Milwaukee's Irish Fest is the world's largest Irish Music and cultural festival, and is held every year on Milwaukee's lakefront festival grounds in mid-August. Events start Thursday night and end Sunday evening. Sunday was our day to go this year, and we headed down about 12:30 in the afternoon. It was a beautiful clear day, but HOT in the sun. Fortunately, the grounds has shady spots, tents, and it is always cooler within a few yards of Lake Michigan, so relief is available. Interestingly, this year, we seemed to spend most of our time listening to local groups: Blarney, Leahy's Luck, and the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipes and Drums are all Milwaukee-based groups. We caught a bit of the set by Gaelic Storm, which was expectably standing-room only, even in the vast Miller Stage area. We also made a point to take in the Clan Donald pipes and drums out of Green Bay. They are not as polished as Billy Mitchell, but still a very up-and-coming pipe band. Of course you can soak up a lot of music just walking around the grounds from one area to another, and we did that to check out the dealers and cultural exhibits. (We bought a book on Irish folk tales and some lovely jewelry.) We were interested to see that the Irish Tourism displays focused on Galway and the midlands of Ireland, where we are going this fall, which seemed like a sign. We picked up lots of literature.
Scottish band Altan had been a big draw for us, but their show was at 8:00PM, and by 7:00 we were worn out, so we decided to retreat home and listen to them on the stereo. All in all it was one of the better days we've had at Irish fest in recent years.