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When one thinks of the Irish-American experience, Milwaukee is not the
first city that comes to mind. Locales like Boston,
New York, Chicago
and Philadelphia
are the locales most frequently associated with the Irish. Therefore, many are
surprised to learn that the grandest Irish festival in the nation is held not
in any of these more famous towns, but in the old German city that rests on the
shores of Lake Michigan.

Every August, Irish performers from the United States, Canada,
and Ireland herself flock to
the Milwaukee
lakefront. The energy is electric, and three main stages are active for an
entire three-day weekend. Numerous smaller stages abound, where one can see the
up-and-comers of the Irish music circuit. And Milwaukee’s Irish Fest is not just music—cultural
exhibits, genealogy booths and much more dot the lakefront.

Sunday is the grand finale. Milwaukee’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan offers
Mass at 11 AM, and there is free admission for the entire day to anyone who
attends and brings canned food for the poor. Archbishop Dolan offered his first
Mass after being named to the bishopric here in 2002, and he has never failed
to inspire the flock in a setting that places him among his own. The day
extends to close to midnight at the “Gathering”, when all the musicians come
together on a main stage for one last collective performance.

On a nice August evening, there are few atmospheres more
enjoyable then the cool breeze of Lake Michigan
and Irish music playing. For CMers who love their Irish heritage, Milwaukee’s
Irish Fest represents an ideal gathering spot—for one glorious weekend
Milwaukee is the most “green” spot in American—and August becomes the month to
be Irish.







Visit the CM Events Calendar for contact information


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