Highlights of the Milwaukee Irish Fest include a First Responder Commemoration Ceremony and a special Galway Showcase. The festival kicks off from August 15-18. 

The tradition of the Irish and those of Irish heritage committing their lives to service in the United States has been a long one and in keeping with this tradition, Milwaukee Irish Fest will this weekend hold a special ceremony to honor first responders. 

Kicking off on Thursday, August 15, the festival is already offering special rates and free entry for veterans and those on active duty but in a new addition to the 2019 highlights, a special First Responder Commemoration Ceremony is due to take place on Saturday, August 17, at the Miller Lite stage at 3:45 pm. The ceremony will honor and pay tribute to first responders and their families for their commitment to serving our communities. 

Attendees at the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Image: Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Attendees at the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Image: Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Running from August 15 until Sunday, August 18, Milwaukee Irish Fest offers free admission to the festival for any and all active-duty military members - plus one guest - on any day (with a valid ID).

The festival will also host a Military Day on Sunday, August 18, offering free admission for veterans at any time of day, at any gate window, with valid ID, plus one guest. 

The full festival hours are:

  • Thursday: 5 pm to 10 pm
  • Friday: 4 pm to midnight
  • Saturday: 12 pm to midnight
  • Sunday: 11 am to 10 pm

Read more: Founder of Milwaukee Irish Fest honored with Ireland’s Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad

As well as the First Responder Commemoration Ceremony, other highlights of the weekend will include "The Best of Irish Rock" with favorites We Banjo 3, Skerryvore and Friends. Covering the best of Irish rock hits, such as U2 and The Cranberries, for one special show, it can be seen at the Leinie’s stage Saturday, August 17, 8:00 pm. 

Image: Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Image: Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Throughout the weekend, the vibrant music and culture of Galway will also feature at the festival with a special Galway showcase. In 2020, Galway will reign as the European Capital of Culture, which is one of the most recognized EU projects.

In celebration, you'll find parts of Galway all over the festival. 

In the Cultural Pavilion, you will find exhibits and displays featuring the art and history of Galway, such as the Galway Historic Maps Exhibition, which is a part of the Royal Irish Academy’s Irish Historic Towns Atlas series. Author Paul Walsh and Jennifer Moore from the RIA will be available to offer further insight. 

Artisans from Galway will showcase and demonstrate their artwork near the Galway showcase stage.  Irish painter Joan Finnegan will showcase her latest artwork at the festival’s Cultural Village.

In the Hedge School pavilion, you can listen in on a presentation from Paul Walsh about renaissance Galway in the mid-seventeenth century. On Sunday, August 18, Milwaukee Irish Fest invites fest-goers to attend the international launch of the Paul Walsh’s new historical work Renaissance Galway. The subject of the book is the remarkable “pictorial map” of Galway, which was produced in the mid-seventeenth century. It offers a bird’s eye view of Galway city at this time and presents insights into the cultural, sociopolitical and religious outlook of the local ruling elite—the so-called “tribes” of Galway. Walsh will also present in the Hedge School on Saturday, August 17 about happenings in Galway during the middle of the seventeenth century.

Milwaukee Irish Fest takes place August 15-18 along the shores of Lake Michigan at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

To purchase tickets in advance, please visit irishfest.com. Your admission to the festival includes all of the musical acts, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, and entertainment, and more.

IrishCentral will also be live streaming from the festival over the coming days. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook to be notified when we go live.