IrishCentral visited the Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals conference, where organizers and planners behind some of the world’s largest (and smallest) Irish and Celtic cultural events gather to collaborate.

From Thursday, October 4 until Saturday, October 6, over 140 conference attendees landed at the Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals conference, this year hosted by Milwaukee Irish Fest. 

The annual event is organized by the Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals, creating a jam-packed weekend conference where the global Irish community can discuss the best ways to preserve and promote the great work of Irish and Celtic festivals the world over. 

We're hosting this year's AICF Conference! Can't wait to connect with other Irish/Celtic festivals! Thx @IrishCentral for the write-up!

— Milwaukee Irish Fest (@MKEIrishFest) October 4, 2018

IrishCentral attended the 2018 conference, joining Irish Minister of the Diaspora Ciaran Cannon on the list of speakers looking to spark the next wave of improvement among Irish festivals and help organizers to grow and develop. 

Read an interview with this year's organizers here. 

Here's a look back at some of the highlights from the weekend: 

Irish Minister for the Diaspora Ciaran Cannon opens the conference:

The Association of Irish & Celtic Festivals Conference begins with opening remarks with Minister @ciarancannon here in #Milwaukee

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) October 5, 2018

During his speech, Minister Cannon stated that "there are deep roots, richness, complexity, and importance when thinking about diaspora" and that they are  connected to the “power and excellence of Irish communities worldwide.”

Breaking from the Irish tradition, Hawaiin shirts were the theme of the night: 

A packed room of #Irish #festival organizers from across North America gathered at the AICF In Milwaukee.

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) October 5, 2018

The power of community with festival organizers gathered at Association of #Irish & #Celtic #Festivals Conference.

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) October 5, 2018

Plenty of festivals had their work on display:

Lots of fab swag swap of goodies from Irish festivals around North America!

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) October 5, 2018

You can find more information about the conference here.

More information on the Milwaukee Irish Fest can be found at

What Irish and Celtic events take place in your area? Let us know about them in the comments section, below.