Stay for the afterparty
Revelry doesn’t end when Irish Fest ends. Make the short walk to County Clare afterward, the go-to post-fest hangout. With just a little luck, you may find an impromptu jam session by Irish Fest musicians staying at downtown hotels. Stories of the late-night music sessions that go down in the lobby and on the roof of the Park East Hotel are the stuff of legend.
"I had the pleasure of watching Tommy Makem and some of the Clancy Brothers play together one night at the Park East," says Jamie O’Donoghue, a bar owner whose family has been a part of Irish Fest since its inception. "It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen."
Explore Irish beer... beyond your standard pint of Guinness
Not a drop of the iconic Irish stout is poured on the Irish Fest grounds, but plenty of other great stout options are: snag a Sprecher Irish stout, Lakefront Snake Chaser stout, or a Water Street Irish Whiskey stout instead. There are well over 25 beers and ciders (sorry, no Magners, either) to choose from, so you won’t go thirsty.
Experience award-winning Irish dancers
The Trinity Academy of Irish Dance wins Irish dancing world championships -- no kidding, dozens of them. The amazing group draws big crowds at Irish Fest, and their positively electric shows are a must-see. But don’t miss out on other groups that make Milwaukee an unlikely Irish dancing powerhouse. Dancers from the likes of Cashel Dennehy, Glencastle, Kinsella, McMenamin, and Beglan deserve support too. You won’t be disappointed.