Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin’ bliss

A closeup of a drum at the Irish Fair of Minnesota.

photo by movieaboutyou – fotolia

Don your kilts, bust out your bagpipes, and show your shamrock flair for the 39th annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. The festival of Irish heritage appreciation takes over Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12.

A little slice of the Emerald Isle for the weekend, the Irish Fair of Minnesota draws approximately 100,000 shamrock supporters and is full of family-friendly entertainment for lads and lasses of all ages.

The Celtic Kitchen

Let’s be honest, McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes are pretty good, but they’re far from authentic Irish fare. Lucky for us, The Celtic Kitchen brings a taste of the Emerald Isle to us. Join Irish chef Fergal Phelan as he whips up samplings of authentic Irish dishes including meats, seafood, veggies, beverages, and desserts. If you want to treat your taste buds to all the bells and whistles, the ticketed event Taste of Ireland has what they’re craving in the form of Gaelic mussels, spring onion salad with smoked salmon, whiskey bread, and more.

Cultural Area

In addition to food, the Irish Fair of Minnesota serves up plenty of culture. Rest your weary bones and sip on some Irish tea while sampling some scones and pastries in the Tea Room, learn the essentials of Irish history and culture with the aid of exhibits at the Cultural Display, take in the intricacies of Irish jigs and music inside the Workshop Tent, and listen to an oral history of Irish culture and heritage inside the Speakers’ Tent.

Children’s Area

For the wee ones, the Children’s Area is filled with activities to fulfill their fancies, including native Irish dogs, an Irish instrument museum, face painting, storytelling, music and dance lessons, and, of course, Baarry the Sheep, the Irish Fair of Minnesota’s beloved mascot.

Food & Beverage

If the food from the Celtic Kitchen wasn’t enough, or if you missed it, you still have the opportunity to fill up on Irish fare from Twin Cities-based Irish pubs. Local Irish nonprofits will also make an appearance, and will be selling refreshments such as lemonade and smoothies.


Break out that rainy day fund, and get ready to fill your home with traditional Irish wares. More than 60 artisans and traveling vendors will be selling their art, crafts, and more underneath the Marketplace tents.

This is just a sampling of the offerings at the Irish Fair of Minnesota—there’s plenty more to explore at the largest free Irish festival in the nation.