains
    • The poet's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address
    • The poem's title
    • The poet's name or other identifying information should appear only on the cover sheet..


2021 Poster Contest



It is with our great pleasure to announce that CelticMKE is again launching the annual Milwaukee Irish Fest poster contest, which is open to the public. Milwaukee Irish Fest is the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture, and is held every third weekend in August, along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. We've had an official poster for the festival since the beginning, 1981, and look forward to seeing what designs come in to help us commemorate our official 40th anniversary as an Irish organization!

There will be two cash prizes for this competition. First place will be awarded $1,500 and second place $500. Milwaukee Irish Fest will own the rights of the two winners’ artwork. With an opportunity to learn as well as grow your portfolio, this contest will also give your design exposure, through the hundreds of thousands of patrons that attend the festival.

Anyone can enter; you do not need to be an art student. Any and all artists are encouraged to submit their design, and all will be reviewed. It is strongly recommended that the artwork be put into a program such as Photoshop or Illustrator, so that revisions, if needed, can be made if the design makes it to the finalist round. Please refer to the PDF document below for the criteria regarding design specs and for aid in your Celtic and Irish cultural research.

The deadline for entries is May 1, 2021. Please submit your entry by completing the 2021 Poster Submission, which you can click here. The artwork should be named and saved with the artist email address, so finalists can easily be contacted.

These posters are collected by festival-goers from around the world, and are also used to publicize the event. Copies are distributed in the U.S. and are also sent abroad. They hang in homes, offices and Irish pubs, among many other places. It is a noteworthy opportunity as the winner’s design will be a part of our festival’s history! There are two locations on the festival grounds where the official posters are sold. The first place winner will be invited to attend the festival on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon as a guest of the festival and for an autograph signing.

Download PDF View Past Winners


Red Hair and Freckles Contests

Red Hair and Freckles

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Red Hair & Freckles Contests
If you are of the age 0 to 12 years old, have freckles and/or red hair, please join the fun and enter either or both of the contests in 2021. Each winner receives a trophy or medal and is invited to be a part of the festival parade. Registration is before the contest at the Crossroads area booth. 

Freckles Contest
Saturday at 2:00 pm in the Crossroads Area

Red Hair Contest
Sunday at 2:00 pm in the Crossroads Area

*Sign-up starts at 1:30 pm each day

View Past Winners



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Example of Previous Raffle Prizes
Join the fun in Irish Fest's annual raffle and you could win some fantastic prizes! The raffle is located at the Raffle and Information booth

First Prize:
  • Round trip transportation for two to Ireland (courtesy of Aer Lingus)
  • Land package courtesy of Celtic Tours/Hertz for 6 nights, 7 days
    • ​Harvey's Point in Donegal for 2 nights 
    • Great Southern Hotel in Killarney for 2 nights
    • Original Irish Hotel in Northern Ireland for 2 nights
Second Prize:
  • 7 nights at Olde Ground Hotel, Ennis, County Clare - courtesy of Harp & Eagle Limited and Olde Ground hotel. Includes daily breakfast and airfare for two.
Third Prize:
  • $1,500 cash

Raffle tickets can be purchased on the grounds for $3 for one ticket, $10 for five tickets, and $20 for twelve tickets

Cash Prizes - $300
  • Thursday, August 15: $300 cash drawing at 9:00 pm
  • Friday, August 16: $300 cash drawing at 7:00 pm and 11:30 pm
  • Saturday, August 17: $300 cash drawing at 7:00 pm and 11:30 pm

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"My husband and I would like to thank Milwaukee Irish Fest and all the very kind and helpful people at Celtic Tours who made our trip to Ireland such a great experience! The trip worked out better than I had ever imagined. Celtic Tours was very easy to work with and once we were on our way, things could not have gone more smoothly! We enjoyed every minute of our trip, particularly once my husband got used to driving on the 'other' side of the road! Truly, everything was amazing and there were absolutely no problems! We enjoyed the natural beauty of Ireland, learnin about its history, and met some very nice people. My husband was even able to 'hook up' with a fishing guide once we were in Killarney and spent a long morning fishing, while I did some shopping and watched the Royal Wedding! The accommodations were all lovely, particularly the night at Ballyseede Castle, which was an unexpected treat! Thank you again Milwaukee Irish Fest!" ~ Bruce and Julia R.

View Past Winners


Photo Contests

Photo Contest

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Enter your photos at the Fest and you could win some green! The contest is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival. Photos must be submitted at the contest booth on the day they are entered and only during Festival hours and prior to the daily selection times. Early entries are not allowed. 

View Past Winners

2021 Festival Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors & friends!

Ireland Bluffs

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


Fill Your Heart with Ireland - Milwaukee Irish Fest Sponsor

Lakefront Brewery

Miller Lite

Northwoods Web Solutions


  • 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

1532 N. Wauwatosa Ave
Milwaukee, WI
Festival Grounds
Henry Maier Festival Park
Milwaukee, WI


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