Friday, October 17, 2014


We're on a winning streak here in Cowtown. Don't even get me started on our beloved Royals, American League champs.

No today we're talking about Irish Fest, winners in this year's Visitors Choice Awards as best ethnic/heritage festival!Whoo hoo!

Thank you to all our out-of-town fans for voting for us!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wandering Mind, Mapped

News that one of the doomed ships of the Franklin expedition has been found in Canadian waters brought to my mind a lovely song about that ill-fated voyage, called Lord Franklin. Thinking of that song made me recall what is for me at least, the definitive version of it, sung by one of the most haunting and beautiful voices to come out of Ireland, ever, that of the too-soon-departed Micheál O'Domhnaill. And thinking of Micheál made me think, with a little sadness, that some of you might not know of this amazingly talented musician, who was taken from us in 2006. And that thought made me want to correct that. And the desire to share this talent with anyone who might have been denied the pleasure up to now made me want to bring you this film about the life and music of Micheál O'Domhnaill. And that is why I'm not getting much work done.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Our 2014 Irish Raffles winners are, for the 12th year in a row, not me! They are these lucky people:

1st Prize-Trip to Ireland: Hannah Ivanuska of Roeland Park, KS
2nd Prize- Boulevard Tasting Party: Matthew Carmichael of Holt, MO
3rd Prize- Snug memberships for 2015: Jenni Hodge of Overland Park, KS

Congrats to all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Phone Free Info

True story: when we started Irish Fest in 2003, I was forced, kicking and screaming, to get my first cell phone to communicate with my fellow board members during the event. I hated it. So I sympathize with those of you who have been less than thrilled about our decision to go paperless this year and abandon the printed program for a (really cool) smart phone app.

For those of you who don't have a phone or don't have a phone that will run the app or who just would rather have a piece of paper in your hand, we have you covered. Over on our website you'll find both a printable schedule and a printable map of the grounds making it easy for you to not wander around in circles shouting "WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYTHING AND WHAT TIME DOES MY FAVORITE BAND PLAY???" which between you and me, makes you look a little like a crazy person.

Now tech nerds and Luddites are united at last in peace and harmony. And sure isn't that what Irish Fest is all about?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How To Get The Wheres And Whens

Several years ago, Irish Fest went green when we started a festival-wide recycling program. It's been a huge success with your help and continues to grow. Wait until you see our new recycling centers, sponsored by KCP&L, at this year's fest.

Of course, being Irish, we can never be green enough, so this year we're taking a huge step further, and again, we need your help. Beginning this year, rather than recycling paper after the fact, we're not going to use the paper in the first place. When you arrive at the fest next weekend, you'll notice a huge change: we will not have printed programs. Rather, today* we launched our brand new, state-of-the-art smart phone app. I have it and it is very cool.

Complete schedules on there? Sure. But sooo much more. You can build your own itinerary, get alerts to what's happening when, find out where your favorite food and drink is, easily share photos with your friends across social media, follow an easy to read map around the grounds, find band bios, get the lowdown on things to keep the kids busy, and lots, lots more.

We know not everybody has a smart phone and not everybody will be taking advantage of this great tool. I'm looking at you, Mom. But fear not. Maps will be positioned around the grounds and each stage will, as always have their schedules posted. And of course, we will have an army of friendly volunteers who will be happy to help you with anything you need.

We care about our planet at Irish Fest. After all, most of our staff are natives of Earth. And if we can keep it a little greener, it seems like the least can do.

Search you app store for KC Irish Fest and get our free app. Then start planning your weekend. We open in 8 days!

*available for iPhone now, Android phones early next week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hotels Sold Out! Boo! New Hotel Offers Deal! Yay!

Our two anchor hotels (I wonder why we call them that?) The Westin and The Sheraton at Crown Center are 100% sold out for Irish Fest weekend, proving that old adage "if you snooze you lose." Or in the past tense, "if you snost, you lost."

However, all is not snost...uh, lost. Enter the Mariott, literally and figuratively. The Mariott Downtown, a lovely hotel just 1.7 miles from the front gate of Irish Fest, is offering a special Fest rate of  $126, and like the rooms at the Westin and Sheraton that you waited too late to get, includes two Irish Fest tickets. Ask for the Irish Fest rate when you call. And call you should, because what have we learned, Paddy Procrastinator? Hotels. Sell. Out. And you are not staying at my house.

Mariott Downtown, 200 W 12th St Kansas City, MO 64105. (816) 421-6800

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grants Open

Here's a joke I made up: What would you call it if Irish Fest gave a cash award for the study of redheads in Irish history? A Ginger Grant! Get it? Ginger Grant? The movie star from Gilligan's Island? Ha ha! I kill me.

Well, our grant advisory board may not go for that particular concept, but as of right this minute we are accepting applications for 2014 Kansas City Irish Fest Grants. Money may be awarded to both qualified individuals and 501c3 organizations. You can get all the details on eligibility on the Grants page of our website. Applications will be accepted until September 30th and successful grant recipients will be notified in early December.

Sadly for me, Irish Fest staff and directors aren't eligible so I'll have to find alternate funding for my research project "Kansas City's Irish Pubs: Which Pours the Best Pint of Stout and Which Will Give Dan Regan The Most Free Research Samples?" Maybe Kickstarter! That potato salad fella got 55 grand! Who's in??

Live your Irish dream...and let us help pay for it. Apply today!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Something Funny Going On

There are a lot of Irish festivals in the world. Ours, of course is the best one. And there are a lot of reasons for that. A lot of things that set us apart from the green-clad crowd. For instance, it's a well-known fact that we have the best looking volunteers in the business*. For another thing, nobody has a better hotels-to-fest distance, and thousands of free covered parking places. Shuttle bus? Please. Our board of directors bathe pretty regularly, which isn't always the case (I'm looking at you, Milwaukee).

Another thing? Maybe the best thing? We have the only dedicated Comedy Stage in the Irish Fest business. Each year we bring you the top stand up comedians working in Ireland today. And this year, I think our comedy committee has outdone themselves. Appearing this year:

Joe Rooney. Well known as Father Damo, from "Father Ted", the funniest show in the history of television, "Joe has been making people laugh for the last fifteen years from places as far flung as Atlanta to Edinburgh, from Oman to Oslo and from Dubai to Dublin and everywhere in between except for Longford.

With observations about everything from fatherhood to one armed chemistry teachers his infectious enthusiasm leaves audiences of all ages and nationalities in paroxysms of laughter. Throw in a few hilarious musical interludes and you have a recipe for comedy genius."

Jennifer Hartnett. "Jennifer is an Irish comic based in Los Angeles. She can be found using her Irish Intelligence to complain about women's issues, ridiculous social traditions and the joys of customer service at California hot spots; Comedy Store, Flappers Comedy, Jon Lovitz club... Jennifer has two commercials running for HOOTERS and HOLLYWOOD JEANS where she plays "Annoying Fan" and "Muffin-top Girl". The un-flexible blonde just wrapped pilot "Yoga Bitches" and even though, Jennifer sees herself as a strong black woman she co-hosts weekly talk-show "Blonde Ambition". The proudest and happiest moment in Jennifer's career thus far has been writing and producing hotel-based sitcom "The Grand Disaster". Additionally, Jennifer is willing to gain 50lbs for any role (that's right Gwyneth Paltrow). And, whatever else happens - she'd better ring her Mother daily or there will be holy murder."

Our emcee for the shows is Andrew Stanley, who describes himself as a "stand up jokey talking person." Having performed worldwide at the Montreal, Australian and Edinburgh Comedy Festivals and becoming a regular fixture on the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Calendar, Andrew Stanley is one of the top comics working the Worldwide Comedy Circuit today. Whether it's performing as Resident MC in numerous clubs around Ireland, one of which is the legendary Comedy Cellar in Dublin, or as a quality act in his own right Andrew is always high energy and quick witted enough to keep audiences thoroughly entertained.

So here are the details: Two Shows: Saturday, August 30th - 8pm and Sunday, August 31st - also at 8pm. Location: Off Center Theatre, 3rd Floor, indoors at Crown Center. 18 and over only admitted. Tickets are just $5. Get them here, now because the comedy shows always sell out.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ta Da!

For more than a decade, we've proudly poured Boulevard Dry Stout at Irish Fest, but since it is no longer available, we now have the opportunity to add Guinness to the menu, along with Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Pale Ale and Miller Lite. Welcome to the family, Arthur.
In addition to all those fine beers, the fest will proudly serve Magners Original Irish Cider, red and white wine, Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson products. We also offer exclusive whiskey tastings led by a Jameson Ambassador and Boulevard Beer tastings led by Boulevard brewers throughout the three-day event. Ticket prices and instructions on how to reserve a seat to the tastings can be found here.

All this talk about these fine beverages is making us thirsty! We're going to happy hour. You should, too, and post your photo drinking a Guinness, Boulevard, Miller, Jameson, Magners or Baileys to Facebook (tag us!), Twitter (#KCIrishFest) or Instagram (#KCIrishFest). In celebration of this announcement, we'll pick 5 happy hour photos every Friday until the Fest to receive two KCIF tickets! Woohoo!

See you in 28 days!
Kansas City Irish Fest 

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Amárach. The Irish word for Tomorrow.

There's a something big brewing here at Irish Fest HQ. Really big. And we're going to tell you about it.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Message From The Elders

Hey Celtic music lovers, here's a great way to help people in need - and at the same time add some great music to your collection! 

PovertyCure charity has curated a special collection of Celtic artists, featuring music from Girsa, The Irish Rovers, Young Dubliners, Fiddler's Green, LEAH, Pipes and Pints, and The Elders.
Here's the deal: Pay $1 or more for 7 albums/collections with some great bonuses!
Your contribution will be donated to PovertyCure charity

This campaign is available for 2 weeks only, so don't wait!
The more money raised, the more bonuses available!

Here is the link to purchase your Celtic music collection.

Thanks for participating!
Gratefully yours, The Elders