Citizens Report American Irish Culture

DOTL: Things to do at an Irish fest or any other summer bash

I went to the Irish Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago last weekend, and all I brought home was this lousy blog post.

Actually, consider this an Instagram-style guide for what to do or look for at just about any Irish fest or outdoor gathering you might attend this or any other summer.

First, pick out a t-shirt or any other item of clothing that will set you apart from the crowd. If you get lost, it makes it easier for your friends or your parents to find you and for the authorities to identify you to the press or to your relatives.

For the Irish Fest, I donned my Fred Flintstone tee, because aren’t caveman outfits the original kilts?


Once you have passed security checkpoints, the most important thing – besides finding a bathroom – is finding out how much beer costs.

Next, check out the provocative snacks.


Then, pose for a silly photo.


Of course, you have to listen to some music. In this case, it was Tupelo, an indie folk-rock band from Dublin, inspired for its name by Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” but not to be confused with Uncle Tupelo, an indie folk rock band from Illinois with ties to indie rock stars Wilco – 497 more indies and I’m a race!

By all means, keep your pit bull at home – but feel free to bring your falcon.



Then it’s time to look¬†for t-shirts. I found this one for Joe Cullen.










Shop early for Christmas gifts. I hope best fest buddy Tom doesn’t read this, cuz it will spoil the surprise Dec. 25 when he finds a one of these onesies with feet under the tree with his name on the package.


Look for a kilt. I found these, but they weren’t my size. And you should have seen how the lady looked at me when I asked to try one on!


Chat with a merchant. I always enjoy seeing Jack Baker, and he was inside where the AC was working very well.


Be careful here. If the band’s van is rockin’ don’t bother knockin’. Just admire the cool decal¬† and/or paint job as you make your way back to your car and the long drive home to the suburbs.






And no matter what you do past that, remember to get an oil change this summer. Just don’t stand in lube!

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