Organizers for Irish Fest at Saint Patrick’s Church called this weekend’s celebration record shattering.
As the festival came to a close, we asked organizers why this was such a successful and stand out year.
From food sales, show stopping entertainment, and tapping into more kegs of Guinness than ever before, Irish Fest has had one of its best years to date.
As the weekend comes to a close, Erie residents took to Saint Patrick’s Church for their last chance to get a taste of Irish culture. One of the Irish Festival chairs said this year, people showed out in a big way like they’ve never seen before.
“We have met our wildest expectations this weekend. We are selling out of a lot of our irish food that we had,” said Vickie Lampe, co-chair of Irish Fest. “We sold so much beer, we cracked more kegs than we did last year and last year we had a record.”
They sold out of most of their Irish cuisine from shepherds pie, to Irish cream. And the vendors in the Leprechaun Village had a non-stop flow of customers.
But one of the festival’s main draws still had people talking.
The entertainment coordinator for the Irish Fest said that it’s really some of their standout performances that draw the crowds that they get.
Organizers bring in talent directly from Ireland, New York, North Carolina and all around the country.
“I couldn’t get rid of the crowd last night when we shut down the festival. They would not leave because the entertainment was so spectacular,” said Gary Johnson, entertainment chairman.
Johnson and Lampe said the entertainment has been top notch between the celtic dancers and each musical performance making people beg for more.
We spoke to one of the bands who traveled to Erie all the way from North Carolina about why they believe Irish music is so powerful.
“We all came up playing bluegrass music, old time music, country music, scotch Irish music in his case, and all that stuff comes from the Irish fiddling that was brought over by the Irish and the scotch Irish in the 1700s,” said Ben Noblit of Tan and Sober Gentlemen.
Noblit said Irish music helped pave the way for the creation of American music.
“Irish music too is one of the most danceable and community based music out there. It’s a lot of fun. I think we just try to bring the fun and the enthusiasm,” said eli howells of tan and sober gentlemen.
The Irish Festival closed down Sunday at 4 p.m., but rest assured knowing organizers are already scheming up a way for next year’s festival to be even better.