The 18th Annual Indy Irish Festival kicks off September 12th and runs through Sunday, the 15th at Military Park in Downtown Indianapolis. Over 30,000 people are expected to attend and experience the sights and sounds of live Irish music, step dancing, shopping, food, cultural and children’s activities, and sporting events. This year’s festival includes a preview night on Thursday with a discounted gate admission of $5. Several Celtic rock bands including Mother Grove, The Kreellers, and The Fighting Jamesons will provide the evening’s entertainment.
On Friday, the full festival begins featuring live music and step dancing from groups across Ireland, Canada, and the US. There are several returning and new entertainment groups prepared for the four-day festival including The Elders, The Fenians, Hounds of Finn, Tallymoore, Ennis, Evans and Doherty, Tom Sweeney, and The Kells.
Over 25 vendors will be selling Irish wares and demonstrations, exhibits, and Hurling will be featured in the Irish Market. The whole family will enjoy the sheep-herding exhibitions and the Celtic Canine tents where Irish breeds such as Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Irish Wolfhounds, and Kerry Blue Terriers will be stationed. There are also plenty of areas to increase your Irish knowledge. Check out one of the cultural exhibits to learn about the history of Ireland, the Great Famine, origins of popular Irish songs, family genalogy, notable Irish women and local Irish and Scottish organizations.
When you get hungry, hop on over to a booth selling Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and bread pudding. Food for the festival is being provided by Claddagh Irish Pubs, Murphy’s Steakhouse, Sahm’s, Northside K of C and others. Then run off everything you ate in the Kilted Mile Run at 2 pm on Sunday, September 15. Don your kilt and be cheered on by bagpipes and fans! Entry fee is $10 (admission to the festival must be purchased separately) and registration will be from 12:30 p.m.-1: 45 p.m. at the CD/T-Shirt Tent in the enter area of the park. Medals awarded to top finishers. Additional awards include “Bonniest Knees”, “Least Likely to Finish” and Best Dressed Kilt.
Visitors who want to attend a Celtic Mass on Sunday at 10:30 am or arrive that morning before 11:30 am receive free admission if they bring at least three canned goods per person to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. On Sunday, kids can also compete for the reddest hair, greenest eyes and most freckles.
The kids definitely won’t be bored with all the activities to participate in in the Kids Area. There will be a craft tent, storytelling, coloring contest, Irish dance lessons and more. For $5 they can be admitted into a special area with a Blarney castle moonwalk, putt-and-go, Olympic run, and bean-bag toss. The Kids Area is open 5 pm to 9 pm on Friday, 11:30 am to 9 pm on Saturday, and noon to 4 pm on Sunday.
Advanced sale tickets can be purchased at Marsh or online at IndyIrishFest.com for only $10. At the gate, festival goers can save money by arriving between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Friday, September 13.
Indy’s Irish Fest ticket prices are:
- Adults (Advance Sale): $10/day
- Adults (Gate Price): $15/day
- Students (14-18 with Student ID): $10/day
- Children (13 and under): Free
Festival Hours and $5 Early Admission Details
- Thursday, September 12, 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. ($5 Gate Admission; no pre-sale tickets)
- Friday, September, 13, 4:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ($5 Early Bird Admission: 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)
- Saturday, September 14, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Sunday, September, 15, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Early Bird Free Admission: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. with 3 canned goods per person benefiting St. Vincent dePaul food bank)
What to Bring:
- Friends and Family!
Not to Bring:
- Food & Beverages
- Weapons of any sort – legal or otherwise
For more information, visit IndyIrishFest.com or call the Indy’s Irish Fest Information Line at (317) 713-7117.