2009 Milwaukee Irish Fest
Among the new highlights at the 2009 Milwaukee Irish Fest was the Festival Experience Program. This opportunity brought four participants from Ireland to Irish Fest to learn festival planning firsthand.
The O’Donoghue’s held their clan reunion.
Cultural exhibits included a display on the 125th Anniversary of the Gaelic Athletic Association, a display on Our Lady of Knock shrine, and the Volta Theatre had a film festival on John Ford. A recreation of The Tribe of the Blue Rose is presented about early British Celts. The Ward Irish Music Archives presented “Come Back to Erin: Irish Travel Posters of the Twentieth Century”
The County Down, Northern Ireland Sampler included plays by the Bangor Drama Club, Lectures from Dr. Tim Campbell of the St. Patrick Centre, Ulster Scots Agency representatives and, music by Tommy Sands and the band Risin' Stour.
The Celtic Roots Stage theme was Nova Scotia & Friends. Featured entertainers included Sons of Maxwell, Evans and Doherty, Pogey, Troy MacGillivray and Friends, Vishten, The Irish Descendants, Samantha Robichaud, and a group of great Cape Breton musicians including Colin Grant, Jason MacDonald & Adam Young. A special show called DRUM! Presents the Rhythms of Our Nation was also featured.
Entertainers for 2009 included Cara, Slide, Salsa Celtica, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Kilfenora Ceili Band, Gaelic Storm, Dargle, Screaming Orphans, Captain Mackey’s Goatskin and Stringband, and Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy – Masters of the Fiddle. Dance groups included McMenamin Irish Dance Academy, Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance, Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, Glencastle Irish Dancers, Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance, Rince Nia Academy of Irish Dance, Gillan School of Highland Dance, and the Caledonian Scottish Dancers.