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Irishfest returns after taking a year off



It’s time for another of La Crosse’s traditional festivals, with the start of Irishfest on Friday afternoon.    

The local Irish celebration is in its 16th year, skipping 2020 because of the pandemic. 

The three-day event at the southside festgrounds, continuing through Sunday, officially opened this afternoon with a bagpipe, and the U.S. national anthem, along with the Irish national anthem.    

Several Irish performing groups will be featured, along with Irish-related crafts, food, and activities like sheep-shearing.   

Scheduled between similar festivals in Milwaukee and the Twin Cities, La Crosse’s event is able to attract top entertainment. 

Performers for 2021 will include the group Gaelic Storm, the Harp Twins, and fiddle player Eileen Ivers.   

Representing the Irish government at the festival is Kevin Byrne, an Irish consul to the Midwest based in Chicago. Byrne says the La Crosse Irishfest marks his first visit to an Irish heritage event in Wisconsin. 


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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