After a 3 year hiatus, I returned this year to the Irish Fair of Minnesota. An annual 3-day celebration of Irish heritage on the banks of the Mississippi River on St. Paul's Harriet Island. The festival is recognized as one of the most family friendly events in the Twin Cities and as one of the most authentic Irish fests nationwide (www.irishfair.com).
Admission is always free and the selection of food, drink and activities is plentiful. To fill the belly, one can sample the tasty Irish fare from local pubs including our friend, Kieran Folliard's, The Local, The Liffey, Kieran's and Cooper as well as this year's sponser, Ahern's Irish Pub. There's music, dance, sporting events, story-telling, shopping and of course plenty of Irish adult beverages, from Harp to Jameson, available to whet your whistle. Lots of fun for the wee ones as well. My 3 year old especially liked the bagpipe competition and the rugby match, I had a hard time peeling him away from both of these events on the center field.
As my dad always says, "we come from a long line of Irish saloon-keepers." Couple that with the 6 months I spent living in Dublin and this Irish lass felt right at home there on Harriet Island with the thousands of others wearing green and reveling in their Irish roots.
Irish or not, I recommend checking out this fair for some good clean craic! Every August on Harriet Island, Cead Mile Failte to all.