Fest celebrates Irish heritage with live music, dancing, whiskey and more
A celebration of Irish heritage and culture, the Motor City Irish Fest marks 10 years of toe-tapping, family-friendly fun this weekend in Livonia.
"It's grown from a little parking lot festival to almost 5,000 people last year," said event co-chair Kevin Murphy, who has been part of the team behind the Motor City Irish Festival since its inception. He says most of the attendees are from Metro Detroit, but people often come from out-of-state.
The three-day event takes over Greenmead Historical Park with two stages of live entertainment showcasing traditional Irish music and dance.
Some of the headlining acts are actually from Ireland, including the Screaming Orphans, a pop and Celtic rock band made up of sisters from Donegal, Ireland and the Druids, an Irish band from Kildare. Murphy says there are also seven schools of Irish dance on the schedule.
For little ones there are bounce houses, a magician and arts and crafts, plus a chance to get a lesson in playing the tin whistle and an instrument to take home.
For food and drink, local Irish restaurants will serve the fish and chips and corned beef sandwiches that one would expect at an event like this. There will also be pizza, burgers and French fries. Whiskey expert Gary McGinn will be on hand to talk folks through the differences and nuances of five Irish whiskeys.
“The whole idea of the festival is to showcase our Irish heritage, we have Irish football matches, we have Irish dancers … Irish music, Irish whiskies,” said Murphy, who is also the owner of Murphy’s Restaurant, a coney island in Redford. “We believe we have a great culture and we like to showcase it."
Motor City Irish Fest
Greenmead Historical Park
20501 Newburgh, Livonia
5-11 p.m. Fri., noon-11 p.m. Sat. and noon-8 p.m. Sun.
Mass service at noon Sunday
Admission at the gate is $12 per day, $7 for teens and free for ages 12 and younger. Whiskey Tasting tickets are $35.
Full entertainment schedule and details on advance tickets can be found at motorcityirishfest.com.