The 39th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest, the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the United States, took place recently on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.
The four-day festival, which has an audience of more than 130,000 visitors, was an opportunity for Tourism Ireland to showcase the island of Ireland as a holiday destination.
This year’s festival was also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on Galway 2020 as part of Tourism Ireland’s programme of promotions to highlight Ireland to its ‘culturally curious’ audience in the United States.
TradFest artists performed at the festival, encouraging those who saw them perform to visit Dublin’s TradFest for themselves.
Recent CSO figures show that for the period January – June 2019, there has been a 9.1% increase in visitors from North America. Tourism Ireland is aiming to continue to grow those numbers for the rest of the year and into 2020.
Ciarán Cannon, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, attended the festival, where he met with the Tourism Ireland team and the delegation of tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland who attended this year’s festival.
“We’re delighted to announce Galway 2020 in Milwaukee and to highlight the city as European Capital of Culture next year,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America.