2010 Indy Irish Fest Brings the Brogue to Military Park

Indianapolis has plenty of cultural festivals that celebrate the diversity of its residents. From the Middle Eastern Festival in July to the Indy Greek Festival on Labor Day, there’s always one Indianapolis event or another that allows Circle City residents to experience the best parts of another culture: the food, the music, and the people. But the biggest such cultural festival by far is the annual Indy Irish Fest, now heading into its 15th year. The 2009 Indy Irish Fest was voted “Best Outdoor Festival” by NUVO Newsweekly‘s “Best of Indy” poll for good reason: the three day Indianapolis festival combined music from around the country, traditional Irish sports, and even activities for Indianapolis children to create a gleeful good time for everyone, Irish or no. Luckily for the bonnie lasses of Indy, the Indy Irish Fest is once again comin’ round the brae in Indianapolis. Head on out to Military Park in downtown Indianapolis on September 17 through 19 for the 2010 Indy Irish Fest to get a taste of the Emerald Isle right in your backyard.

Video of Celtic Foot Force performing at the 2009 Indy Irish Fest in Indianapolis; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest takes place September 17-19

One of the best parts of the Indy Irish Fest is the music. There are a number of Indianapolis Irish restaurants, and even these eateries need good entertainers. The Indy Irish Fest brings together twenty one different Irish themed bands from across the United States, bands that would be at home at Muldoon’s, Mickey’s, or Mo’s. There’s no Mother Grove this year, but there are plenty of other Indianapolis bands performing at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest. Separated into four stages–the Claddagh Irish Pub Stage, the WTTS 92.3 FM Stage, the WFMS 95.5 Ceili (a Gaelic social dance) Stage, and the Citizens Energy Group Stage–the 2010 Indy Irish Fest allows you to pick and choose which bands you want to see. The only problem: there’s so many bands playing, you might have trouble tearing yourself away from one stage to get to another.

Video of Skelpin performing at the 2009 Indy Irish Fest in Indianapolis; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest takes place September 17-19

You might think that all the bands at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest will be very similar: after all, how diversified can you get with a completely Gaelic palette? However, the organizers of the 2010 Indy Irish Fest did a good job of ensuring a wide variety of musical acts to keep the three day festival interesting. In addition to traditional performances by the Emerald Society Bag Pipe Band and the Indianapolis Ceili Band, you’ll also get shows that feature fuzzed up progressive Irish band Off Kilter, the “jig punk” of The Prodigals (playing Saturday only), traditional Irish folk songs with a jazzy touch by Alair (who have also played at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Music Mill, and the now defunct Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub), and the fiddle frenzy step dancing of Celtic Spring. Other performers at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest include Emily Ann Thompson, Whigmaleeries, Irish Airs, Mickey Finns, and Hogeye Navvy. All this Indianapolis music plus a cadre of Irish step dancers, from amateurs to World Champions, means the 2010 Indy Irish Fest is a jig of a time for everyone.

NUVO Newsweekly video about the 2007 Indy Irish Fest; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest takes place September 17-19 in Indianapolis


For those who are more interested in the competitive side of life, the 2010 Indy Irish Fest has plenty of sports from across the pond for your athletic pleasure. Indianapolis sports fans who loved the rough and tumble rugby tournament of last year will be disappointed: the ancestor of American football won’t be making an appearance in 2010. Don’t fret, though: there’s still plenty of football to go around. The 2010 Indy Irish Fest will once again feature a soccer tournament for Indianapolis high schools for the fourth year in a row. The games will take place at the Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI) soccer stadium and are incredibly fun to watch. This year’s Irish Fest will also feature another edition of the Kilted Mile, a one mile race along the Indianapolis Central Canal that’s run entirely in kilts. You don’t have to win to have fun: prizes are awarded for “Least Likely to Finish” and “Bonniest Knees.”

Video of Scottish bagpipe players in action at the 2008 Indy Irish Fest; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest takes place September 17-19 in Indianapolis


But music and sports aren’t the only things going on at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest. There are also plenty of opportunities to learn more about Irish culture and witness it in action. The O’Brien Family Cultural Tent takes visitors on a tour of the Emerald Isle’s history, showing how past events have influenced Ireland’s current culture. A unique contest at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest is the Toast Contest, in which participants make their merriest, wittiest toast to a subject of their choosing. Games for Indianapolis children (including the Limerick Lollipop Tree, the Donegal Duck Pond, and Cliffs of Moher Rock Climbing), sheep herding demonstrations, and a traditional Celtic Mass round out the festivities at the 2010 Indy Irish Fest.

Promotional video for the 2007 Indy Irish Fest; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest will take place September 17-19 in Indianapolis


If you’d like to take a trip across the pond, don your brogues and clump over to Military Park for the 2010 Indy Irish Fest, running from September 17 through September 19 in downtown Indianapolis. You can buy tickets in advance at a number of Indianapolis businesses, including Fifth Third Bank, Murphy’s Steak House, McGinley’s Golden Ace Inn, and Marsh supermarkets. For a single day pass, tickets are $8 in advance for everyone, $13 for adults at the gate, $10 for students ages 14-18 at the gate, and kids 13 and under get in for free. The 2010 Indy Irish Fest also has pricing specials at specific dates and times; see the 2010 Indy Irish Fest website for more details. For the best Irish tunes, fun games, intense sports, and delicious food and drink, there’s no better place to be this weekend than Military Park for the 15th annual Indy Irish Fest, one of the most fun Indianapolis things to do this side of the Atlantic!

15th Annual Indy Irish Fest at Military Park – Sept. 2010
Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Military Park
100 N West St
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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