If you're looking for a cultural event in downtown Indy that offers a myriad of activities in one weekend, Indy Irish Fest is the place you want to be. The festivities kick off this Thursday (Sept. 11) with a Pub Night Preview Concert, and continue until Sunday at Military Park (601 W. New York St.). Highlights include:
- Craft beer tasting
- Sheep herding demonstrations
- A Celtic tattoo competition
- A cultural stage that includes Irish dance and Irish language instruction
- An Irish Market with vendors selling clothing, imported food, jewelry, airbrush tattoos, kilts, Guinness products, pottery, home goods and more
- The Kid Zone, a free area with a moonwalk, bean bag toss, face painting, an art contest, and even a competition to see who has the reddest hair, greenest eyes and most freckles
- Sporting events, including hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, and a foot race known as the Kilted Mile
- A Celtic mass that begins with a nonperishable food drive for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
- Musical performances from Tom Sweeney, The University of Notre Dame Marching Band, Hounds of Finn, Hogeye Navvy, and the Indianapolis Ceili Band (click here for a full list of performers)
- Tom Strattman
Green is not required, but it is encouraged.
Advance sale tickets for the three-day event, now in its 19th year, are $10 for a day pass and can be purchased at Indy-area O'Malia's stores, Marsh Supermarkets, Claddagh Irish Pubs, and The Golden Ace Inn. (See the festival website for pricing information for children, students, and military.) Tickets at the gate are $15 a day for adults.