The Irish are notoriously a kind and fun-loving lot, and that sentiment is felt each and every year at the Peoria Irish Fest.

Many of the residents in Greater Peoria can trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle, but much like St Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish at Irish Fest!

With family as their #1 priority, the Irish have perfected how to celebrate life & enjoy to the fullest!

Top 10 Best Things About Peoria Irish Fest…Where the craic is mighty (pronounced krak, an Irish term that means enjoyable social activity; a good time!)


  1. Happy Hour..5K..get a running start at the fest Friday on a nice flat course following the Illinois River. Race registration includes your Friday entry fee and 2 beverage tickets! If running isn’t your speed, slow it down for the untimed 1 mile walk.  Either way it will warm your soul as a portion of proceeds will benefit the Stacey Tomczyk Fund for Local Programming...her love of the fest lives on!

  2. Shopping at the Grafton Street Vendors area...just like in Dublin, only more compact! Authentic Irish and Celtic souvenirs, woolens, jewelry, and other magical novelties are just waiting to brighten your day. Take home a part of the Emerald Isle without even leaving the States!

  3. The Wee Folk Area for the wee ones in your life...they are people too! Saturday and Sunday bring the kids for face painting, a bounce house, story time, crafts, a scavenger hunt with prizes & the Bradley University Chemistry Club wee folk safe demonstrations! Oh...and it is FREE! Adult supervision is a must 

  4. Irish Dance is rich in history, but don’t move your arms! Come witness the ancient artform performed by talented dancers from all over Central Illinois on their very own Dance Stage near the Snug (that is a wee bar...small & cozy that is..,more on that later! 

  5. A Uniting of the Clans for the love of Irish fare...or food as we call it. Kenny’s WestsideW.E. Sullivan’s are joining forces yet again with delicious offerings from each pub! Corned Beef Quesadillas and Corned Beef & Bacon Mac n Cheese from Kenny’s and from WE Sullivans, Corned Beef Sandwiches and Shepherd’s Pie...the united dish? Corned beef and cabbage! Check out all the delicious fare and sweet treats on the festival grounds!

  6. The ancient Highland Games held on the wide open sports field next to the North Tent are a sight to behold! Saturday witness an exhibition with friendly competition between Scotland and Ireland & later everyone can be a part, signup at the fest! On Sunday things get serious with an actual competition of feats of strength! How far can they throw the stone or the light & heavy weights? What is a caber and why does it look like a light pole...oh...they throw it, along with bales of straw wrapped in burlap...all while wearing a kilt

  7. Live Irish music is everywhere at the fest on several stages...get cozy at the Snug with intimate irish trad sets and workshops, head to a bit bigger venue and catch local, national and international Irish bands at O’Neils or make your way to the big North Stage next to Haney’s Pub...seating is provided under the tents, but you may not need it since you will be up dancing!

  8. Visit the Cultural Village and expand your Irish knowledge and learn of their quest to survive here in the States. Explore the Irish heritage and its impact on Central Illinois...learning is FUN! Find out about the Ancient Order of Hibernians, learn about Irish Wolfhounds, discover Peoria’s irish sister city with the Friends of Clonmel, and celebrate the famous Irish from our fair city. Expand your Irish knowledge as you meander through the Cultural Village

  9. Be on the look out for a new feature for ‘22...Tart on a Cart! At random times throughout the weekend you may see a volunteer Tart riding around selling samples of spirits...try one you like and you can head to Vince’s Whiskey Tavern to try a bit more!

  10. Grab a pint or a whiskey...if you are of a certain age, of course! You have so many options, 5 pubs  with Irish beer styles as well as American offerings and unique personalities. New to ‘22, you can check them all out with a Pub Tour. Get a passport stamped and get a discounted price on the Pub Tour t shirt...just ask the bar captain at each of the volunteer manned pubs.

Get all the information & grab your pre sale discounted ticket for this year’s Peoria Irish Fest here.

Discover all things Irish with family and friends this weekend...Slainte! (that means good health...and Cheers!)