Erin go Bragh at the 32nd Irish American Heritage Festival

The Irish American Heritage Festival returns this July for the 32nd year. This is not your average run-o-the-mill weekend summer fest in Chicago. There’s a reason St. Patrick’s Day is one of the, if not THE, most popular holidays in Chicago:

The Irish know how to celebrate.

Shannon Rovers at the Irish American Heritage Festival


There are a few requirements for a good Irish celebration.

  1. There must be music.
  2. There must be dance. (duh)
  3. There must be food, with a scientifically ascertained ratio of soda bread to potatoes.
  4. There must be poetry.
  5. There must be art.
  6. There must be beer (Really? Do we even need to include this one? It’s pretty much the definition of “goes without saying”)
  7. Kilts are good.
  8. Freckles are better.
  9. Family is best.

The Irish American Heritage Festival is an epic celebration that features all of the above with Irish and American food and drink, step dancers, cultural exhibits, children’s activities and dozens of vendors and artisans selling Irish clothing, music and jewelry. 

Irish American Heritage Festival


But wait – there’s more! There’s the YIF Bags tournament and Sunday Mass. There will be visits from the Irish Wolfhound dogs. Delve into your past with genealogy workshops. There are even Irish language lessons and presentations as well as cultural exhibits and programs in the Art Gallery, Library and Museum. 

Irish American Heritage Festival


And the music – the lineup is a veritable who’s who of Irish music and dance, with confirmed performers including Gaelic Storm, We Banjo 3, Scythian, Makem and Spain, Tupelo, Michael McDermott, the Young Folk, Runa, Bua, the Chancey Brothers and Trinity Irish Dancers.

Irish American Heritage Festival


Tickets for all of this are $10 in advance if purchased by the end of the day on July 6 and $15 thereafter. Children 12 and under are free. Proceeds directly benefit the Irish American Heritage Center and tickets are available at


This post was sponsored by the Irish American Heritage Center.






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