Are you Irish? Or maybe you just enjoy Emerald Isle imports like Irish music, dance, beer, or whiskey. If you’re nodding your head and saying, ”Sure ‘n I do – ‘Irish’ I could enjoy even more Eire experiences!,” then you won’t want to miss this festival!

Photo by Brian Rice

By Peg Cameron Gill

Kansas City will be shamrockin’ Labor Day weekend when its annual Irish Fest returns for the 19th year. The Fest, put on by Kansas City Irish Fest (KCIF), a nonprofit “dedicated to promoting the culture, music, character and history of Ireland and of the Irish people who call Kansas City home.” 

Each year, KCIF offers stellar Irish musical acts and much more. The Fest exists “to bring the heart of Ireland to the Heart of America, and that means everything from Irish culture to shops, beverages, food, and activities using Irish themes and traditions.” Might be the perfect chance to to sample that whiskey you’ve wondered about or pick up a Celtic collectible, like a Claddagh ring. 

According to the Fest’s website,It is the mission of Kansas City Irish Fest to graciously provide our local and regional community with the best, friendliest, and most enjoyable Irish cultural weekend in Kansas City by creating and presenting the best blend of music, education and (great) craic.”

Photo by Nemo-KC

Taking place Sept.1–3, some of the 2023 musical entertainers include The Elders (Appearing together again after a hiatus. Read more here), the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Gaelic Storm, Aofie Scott, and Talisk. The Fest also includes an artisan showcase, whiskey tastings, the ‘’I’rish I was a Star Kansas City Sing-Off,” a whole host of children’s activities like a scavenger hunt, take-and-go craft coloring activity, inflatable obstacle courses, balloon artists, and magicians. New this year is interactive mural painting! Kids will have the chance to be a part of an Irish Fest mural, drawn by local artists.

KCIF is committed to:

  • Presenting family-friendly entertainment, activities, and products
  • Providing opportunities for Irish organizations to promote positive and peaceful causes
  • Perpetuating the study and appreciation of Irish history and genealogy
  • Developing and cultivating opportunities for leadership and volunteerism
  • Deepening a sense of community among Irish Americans and all ethnic groups that contribute to the unique flavor and vitality of the Midwest
  • Bringing the heart of Ireland to the heart of Kansas City

The Kansas City Irish Fest Is the result of a merger of two successful, smaller neighborhood events, the Brookside and Westport Irish fests. Located in the heart of Kansas City on Crown Center Square, KCIF regularly hosts around 80,000 of its closest friends and soon-to-be friends throughout the three day festival. KCIF is almost 100% volunteer staffed, and is grateful for the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers annually.

So come on out and enjoy yourself at Kansas City Irish Fest. Otherwise you might be green with envy.

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.