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Guide to the Irish Fair

Guide to the Irish Fair

Did you know the largest free Irish fair in the nation is held in Saint Paul?

With Saint Paul’s deep Irish history and traditions, it only makes sense that the largest free Irish fair in the nation is held right here on Harriet Island. Here’s what you need to know about the three-day celebration of all things from the Emerald Isle, August 10-12 in the Capital City.

Who

Just because you’re not Irish doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun. The Irish Fair welcomes 100,000 people each year of all ages and heritages. Your four-legged friends are invited, too!

What

The 39th annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. This family-friendly event is jam-packed with dozens of dance performances, live music, the popular Zero K race (which is exactly what it sounds like—three meters of heart-pumping exercise) Gaelic sports, a Celtic marketplace, cultural area and, of course, Irish food and drinks. Returning this year is The Celtic Kitchen, with food demonstrations, samples and chef competitions. Musical acts include We Banjo 3, Gaelic Storm, Altan, Doolin', The Screaming Orphans and Wild Colonial Boys—preview the groups with Irish Fair’s Spotify playlist.

When

Thursday, August 9 (Kick-Off Party with Padelford Riverboats—this event is ticketed): 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Friday, August 10: 3-11 p.m.

Saturday, August 11: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sunday, August 12, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

For the full schedule of events, click here.

Where

The Irish Fair sprawls out over Saint Paul’s beautiful Harriet Island Regional Park.

Harriet Island Regional Park

Why

The festival was created to support Minnesota’s Irish community by preserving and celebrating the past, present and future of Irish culture.

How

Though the event is free, you will have to spring for a $2 wristband if you plan to purchase any alcoholic beverages. 

Most of the transportation modes to the event are also free—hop on the shuttle at Union Depot (leaves every half hour) or snag a free ride on the green line or bus courtesy of Metro Transit (download your pass here).

If you prefer to drive, be advised that parking is limited along Plato Boulevard from Wabasha Street West toward the park. Most private businesses near the park will charge a fee to park in their lots.

Prepare for the event by visiting Saint Paul's many Irish pubs and shops, and don't forget to share all of your photos from the fair with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL!

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