Being a mid-west girl, I happen to live in between two bustling cities. It seems there’s always plenty of adventures to discover; but there’s certain adventures I find myself going to again and again. A few weekends ago I went with friends to Milwaukee’s Irish Fest; which happens to be the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture. It had been a few years since I’d been back; I really missed it. The event was nestled along the rocky shores of Lake Michigan, which made for a beautiful backdrop, and the day and weather couldn’t have been nicer.
The event was filled with an assortment of events and activities, from shopping to hurling, basket weaving, food demonstrations, wool spinning, dancing, dozens of bands performing, dining on Irish cuisine, and much more, but my personal favorite….the tug-of-war matches. It was fun to watch the teams battle one right after the next, while cheering on our favorites.
The music was outstanding as we bounced from one venue to another, trying to soak up as much of the authentic Irish music as we could. Some stage areas were intimate while others were bursting. All had the same enthusiastic crowds.
Most people dressed in green as a symbol of Ireland’s color; it was a sea of green everywhere you looked. I especially like when men were proudly displaying their family colors and plaid patterned kilts.
People were friendly throughout the festival, meeting new friends along the way. At one point we joined a large crowd on the second floor patio of the Jameson Lounge. Everyone was having a great time as we belly laughed about random things. Dave, or as we refer to him as the mayor (because he makes friends with anyone), was telling us the story of how he was on a mission to find his family plaid/crest and had gotten paperwork from one of the vendors in the market to start his research. We questioned him about his information as he proceeds to pull out his “paperwork”, which happened to be about a two by three inch piece of paper. We roared with laughter.
The day turned into the night as we enjoyed the music, weather, food, drink, laughter, and our friendship. We decided next year’s Irish Fest was a must…..here’s to another year of green, plaid kilts, beer, whiskey, traditional food, friends, laugher, and the luck of the Irish. Slainte!