Welcome to Irish Fest!

Iowa Irish Fest is dedicated to celebrating Irish culture in Iowa, takes place in the Lincoln Park area of downtown Waterloo, and is held annually during the first full weekend of August.


Decision to Cancel Comes After Governor Reynolds Extends Emergency Declaration

Calling for Continued Social Distancing


WATERLOO, Iowa — Iowa Irish Fest organizers announced today that they will cancel the 2020 Iowa Irish Fest scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 in downtown Waterloo.


“Yesterday, Gov. Reynolds extended the emergency declaration through July 25, which calls for social distancing,” said Chad Shipman, Iowa Irish Fest director. “This declaration end-date may possibly be extended again — and is too close to our fest start date to allow our committee and our wonderful fans and artists from around the world to properly plan for the festival. Travel restrictions also are still in effect for international travel, and many of our artists come to us from Ireland, Scotland and other restricted countries. Unfortunately, government action related to COVID-19 has forced us to cancel our festival.”


Tickets have solely been sold online this year through the Iowa Irish Fest website. Iowa Irish Fest will be emailing all ticketholders next week with ticket refund information.


The annual Iowa Irish Fest is organized by the Cedar Valley Irish Cultural Association, an organization intended to foster and develop Irish fellowship and outreach into the community with Irish cultural events and programs.


“Our fans, partners, vendors, entertainers and volunteers have provided committee members with amazing support as we have had to weigh this go or no-go decision to hold our festival,” said Shipman. “Until yesterday, we were most hopeful we would be able to hold this wonderful community event. The good news during these bad economic times for so many is that our Iowa Irish Fest committee has been fiscally responsible and our fest is financially stable. Thanks to this great financial position, our partners, 80 committee members and hundreds of volunteers, we are ready, steadfast and excited to plan this festival for many years to come. We look forward to our next Iowa Irish Fest, Aug. 6-8, 2021.”

World Class Family Fun

Music, Dance, and Good Times for all. The 2019 Iowa Irish Fest offers 55 performances from 22 different groups.  This incredible variety of world-class entertainment, each offering multiple performances, can only be found in downtown Waterloo during the first weekend in August!  When these individuals and groups are not on stage, they are often found among the crowd, interacting with fest-goers, leading educational sessions, and enjoying the talent of their fellow artists.

Please Note If you plan on setting up lawn chairs at the fest, we ask that you do not leave them over night. Unattended Chairs will be collected and placed at the lost and found each night at fest close.

Fun for All Ages

The Iowa Irish Fest offers not only fabulous music performances, but a variety of other events designed to immerse fest-goers in Irish culture and history.  Interactive activities include dancing, language instruction, playing Irish instruments, and leaning about the rich history of the Irish.  All activities are family-friendly!

Postponed Until 2021 We’ll See You Next Year

Iowa Irish Fest

Iowa’s Biggest Irish Celebration

Downtown Waterloo

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