Travel Waterloo

Travel Waterloo: Episode 11 Recap


posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Iowa Irish Fest CommitteeIowa Irish Fest has become much more than a local or community celebration. It is the largest Celtic celebration in Iowa and continues to grow each year.

Whether you’ve been to Irish Fest previously or you’re a newcomer to this year’s event, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind or look out for.

  • This year, you can buy an official Irish Fest Cookbook, featuring recipes that are classics and some local family favorites as well.
  • We mention in the episode that Irish Fest offers something for all members of the family. It is true. The Family Fun Area features games, crafts, face painting, story telling, music, inflatables, and some great activities. Our friends from Life 101.9 are presenting a bubble gum blowing contest, pie eating contest, watermelon eating contest, and jig dancing contest among other things for kids.
  • Speaking of kids, kids ages 12 and under get free admission to Irish Fest too.
  • This year’s Irish Fest features the first-ever Rugby Tournament. Rugby will take place at Waterloo East High School, which is just two blocks from the festival grounds.
  • Whether you’re Catholic or not, the Sunday morning Mass is quite the celebration. It is open to anyone of any denomination or faith, and the offering has typically been donated to a local charity. The attendance at Mass has always been significant, and the energy is fantastic.
  • Over the years, Irish Fest has expanded its cultural offerings, Iowa Irish Fest Stageand I would encourage you to make time to experience the events in the cultural tent. You can learn about Irish culture through traditional music, dance and storytelling. There are ancestry workshops and Irish Gaelic language classes. There is a Soda Bread and Irish Stew competition. There will even be Irish Wolf Hounds appearing at the festival again this year. The cultural events provide attendees with background that helps understand why Irish Fest is important and why certain things are done the way they are.
  • Last, but certainly not least, the entertainment. Irish Fest features international performers as well as some regional and local favorites. Headline acts include Gaelic Storm, The Elders, and the Screaming Orphans. Also back this year, the Trinity Irish Dancers.

Iowa Irish Fest FlagsClick here for a complete schedule of events.
Festival passes: $15 for all 3 days; Kids ages 12 & under free.

I’d encourage you to make your way to Irish Fest this year and #RevelOn friends!

Follow the hashtag #IDigWaterloo for photos, videos, and travel inspiration.

- Aaron Buzza, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo Credit: Iowa Irish Fest.

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