The West Suburban Irish announced the inaugural Irish Fest will take place on August 6-7 at Frontier Park.
There will be Irish bands, bagpipers, Irish dancers, and Irish Wolfhounds. The group is also working with the Naperville Park District on an Irish cultural session at the 95th Street Library, which borders Frontier Park.
“There’s about 300,000 people of Irish descent between DuPage, Will, and Kane counties,” said West Suburban Irish Vice President Terry O’Dowd. “And a lot of the Irish festivals are in Chicago or the south side of Chicago. So we thought being in the western suburbs, it would be appropriate to have our own Irish Fest.”
The event was supposed to take place last year, but was canceled due to COVID-19, along with both the 2020 and 2021 St. Patrick’s Day parades.
“[We’re most excited] just to see people out and enjoying themselves,” said O’Dowd. “It’s been a rough year for everybody and the chance to get out and enjoy some music and have a few drinks and some food and enjoy just being out with people. That’s what I’m really looking forward to seeing.”
O’Dowd said with more than three months until Irish Fest, there isn’t any information at this time on COVID-19 safety precautions that will be in place for the event, but that West Suburban Irish is committed to following all guidance from local health officials to keep the event safe.
All Are Welcome
While most aspects of the event will be a celebration of Irish culture, there will be some entertainment and other elements that aren’t strictly Irish-related. You don’t have to be Irish to attend.
“We invite all people of any descent to join in the activities,” said O’Dowd. “Everyone is welcome. It will be an Irish theme for sure, but I would say anyone who wants to come out and enjoy some music, please come out.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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