It is that time of the year in Syracuse when we all join together and ruminate on what it means to be a part of a growing, living collective of individuals cohabitating the same area, solemnly reflecting on shared cultures and ancestry…just kidding, it’s Irish Fest! Taking place in Clinton Square for two days, Irish Fest is pretty much what you think it will be and that is lots of Irish music, beer, potatoes and an ungodly amount of green (I find wearing green to the Irish Fest akin to wearing a Metallica concert to a Metallica show – we already know you are a fan by showing up and you can do better).
There is a huge stage with events going on all throughout the festival, which runs from Sept. 7-8. I did not recognize any of the bands except from when I went last year but they were enjoyable to hear anyway. Plus, you get to see some different instruments that you wouldn’t normally see, like a drum held like a keytar and played with a stick or something that looks like a stick. They also have Irish dance troupes to keep you entertained when really it just inspired me to watch my old VHS copy of “Riverdance” again.
Oh, and there’s a lot of beer and food, too. Some of the local Irish joints like Kitty Hoynes and Megan McMurphy’s have tents where you can buy things like Guinness Stew ($5), all manners of potatoes and even hamburgers and hot dogs, too. There are dedicated beer tents, with the usual suspects for an Irish based festival on hand (Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks) all for five dollars as well. I believe you may need to purchase a bracelet to buy beer but I was able to go up and purchase one without – I asked the people selling bracelets what they were for and they said for the beer I was holding, so it may be easy to avoid purchasing one.
If you want to get out there for one last burst of summer, the Irish Fest is a great place to meet some friends and have fun downtown. Or if you just want to do some people watching, Harp drinking and enjoy all things green: Irish Festival is here for you. And, as the tattoo I have on my lower back states, free = me so there are a lot of worse things you could do with your day. So head downtown and get ready to yell Erin go bragh at the Irish Festival till your lungs hurt.
Irish Fest lasts through the evening on September 8th. It takes place in Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse.