\"Families

Families enjoying the Milwaukee Irish Fest

America’s Biggest Irish Festival celebrates 30 years

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Families enjoying the Milwaukee Irish Fest

The biggest Irish festival in America the Milwaukee, Irish Fest -- which runs Aug. 19-22 at Henry Maier Festival Park at the lakefront -- is celebrating 30 years this year.

For three decades, Milwaukee's Irish festival has featured top  Irish  talent and there is a serious commitment  to real Irish culture, with Gaelic poetry readings, theater events, historical displays, book sales and more.

A theme this year will be the Irish peace process and several representatives from Northern Ireland will be on hand to discuss the great success for a process that ended over 30 years of conflict.

Among this year's entertainers are Liz Carroll, Cherish the Ladies, Gaelic Storm, Tommy Sands, The Makem & Spain Brothers and Red Hot Chili Pipers, to name but a few.

What fuels such success and such a diverse event? Martin Hintz -- of the Irish American Post and author of "Celebrate the Legend: 25 Years of Milwaukee Irish Fest" -- knows.

"The fest is all about people," he told OnMilwaukee.com when the book was published.

"It is an extended family, with everyone celebrating weddings, births, deaths. ... Irish Fest is a team effort brought together by hard-working friends, many of whom have spent years as volunteers.

"Some sing low, some sing high on the Irish Fest wire, to paraphrase the old song, but through it all, there is a tight bond ... and all their efforts accomplished so much. Hey, families have fun, they laugh, they cry, they moan, they goof around, they celebrate."

There's a wonderful  feel to Irish Fest and after 30 years they have clearly mastered how to keep the crowds happy.

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