23rd Annual Indy Irish Fest


This week, Indianapolis is getting treated with not one, but two music festivals. Talk about lucky. For those who aren’t aware, the 10-day Indy Jazz Fest starts tomorrow, and will run until September 22nd. But starting just one day later, the Indy Irish Fest is taking place just for this weekend.

If you play your cards and your calendar right, you should be able to make it to both festivals. But that also sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I’m also not sure how much of an overlap there is between Jazz and Celtic fans. Regardless, we’ll be laying out a few of the events to look out for at the Indy Irish Fest, and leave it at that.

Irish Market

One of the great things about the Indy Irish Fest, is that there’s always plenty to do, see, and experience, and the Irish Market is the place to do it. If you’re into Celtic fashion, designs, jewelry, or really anything else that qualifies as “Irish”, you’ll find something to love. You can pick up your very own kilt from the Highland Kilt Company, or pick up a traditional Celtic instrument as a gift from Celtic Corner.

The Kilted Mile

On Sunday, don your favorite kilt and join other fellow runners in a mile long run. You’ll feel the wind rushing between your legs as you’re cheered on by bagpipes and non-kilted fans. Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers. According to the event page, additional silly awards include “Bonniest Knees”, “Best Step Dance in a Kilt”, “Best Irish Singer” and “Best Dressed Kilt”.

The Kilted Mile starts at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 16th. Registration is currently open, and costs $10 to participate.

Border Collie Herding Demonstrations

This one is kind of out there, but it seems like a one-of-a-kind experience that would be fun for the whole family. The Indy Irish Fest will be putting on Border Collie herding demonstrations each day of the festival. Jimbob McEwen of McEwen Border Collies will show attendees how sheep are herded. In between demonstrations, guests are encouraged to go up and meet the dogs and sheep.

You can find all of the demonstration times here.


There are a surprising number of bands performing at this year’s Indy Irish Fest. Some of these include the Colin Farrell Band, Stone Clover, The Drowsy Lads, Pigeon Kings, and The Indianapolis Ceili Band, along with many more. Bands will perform on three stages, the County Dublin Stage (North), County Cork Stage (South), and County Galway Stage (West).

Along with some great Irish bands, festival attendees will also be treated to traditional Irish dance demonstrations. The Richens Timm Academy of Irish Dance performs once a day throughout the festival, and could be your best chance to see traditional Irish dancing live.

For a full list of the 2018 performers, you can click here.


The Indy Irish Fest takes place at the Historic Military Park at White River State Park downtown. Tickets at the gate are $15/day, or $10 in advance. On Sunday, you can get free admission between 10:30 and 11:00 am by donating 5 non-perishable food items that benefit St. Vincent dePaul Food Bank.

For more information on Indy Irish Fest, you can visit their website.


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