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Let this Unique Irish Cultural Celebration Set the Tone for Your Next Trip to The Land

Also known as the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” Cleveland is not only the location of the first rock concert and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it's also an excellent destination featuring waterfront activities, cultural attractions, and community events. The Lake Erie waterfront is only 30 miles north of downtown, and locations on the coast like Headlands Beach State Park offer travelers clean beaches, hiking and biking trails, lush surroundings, fishing spots, and more. Those looking to stay in the downtown area will find an excellent selection of things to do. People will love visiting the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the West Side Market.


The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival has been Celebrating Cleveland's rich Irish Heritage for the past 36 years, and it will take place July 20-22 at the Berea Fairgrounds. This family-friendly cultural festival aims to preserve, memorialize, and document Irish History and Traditions in the community. This year’s event features a variety of live performances, exhibits, vendors, kids activities, workshops, and more. Live music will take place on eight stages featuring favorite acts such as Gaelic Storm, Scythian, and The New Barleycorn. The event will also have performances by Irish dance troupes and bagpipe bands. Those looking to learn about Irish culture will love the Temple Bar & Museum, which will showcase more than 200 exhibits about Ireland, as well as a pay bar, jam sessions, and comedy performances. The event also features some great activities for kids like Irish dance lessons, arts and crafts, and live storytelling. People looking for food and refreshment can choose from a variety of vendors selling everything from traditional Irish foods to festival fare. Since the festival’s inception, it has donated more than $770,000 to local and national charities. interviewed Deputy Director of the Festival, John O’Brien Jr., to learn more about this celebration of Irish culture.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

JO: This is the 36th annual. It began coming together in 1982, with the first fest premiering in 1983.


RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?

JO: It depends on the weather, but we usually have a good turnout.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?  

JO: With activities for all ages and interests, the festival is fun no matter your age or interest.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

JO: It is one of the last cultural festivals in the area. The festival has donated more than $775,000 to local and national charities since its inception.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

JO: Patrons will encounter eight stages with live entertainment including 24 bands, pipe bands, dance schools, and more. We also feature cultural workshops, fun activities for the kids, a beer garden, 5K fun run, corn hole, and so much more.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

JO: There will be 24 bands performing live, including some famous Irish performers.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

JO: We have an extensive selection of Irish and American fare for all ages.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

JO: There are 35 hotels located near the grounds. People can visit here for their locations, contact info and more.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

JO: This is one of the very best cultural festivals in the country. It's a way for people in the community to gather and celebrate Irish culture.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

JO: Businesses from hotels to restaurants all look forward to and benefit from the festival each year.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

JO: The festival has donated more than $775,000 to local and national charities since it began in 1982.


For more information about the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, please visit the event website.