Enjoy the finest in local and international Irish and American music, dance and family activities at the 30th annual Irish American Heritage Festival on July 10-12.
This annual event features more than 100 performers for three days on 5 stages, as well as other activities, such as visits from Irish Wolfhound dogs, Men in Kilts Contest, Craft Beer Tent, Irish Soda Bread Contest, the Freckle Contest, the Mashed Potato Eating Contest, the ShamRock Stars singing contest, bingo, and the Hooley Hook-Up for singles.
Cultural offerings include language lessons, lectures, and art and museum exhibits. The Tea Room returns as a respite for folks looking to cool off with live harp and piano music, a proper cup of tea and sandwiches, and an air-conditioned Shamrock American Room.
The Wine Tent is back for 2015, with a selection of fine wines, sponsored by Concannon Vineyards. Featured wines, at $8 per glass, are Founders Cabernet, Founders Petit Sirah, Founders Chardonnay, SV Pinot Noir, SV Sauvignon Blanc and SV Pinot Grigio. The Concannon Vineyard Wine Tent hours are: Friday, July 10, from 6pm to 10:30pm; Saturday, July 11, from noon to 10:30pm; and Sunday, July 12, from noon to 9:30pm.
The Craft Beer Tent was a huge success in 2013 and 2014. For 2015, there will be expanded hours and selections. Craft beer lovers can enjoy a variety of beers from local and US craft brewers. Featured beers are Sam Adams Curious Traveler, Sam Adams Rebel, Revolution Rosa, Revolution Bottom Up Wit, New Belgium Fat Tire, Betburger, Leinenkugel Canoe Paddler, and Blue Moon seasonal. Hours are Friday, July 10, from 6pm-10:30pm; Saturday, July 11, from noon to 10:30pm; and Sunday, July 12, from noon to 9pm.
On Sunday, July 12, the celebration continues. Join the fun outside near the Main Stage for Mass and BreakFEST. Mass is celebrated at 10:30am by Bishop Francis Kane. After Mass, enjoy BreakFEST, served buffet style, which features a full Irish breakfast and other brunch offerings. In the case of inclement weather, breakfast will be served in the Center’s Erin Room. The buffet features Harrington’s Corned Beef Brisket, scrambled eggs, Harrington’s and Winston’s sausage, Irish bacon, black and white pudding, baked beans, roasted tomato slices, breads, and pastries. Tickets for BreakFEST are $15 for adults, and children 12 and under are $9. Only 200 tickets to the BreakFEST will be sold. An Irish Fest admission ticket is necessary to join the fun. To make reservations, click here or call 773-282-7035, ext. 10.
Attendees to the Festival are encouraged to take public transportation on CTA trains and buses, or Metra trains. You can also ride the free shuttle bus each day from the fest to their remote parking lots. Pick up locations are The Pumping Station main lot at 4850 West Wilson Avenue and the IAHC. Want to be close to the action? There are limited paid spots in the North Parking Lot for patrons. Spots are first come, first served, and cost $10 per day. Spots are cash only and can be purchased only at the gate during Fest hours.
Fest hours are: 6pm to 1am on July 10; 11am to 1am on July 11; and 11am to 11pm on July 12.
Ticket prices: Friday and Sunday, $15, and Saturday $20. Children under 12 are $5, and children under 4 are free.