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Thanks Irish Fest Fans:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee Irish Fest, I want
to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers, sponsors, special
guests from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada and Scotland, the patrons,
performers, vendors, City of Milwaukee officials and everyone else that
helped us celebrate 35 years of Irish music and culture.
Even with such a busy weekend in Milwaukee, our turnout was great and
the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It seems that everyone enjoyed
the festival - especially the stellar music lineup!
With more than 100 different acts on 17 stages featuring new artists
like the Kilkennys, FullSet and Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, combined with
festival favorites like Gaelic Storm, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and We
Banjo 3, festival patrons had the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of
music from the world-class international lineup.
The Living Tradition Showcase, our largest musical showcase to date,
was a huge hit. The showcase highlighted Irish traditional music with 35
terrific local, national and international bands. This year's festival
brought over a dozen different acts from Ireland, as well as several from
Scotland, Canada and many other countries around the world.
Included in the celebration was a fantastic tribute concert to honor
the late Tommy Makem. Crowds gathered for a lecture on this musical legend
to support the Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund, and many were brought
to tears at the moving musical tribute led by Tommy's son and many friends.
In another special show, Cherish the Ladies invited seven Senior All-Ireland
Champions on stage to be recognized. These tradition-bearers have kept
Irish musical traditions alive and inspired other Irish Americans in keeping
with this year's "Living Tradition" theme. They included Liz Carroll, Jimmy
Keane, John Whelan, Joanie Madden, Eileen Ivers, Brian Conway and Billy
McComiskey. The blockbuster Americana - Irish Style show was also a huge
hit, featuring Scythian, We Banjo 3 and Eileen Ivers together on one stage.
We were honored to have "one of our own," long-time Irish Fest volunteer
Fr. Michael Maher, S.J. as our celebrant for the Liturgy for Peace and
Justice on Sunday morning. Many different elected officials from Ireland
also attended including Minister of State Joe McHugh, representing Ireland's
Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, as well as the mayors of County
Clare, Galway City and County Mayo, among others. Jim Shannon, MP, was
in attendance, representing DUP and Ulster Scots, as well as Mairtin O
Muilleoir of Belfast Media Group and many other honored guests from throughout
We are also pleased to report that we collected 41,000 pounds of food
and $647.49 that was donated to the Hunger Task Force of Wisconsin. Hundreds
of school supplies were collected and donated to Hope House of Milwaukee.
We also hosted a very successful run-walk to help support the Arthritis
More than 4,000 dedicated volunteers helped stage this great event,
and we were able to honor many of them for their own 35 year anniversary
of volunteering with us. Milwaukee Irish Fest continues to be considered
a cultural gem in the greater Milwaukee area and is recognized worldwide
as the premier celebration of all things Irish.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support and patronage
as we celebrate 35 years of Irish music and culture. We hope that you will
join us again August 18-21, 2016 for the next Milwaukee Irish Fest. I guarantee
you will have a wonderful time!
Go raibh maith agaibh!
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Cheers to 35 years!
© 2015 Irish Festivals, Inc.
1532 Wauwatosa Ave. Milwaukee, WI - 414.476.3378
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