I’m Irish. Which explains why I’m so bloody pale and covered in freckles and my naturally blonde hair has a reddish tint to it and I burn easily in the sun. I show more of my Irish heritage than any of my family members who also have the same heritage.
The closest things to Ireland I got to see on screen was the Cliffs of Insanity, or technically the Cliffs of Moher, in The Princess Bride. Then Tom Branson on Downton Abbey. And then the whole entirety of Brave. So not a ton of exposure.
Which is why I all but freaked out earlier this summer when I discovered this magical place called the Michigan Irish Music Festival. This year is the eighteenth year that they’ve been doing it, and you can count on me being there. That’s for sure.
This year’s festival runs from September 14 - 17, and its in Muskegon, Michigan. And I’m so freaking excited. Eee!
The entertainers this year are We Banjo 3, Lunasa, Cara Dillon, The Elders, Old Blind Dogs, Goitse, Ten Strings and a Goatskin, Danny Burns, Dave Curley, The Moxie Strings, Seamus Kennedy, Blackthorn, Kennedy’s Kitchen, Tallymoore, Stone Clover, The Conklin Ceili Band, Brother Crowe, Crossbow, Blarney Castle, Max and Ruth Bloomquist, Peat in the Creel, and Uneven Ground.
While actually at the festival, there’s Bob and Bernie’s pub, which’ll be showing the Notre Dame - Boston College football game, Duff’s Tavern, which’ll have a display honoring any and all first responder units, and Whiskey Snug, which has Irish whiskeys.
There’s Catholic Mass on Sunday, followed by an Irish breakfast. Celtic Canines, also on Sunday, showing the dog breed of the same name, from the Emerald Isle. The Celtic Kitchen, where vendors are going to be serving Irish food, as well as some traditional fair food.
The cultural and dance include listening to musicians, writers, storytellers, historians, and dancers. There’s exhibits and presentations about Ireland itself, as well as being able to learn Gaelic, play the bodhran (Irish drum), learn the ceili dance. The Parade of Dance Champions is on Saturday night, Open Mic on Friday, and Bawdy Songs on Saturday.
The Highland Games, which include both male and female competitors, will compete in stone throw, hammer toss, sheaf, and caber toss. It’s on Saturday.
There’s an adults-only Limerick contest. Very specific to the adults-only part. The Wee One’s is for the children, with crafts, coloring contests, inflatable play area, anIrish themed treasure hunt, and taking a ride on Sandy, the famous Meijer pony.
There are two shops, the Irish Market and the Irish Store. You can buy a wide variety, including clothes, pottery, Irish woolens, cologne, photography, kilts, caps, Guinness, soccer gear, scones, Welsh cookies, CD’s, DVD’s, Irish Coats of Arms with Histories, first name meanings, Irish blessings, and probably a whole lot more.
There are a ton of sponsors for this years festival.
Obviously I can only say so much in this article, so go the website, like now. I’ve got the website saved on my phone. It’s
SO GO CHECK IT OUT. The site is awesome, and the festival’s going to be awesomer.
The Michigan Irish Musical Festival is the “Best damn fest in the whole midwest”.
And I highly suspect it is. So yeah, you’ll see me there.