Looking for some good ‘ol family fun? If you answered YES!, you should head down to Milwaukee Irish Fest this year! Held at Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee Irish Fest is the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture. The fun swings into action on August 16 and runs through August 19.
What will you experience? A LOT! You will find hundreds of live acts performing on over 17 stages. And, you will be able to enjoy authentic Celtic cuisine, traditional Irish dancing and sporting events like currach races, hurling, and gaelic football.
Many activities are geared specifically towards families. This is just a sampling of this year’s family-friendly exhibitions:
- Family Passport Families collect stamps for their Pirate Paddy Passports at stops throughout the festival grounds, while making crafts and gathering prizes at each stop.
- Leprechaun Village Be sure to bring your littles to Leprechaun Village. Here they will have the chance to search for gold and become a member of the Leprechaun Kids Club for fun prizes.
- Children’s Area Enjoy activities including Lili-Putt mini golf, the Lego/Mr. Potato Head Area, crafts, Highland games and prizes at the Pot O’ Gold. You won’t want to miss the interactive demonstrations at the John Byrne Stage or the entertainment at the Children’s Stage.
- Children’s Tea Room Sip tea while you listen to an Irish Storyteller.
- Greenwish Village Kids will learn about water conversion through fun, interactive, and ‘green’ games.
- Parades Saturday at 4:30 pm and Sunday at 4 pm, the parade begins at the north end of the grounds. Not only will you get to see Paddy and Molly, but also the Celtic Canines, the pipe and drum units, a monk, a nun, fairies, pirates, Vikings, and more! So much fun!
- Face Painting There will be a face painting vendor on the grounds! A painted face always adds to the festivities.
- Celtic Canines Come and interact with different Irish dog breeds. This popular festival destination is located on the mid-south end of the grounds, by the lagoon.
Music is a staple at Milwaukee Irish Fest. TradFest Temple Bar is back for the second consecutive year, bringing the best of the best in Irish and Celtic music. You’ll also be able to enjoy fan favorites as well as acts to new Irish Fest this year.
- Gaelic Storm
- Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy and Family
- Red Hot Chili Pipers
- The Screaming Orphans
- We Banjo 3
New for 2018!
- Daoirí Farrell
- Hank Cramer
- Seo Linn
- The Coronas
2018 Showcase | Nova Scotia: The Celtic Heart of North America
This year festival-goers will be able to experience North America’s Celtic culture through the sights and sounds of Nova Scotia. The showcase includes:
- Award-winning cuisine with Chef Alain Bosse, The Kilted Chef
- Three Nova Scotian genealogists can help curious visitors trace their family’s heritage in North America
- Artists and vendors will have their work available for sale in the Moore Street Market
- Some of the performers from Nova Scotia include:
- Coig, one of Atlantic Canada’s best traditional Celtic bands
- Shreem, who blends Celtic, electronic and hip-hop sounds for a one of a kind performance
- The Stanfields, who blend hard rock style with traditional Atlantic Canadian folk music
- More information on the 2018 Showcase can be found here.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Preview Night – Partial grounds open this evening)
Friday, August 17, 2018
4 p.m. to Midnight
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Noon to Midnight
Sunday, August 19, 2018
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2018 Ticket Prices
General Admission – $15 online until August 1 // $20 after August 1 & at the Gates
Senior (60 and Older) – $15 at the Gates only
Thursday (Over 12) – $5 online & at Gates
Children (12 and Under) – FREE
4 Day Pass – $30 until August 1 // $38 after August 1 // Not Available at Gates
(4 Day Pass Available For Order Online Only)
Half Price Friday – $10 online & at Gates
Reserve your tickets HERE!
Ways to Save
- Planning to visit on Preview Night, Thursday, August 16? Bring in school supplies to benefit Hope House and receive FREE admission.
*Note that only a portion of the grounds will be open.
- Half Price Friday! Friday, August 17 General Admission tickets are just $10!
- Are you registering for the 2018 Run/Walk to Irish Fest on Saturday, August 18th? If so, you’ll receive free same-day entry to the festival before 3:00 p.m.!
- Veterans receive FREE admission between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 18.
- Anyone donating a minimum of 3 non-perishable food items by 11 a.m. on Sunday, August 19 will receive free admission to the festival. Click here for additional details.
- Veterans and military personnel receive free admission plus one guest with valid proof of service on Sunday, August 19.
- College students with a valid student I.D. will receive a $3 discount off of General Admission tickets between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m on Sunday, August 19.
- Strollers are allowed inside the gates.
- If you shop at Irish Fest but don’t want to carry your items, a package check area is available for $5.