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"Celebrating Irish America" was the theme of the 1996 Milwaukee Irish Fest. The Lord Mayor of Galway visited the festival, arranged through the Spirit of Galway group.
Cultural Village exhibits included a coffin ship and Irish contributions to American baseball, films, music, cartoons. The Genealogy Tent hosted authors Dwight Radford and Kyle Betit to help with ancestral questions.
Entertainers included Danny Doyle, Green Fields of America, Schooner Fare, Tommy Makem, Hal Roach, The Irish Rovers, Solas, Reeltime, More Power to Your Elbow, Wolfstone, Brother, Sharon Shannon, The Black Brothers. Dancers included the Trinity Irish Dancers, Caledonian Scottish Dancers, Milwaukee School of Highland Dance, and Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers.
A special show was the U.S. debut of Charlie Lennon’s “Island Wedding” a concert suite written by Ireland’s most celebrated composer. The suite was performed by the Concord Chamber Orchestra of Wauwatosa and joined by traditional musicians Liz Carroll, Brett Lipshutz, Dave Delgado, John Nicholson, and Aine Meenaghan.
Other highlights included the Celtic Canines, Tug-of-War, Curragh Races, Freckle Contest, Baking Contest, Rugby, Cricket Demonstrations and Paddy Bingo.
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