Irish craft & history
Fáilte don Sráidbhaile Cultúrtha nua!
You can immerse yourself in Irish culture as you wander down our Cultural Street. Watch blacksmiths, weavers, spinners and artists at work. Learn a few words as Gaeilge and stop by our genealogy tent to learn more about your Irish Ancestry. New to the Cultural Street this year try your hand at axe throwing at the Hurling Hatchets booth and on Saturday and Sunday stop by the Pop-up Irish Consulate with any questions you may have about Ireland, Citizenship and Passports, heritage, travel, study abroad etc. Top off your visit with a stop at Dillon’s Pub for a rest all while surrounded by the Irish music we love. Also don’t miss the friendly Irish wolfhounds, the many free music, language and dance workshops and even a sheep herding demonstration located throughout the grounds on your visit.
Joining us for the third year are Lucky Clover Forge and Double Anvil Forge showing off their impressive blacksmithing skills and even giving you the opportunity to get your hands dirty with some hands on training. The two forges will also be participating in a forging competition again this year so keep an eye out for the time as you won’t want to miss it!
Go back to school and learn about your own Irish history with our geneology expert or even pick up a cúpla focal as Gaeilge or couple of words in the Irish language with Rang Gaeilge San Cedar Valley and Gaeltacht Contae Linn.
Dance Studio & Library
Explore the Irish arts of dance and the written word in our dance studio and library areas.
Visit the art gallery to view all of Gary Kelly’s art created especially for the Iowa Irish Fest as well as the art from this year’s live artist demonstrations.
Stop by the Celtic Kitchen and learn about traditional Irish cuisine, pick up a recipe or two and even catch a cooking demonstration by one of our favorite local chefs.
Spinners and Weaver’s Guild
Get hands on with the Northeast Iowa Weavers and Spinners Guild. Try your hand on the four harness loom or even help create the giant tapestry designed just for this year’s festival.
Take a break at Dillon’s Pub where we will be showing traditional Irish sports. We would also like to welcome anyone who would like to participate in informal music sessions. Dillon’s Pub will be open to session players all weekend so please feel free to bring your instrument along and join in the fun.
Deb Kathlene Weiser came over from Ireland with her folks when she was in her teens. She developed her skills and love of art from her mother. “Mamaí, how can you paint so well?” “Tis magic darling, that’s all it is.” But she showed her daughter how to use more than just paint; she showed her how to develop her imagination. Deb has left her “art mark” on walls and buildings from the Florida Keys to Toronto and from Iowa to Italy and Holland. She will be doing a variety of “live art” during the Irish Fest. And with a bit of the Irish magic worked into it.
Lori Kidd is an enamelist who enjoys making unusual designs with her small art pieces. Specializing in jewelry, Lori also enamels bowls, spoons, trays and small table art. Lori will be assembling and designing her Celtic works at the Irish Fest.
Mark Weiser, husband of Deb, carves wood & slate (or anything else that holds still long enough) with the ancient Ogham writings. Ogham was developed by the Irish almost two millennia ago. He’ll be creating from 10″ to 7 foot carvings with favorite Irish sayings.
Cindy Moss has a unique approach to her art. No brushes or palette knives. She uses rocks, pebbles, twigs and the like to produce humorous views of her world.
Bill Long has an eye and a talent for the natural beauty of wood. Paints & stains are usually not needed because nature has produce the detailed beauty. Bill makes it shine.
Chris Robbins only just recently got back into art after almost a 20 year hiatus. Bold strokes and color on everything from Irish castles to a reworked Lady Liberty with a tip of the hat to the Irish influence in America.