By: Jerad Karasek
This year marks the 33rd annual Irish American Heritage Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. The festival was held from July 6 through July 8 and featured a kids area, several food stands, six music stages, and a variety of drinks to choose from.
The lively folk music featured dozens of bands, and was headlined by Byrne and Kelly, Gaelic Storm, JigJam, Liz Carroll and Daithi Sproule, and We Banjo 3. There were also dancers and pipe bands.
The cultural aspect of the festival featured an Irish language primer, genealogy workshops, theatre and storytelling, and a beautiful art gallery. There were also several gift shops selling traditional Irish clothing and novelties.
The kids area featured fun activities like a bouncy house, dice rolling games, and tee ball. There was also a stand hosted by the International Heritage Conservancy accepting donations for assisting endangered falcons, hawks, and owls. Another stand was dedicated to a 14 month-old Irish Wolfhound weighing 175 pounds.