Irish Fest will return to Janesville

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Thursday, January 16, 2014

JANESVILLE—Irish Fest will return this year.

Festival organizers made the announcement Thursday at a Forward Janesville Business after Five event at the Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main Street, Janesville.

The event will run from Oct. 2 to 5. 

“It's going to have the same basic template,” said festival co-organizer Dan Fredricks, in an interview before the event. “Many of the venues and nonprofits want to do things over again.”

Organizers based their decision on the amount of positive feedback they received from last year's event.

Last year, the event included two performances from the top-rated musical group Gaelic Storm, a dinner and film about the Irish in Janesville, a “Piper's Ball” at BMO Harris Bank and a variety of other activities throughout the city.

The weekend wrapped up with “Shamrock Around the Block” on the north end of Main Street and a family festival in Courthouse Park just a few blocks away.

Many nonprofits, including the Alzheimer's Support Center, Rotary Gardens and Independent Disability Services held fundraising events during Irish Fest, and wished to do so again, Fredricks said.

One challenge will be finding a new event to replace the dinner and film screening, Fredricks said.

“We want to maintain that crowd so we're looking for an event that would make them want to come back,” he said.

Fredricks said they would immediately start planning events and begin to look for sponsors, organizations that want to get involved and volunteers.

As for the centerpiece entertainment, Janesville Performing Arts Center Director Elizabeth Horvath hopes to have Gaelic Storm return, but no final decision has been made yet, Fredricks said.

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