The count down to the 20th Indy Irish Fest has begun. Slip on your kilt and get ready for four days of music, Irish cultural events, exhibits, games, and fun for everyone in Mid September at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis!

The Indy Irish Fest has become a much loved tradition that brings together many of the best performers, artists, and musicians in the nation. A highlight of the festival is the preview pub concert night that features two Celtic rock bands include Black Irish Texas, and The Wild Colonial Bhoys. Other fan favorites playing at the four day festival include Off Kilter, Makem & Spain featuring Rory Makem, son of Tommy Makem, or McPeake, from Belfast. You’ll hear some new tunes from Scythian, which hail from the East Coast, and Socks in the Frying Pan, from County Clare in Ireland. “We are so excited to be celebrating 20 years of the fest, and expect our fans will enjoy getting started with these two high energy bands; they won’t be playing your father’s ‘Danny Boy’!” said Mary Coffey, chair of the festival.

Along with extraordinary musicians playing, you’ll find some of the best Irish food and brews to devour at the Indy Irish Fest. There will be classic Irish fare prepared by Claddagh Irish Pub to tender selections from Smitty’s Smokehouse BBQ, and so many other tasty selections to sample. Of course, you can drink your share of Killians or Guinness, but why not try a Magners Cider that will go perfect with a side of ribs!

Arrive early and take advantage of the early gate admission so you won’t miss the events in the Indy Irish Fest Cultural Area. This is perhaps one of the most interesting areas to visit, where the rich culture and traditions of Irish people and Irish Americans are showcased throughout the event. Stop by and explore your own Irish heritage, and learn how music tells the tales of Ireland and its people.

If you love dogs, then you’ll enjoy meeting the Celtic Canines in the Indy Irish Fest Cultural Area. Breeds include Soft Coated Wheaton, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Wofhounds, Kerry Blue, and a Gordon that you can learn more about from their owners. Among the demonstrations to watch is the Sheep Herding, which has long been an Irish tradition. In between the event you can stop in and visit with Jimbob McEwen and his dogs from McEwen Border Collies.

indy irish fest

Throughout the festival families will find many fun events to join like contests for the Reddest Hair, Greenest Eyes, as well as Most Freckles. There will be a Blarney Castle to explore, Kerry Putt n’ Go, Face Painting, and a Art Contest as well for children to enjoy. And, on Sunday, Silly Safari will arrive to entertain children, and they’ll have a few cuddle animals to pet.

Since the late 1800’s, hurling has been the national sport of Ireland, and you’ll catch teams compete in hurling and camogie, as well as Gaelic football at the Indy Irish Fest. Step up to the plate and try a hand at hitting the sliotar in the cage or running drills in the demo area. Or, if you’re up to a challenge, join the Kilted Mile Run on Sunday. Runners will be cheered on by fans and bagpipes, and the $10 entry fee includes admission to the festival with trophies awarded to top finishers. Of course, if you have a kilt and have always wanted an excuse to wear it – this is your chance. There will also be awards for the Best Dressed Kilt, Bonniest Knees, Least Likely to Finish, and Best Step Dance in a Kilt.

Interesting Facts:

Hurling began as a way for the Celtic kings to train their warriors for battle, and dates back to pre-Christian times.

Help feed local families when you visit the Indy Irish Fest on Sunday morning between 10:30-11:30 a.m. and bring a minimum of three non-perishable food items. Along with receiving free admission to the festival, you’ll be helping the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank feed the needy in the community.

For full details on events, schedules, early admission and discounts available visit the Indy Irish Fest website.

To explore the history of Irish culture, destinations, and more to discover in Ireland.

Will you take a trip to the Indy Irish Fest?

With a passion for travel and creativity, Journalist and Photographer, Melody Schubert let’s her imagination guide her as she explores the world. For her, everyday is an opportunity to embrace something new, and explore intriguing and overlooked destinations that express the heart of a region, and share these discoveries with readers of Travel Freak. She is also Editorial Executive for USA Travel Magazine - where she shares more of travel interests.


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