New Irish festival coming to Boston this September

iFest, in Boston, to promote Ireland and boost tourism.

A major new festival aimed at boosting Irish tourism is coming to Boston.

The three-day event, called iFest, will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center starting on September 26. The $4 million event, which will showcase the culinary, arts and sports stars of Ireland, was created by the Irish hospitality industry and politicians to promote tourism, the Boston Globe reports.

“It really will immerse visitors in the best of Irish culture in an experimental, engaging and fun way,” said Rachel Kelly, the Chief Executive and founder of iFest. “The goal is to give people a fabulous Irish experience to enjoy.”

Last year, Ireland hosted thousands of events for “The Gathering,” a massive tourism scheme to entice Irish descendants across the globe to visit the country. It is estimated that more than 250,000 foreign travelers visited Ireland during the yearlong event.

This time, Ireland is taking to the road. While the inaugural festival will take place in Boston, where more than 20 percent of residents have Irish roots, organizers hope to expand the event to cities around the globe.

Kelly says they aim to attract 500,000 visitors by 2018.

Boston’s iFest will include documentaries, a genealogy class, cooking demonstrations from well-known Irish chefs, meet-and greets with Irish sports stars, and readings from Irish writers. Top resorts, hotels, events, and destinations in Ireland will be featured at the festival. Bands and artists such as Moloney of the Chieftains, the National Concert Hall, Heathers, Damien Mullane, and the Riptide Movement will also perform.

Tickets start at $45.

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