Milwaukee Irish Fest | August 16-19, 2018

Irish Fest Milwaukee

Milwaukee Irish Fest is North America’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture. The four-day festival takes place on Milwaukee’s Lakefront from August 16th-19th! The event takes place at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee (just an hour drive east of Madison!) 

This event brings a taste of Ireland directly to you, right here in Wisconsin. So if you are like me and LOVE family friendly events, traditions or day trips – this is for YOU! With more than 100 acts on 17 stages, a variety of Irish vendors, cultural exhibitions, sporting events and more, festival goers will be immersed in Irish culture and customs!

Every year Irish Fest welcomes top Celtic bands from Ireland and around the world. In 2018 experience the Nova Scotia the Celtic Heart of North America Showcase, including award-winning cuisine, unique culture and can’t miss musical acts. Plus Irish dancers, live theater, Celtic sports like currach races and Gaelic football, and the largest gathering of Irish vendors in the world! And for us – the best part is that it is very FAMILY FRIENDLY!

Family Friendly

  • Children’s Area: Just for kids, the Children’s area is full of free activities like Highland games (toss a log or a Wellie), Pot ‘O Gold fishing, Lilli-Putt miniature golf, crafts (Legos, decorate a potato, etc.) and more.
  • Family Passport: The family passport is a fun way for families to explore Milwaukee Irish Fest while keeping the whole family entertained. Families collect stamps for their Pirate Paddy Passports at stops throughout the festival grounds, while making crafts and gathering prizes at each stop. Some of the areas families will visit while on their quest are the Cultural Area, Tipperary Stage, Celtic Canines and more. Sponsored by Catholic Financial Life.
  • Parades: Don’t miss seeing Paddy and Molly walk the Festival grounds with their Milwaukee Irish Fest friends! Parades begin at the north end of the grounds, starting Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. From the Celtic Canines to pipe and drum units, a monk, a nun, fairies, pirates, vikings and more, each parade is sure to catch your eyes, ears and imagination! 
  • Children’s tea room: Participate in arts and crafts, enjoy stories and snacks
  • Celtic Canines: Meet the native dog breeds of Ireland
  • Leprechaun Village: A wee village full of fun facts and a chance to search for gold
  • Leprechaun Contest: What does a leprechaun look like? Kids can get creative and win special prizes! The contest starts at the Coloring Tent in the Children’s Area where children 7 and younger can show their creativity as they draw their unique ideas of just what a leprechaun looks like.
  • Pirate Paddy Passports: Kids can collect passport stamps as they go on a festival scavenger hunt complete with prizes and crafts along the way
  • Greenwish Village: Families are invited to make crafts, play games, and participate in fun, environmentally friendly “green” activities. Use your personal power to pedal a bike and make a sailboat race, examine some local bugs from our water, and play recycling ring toss. Games for kids also include Trash Art, Leprechaun Launch and the Recycling Fishing Wall. The whole family can take a fun picture in the photo booth area and learn about how we use and can conserve water in Milwaukee, because Every Drop Counts!
  • Performances: Two stages with family friendly music and entertainment – including two kid-friendly performances from Scythian, an Americana/bluegrass/country/folk/world group!

Additional Info


  • Thursday, August 16th – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, August 17th – 4 p.m. to midnight
  • Saturday, August 18th – Noon to midnight
  • Sunday, August 19th – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


  • Thursday: $5 (Over 12)
  • Half Price Friday: $10 (Over 12)
  • Saturday & Sunday: $20
  • Seniors 60+: $15
  • Kids 12 & Under: FREE
  • Reserve your tickets here


  • Free admission on Thursday with a donation of school supplies
  • Guests can take advantage of Half-Price Friday with tickets for only $10. As an added bonus, guests can avoid the lines and purchase tickets in advance online at
  • On Sunday, enjoy free admission with a donation of a non-perishable food item by 11 a.m. All non-perishable food items will be donated to Hunger Task Force.
  • On Sunday, veterans and military personnel receive free admission, PLUS one guest. Must provide a valid proof of service at any gate ticket window. Active Military and one guest receive free admission every day of the festival
  • On Sunday, college students with a valid student I.D. can enjoy a $3 discount off of General Admission tickets between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Kids under 12 are always FREE!


Use SpotHero to Reserve a Parking Spot – Irish Fest has a deal going with SpotHero. Head to the Irish Fest SpotHero Parking page and book a spot with rate up to 50% off the drive-up charge! 

You can also search for nearby street parking or check out some of the nearby bars and restaurants that will allow parking in their lots and offer a shuttle to the festival grounds!

Getting In

There are wheelchair entrances which are also stroller-friendly and are located at each gate. NOTE: wagons are not allowed in. Food and drinks also cannot be carried in.

Hope to see you there! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! 

Madison Family
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