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39th annual Irish Fest kicks off in Milwaukee, Thursday

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Irish Fest is back in Milwaukee for another year.

The world's largest celebration of Celtic music and culture runs from Aug. 15-18.

The four-day festival highlights more than 100 entertainment acts on 16 stages at the Henry Maier Festival grounds.


This is the 39th year for the event and it celebrates the great city of Galway, Ireland.

A number of performers at this year's festival are from Galway including We Banjo 3 who are returning for another year. There will also be a number of artisans as well as a bishop from Galway who will be a part of the event.

There are a number of ways visitors can get discounted admission during the festival. 

This year's promotions are as followed: 

All Days:

  • Any and all active duty United States military members will receive free admission to the festival any day, with valid ID, plus one guest, at any gate window. Milwaukee Irish Fest thanks them for their service to our country.
  • Children 12 and under get in free all four days of the festival and do not require a ticket for entry.

Thursday:

  • Receive free admission by donating school supplies outside the mid-gate to benefit Hope House. The festival begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, with only partial grounds open for opening night.

Saturday:

  • Register for the 2019 Arthritis Foundation Run/Walk to Irish Fest and receive free admission before 3 p.m.
  • First responders will receive free admission between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. with valid ID, plus one guest, to attend the First Responders Commemoration Ceremony at 3:45 p.m. at the Miller Lite stage.

Sunday:

  • College students receive $3 off general admission with a valid student ID between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Anyone donating three or more non-perishable food items, preferably canned peaches, by 11:00 am at the south gate entrance will receive free admission to the festival. All non-perishable food items will be donated to the Hunger Task Force. Those donating food who choose not to attend the Liturgy will receive a hand stamp valid for free entry at any time that day during regular festival hours (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or are welcome to remain in the designated section of the South Gate.
  • Patrons are welcome to attend the Liturgy for Peace and Justice, celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Brendan Kelly, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will receive free admission immediately following. The south gate will open for the Liturgy at 8 a.m. Attendees should also note that this year the Liturgy for Peace and Justice will take place at the BMO Harris Pavilion, due to Summerfest construction.

The hours for Milwaukee Irish Fest this week are as follows:

Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 4 p.m. to Midnight
Saturday: 12 p.m. to Midnight
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, click here. 

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