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Photo Essay: Irish Fest showcases Celtic culture

The 37th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest took place from August 17 to 20, celebrating the world’s largest commemoration of Celtic music and culture.

The four-day festival showcased more than 100 entertainment acts on 17 stages at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. More than just a festival, the Milwaukee Irish Fest organization is passionately committed to igniting a love of Celtic culture in all people.

“This is my fourth time here, and I have to say it’s been a fantastic festival, I really enjoy it. The organizing committee and all the volunteers give us a huge welcome when we come over here, so we’re really impressed,” said Anna Conner, a County Mayo tourism officer. “We look forward each year to coming back and reconnecting with the people we meet. So it’s a lovely experience and it gives us a great opportunity to listen to some of our Irish acts on the big stage, along with some of our diaspora. These musicians were originally from Ireland and now they’re living here. They really embraced the Irish culture, so we love to connect with them and share a bit of Ireland.”

Milwaukee Irish Fest is proudly presented by CelticMKE, a non-profit organization dedicated to igniting a love of Celtic culture in all people. With the help of more than 4,000 volunteers, CelticMKE and Milwaukee Irish Fest promote Celtic music, dance, drama, sports, culture, children’s activities, and genealogy through the annual festival, as well as year-round programming.

“I have had the privilege of being in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston for Patrick’s Day in the past. To see millions of people coming out to celebrate one day that is an Irish festival, we have to be proud of that. I’m amazed with the facilities that Milwaukee has here to run an event like Irish Fest. It’s fantastic and the greatest event I’ve seen in any part of the world, so Milwaukee should be proud of it,” said Richard Finn, Mayor of County Mayo. “I had already heard of Milwaukee and had an idea of what to expect. But I couldn’t visualize this until coming here and seeing what is available. It’s a credit to everybody concerned.”

About The Author

Lee Matz

Former Creative Director and Photojournalist for the Milwaukee Business Journal, Lee brings his years of international experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and Europe, with a background in publishing, advertising, and design, to the Milwaukee Independent. His list of awards include three consecutive top honors from the Milwaukee Press Club. Lee proudly uses MCTS as his exclusive mode of transportation, other than walking, for all the news stories he reports about in Milwaukee.

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