Erin Feis Returns to Peoria

It's one of the largest Irish fests around

PEORIA - It was a good weekend to be Irish in the river city.

 

People came from near and far and from all backgrounds to join in the fun at Erin Feis.

 

More than 15,000 people spent their weekend wearing green, drinking beer and listening to festive music.

 

For some, it's a way to spend the weekend. But for others, it's a reminder of home. 

 

"We're a very good group of people, Irish people, and we support each other. And I love the music and entertainment.”

 

Patricia Kenny spent her Sunday afternoon with her family at Erin Feis. It's become a yearly event for her grandkids.

 

But for her, it's a reminder of the country she left when she was 14.

 

"Ireland is a little different than Peoria, but it's very nice to have people to remember their nationality, that they have ties to Ireland," Kenny said.

 

And for one weekend, everybody is a bit Irish.

 

"I am actually not Irish, but for the day, I actually can be…This is one of the few environments where I can actually wear this and it's not like there's that dude in a kilt, that's kind of weird," said attendee, Regev Nystrom.

 

More than 300 volunteers work together to make the event grow each year.

 

And bands from all over the world, including Ireland, hit the stage, entertaining thousands.

 

"We love the bands, we usually come to see the bands, we usually try to make it to as many of those concerts as we can,” said attendee, Ken McCaffrey.

 

"The music is great, and the exhibits are great and the people are great that come here," said Volunteer Chair, Cheri Ruskusky.

 

"I love it, I look forward to seeing these people that I have got to know and love every year for Erin Feis," Ruskusky said.

 

McCaffrey came from Springfield. He says he's proud to make the drive to Peoria. And he does so every year.

 

"I think it's important that we all remember where we came from, and to look into it and go beyond just the St. Patrick's Day stuff,” McCaffrey said.

 

Most people pointed out music as their favorite part of the fest. But other activities like the highland games also drew in a large crowd this weekend.


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