Clare County Review & Marion Press

Irish Festival kicks into high gear this week!

Brand new banners are up at the north and south ends of Clare to welcome everyone to the Irish Festival!

After the annual event was downsized due to the pandemic last year, the 47th Clare Irish Festival is back this year with most of the traditional events plus some brand-new ones!
The four-day event will include entertainment, food and drink specials, shopping deals and much more, the Clare Chamber of Commerce posted. You won’t want to miss the Irish Parade, 5K/10K Walk-Run, Bed Races downtown, the Best Dressed Leprechaun Contest, Irish Recipe Contest, Kids Fun Run, and the annual Irish Fest Craft Show. New this year will be a Food Truck Convoy downtown, a Blarney Stone on the corner of 5th and McEwan, warm-up fire pits, and a stage where commentators will critique the parade and, later on pass out prizes for the craziest looking Irish attendees at the festival.
The fun actually began last month when the Irish Festival Best Frame Doubles and Karaoke Star Search began at Gateway Lanes. The event ends with the last of the tournament on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the Best Frame Doubles winning team will take home $1,800!
The Peppermint Lounge at the Lanes is also hosting the 31st annual Karaoke Star Search Contest, which began last month and winds up with the finals on the Irish Festival weekend!
Special festival events will be going on Wednesday through Saturday beginning with the Virtual Kathy Rynearson Memorial Food Drive from the 16th through the 19th celebrating a very special lady’s community legacy.
The ongoing Window Decorating Contest will be judged Friday, March 18 and the winners will be announced on Saturday, March 19.
Business After Hours, sponsored at the Doherty Hotel from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening is sponsored by Mercantile Bank. Immediately following BAH, The Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Live & Silent Auction follows in the Doherty Ballroom.
To find some great Irish Cuisine on display, and even available for sampling, you won’t want to miss the Irish Recipe Contest in the Clare High School Cafeteria Thursday evening. There will be entertainment, judging begins at 5:30, and after the judging, Adult and Youth winners will be announced.
Just across the CHS

Commons, the Gateway Community Band will perform in the Gym beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. This year is special because the Music is composed specially to honor Posthumous Grand Marshal Darren Acton’s memory. The piece titled ‘Celtic Odyssey’ is a fitting tribute to this man, who spent his life committed to all things Clare.
The annual Irish Festival Parade, the highlight of the festival, will start at noon on Saturday at Wilcox Parkway and head down McEwan Street. But just before the parade begins, everyone will be treated to a special “fly-over” by the Clare Pilots Association. The parade will feature the family of deceased Grand Marshall Darren Acton, and also features the incredible Scottville Clown Band to wind up the morning hours. Commentators will be promoting the parade as it passes the Stage on the corner of 5th Street where you might also find a “Blarney Stone” to kiss.
There will be so much going on in Clare, most will find it hard to see it all, so pick out your favorite events. Visit for a complete schedule or stop in at the Clare Chamber of Commerce inside the Clare Union Depot on 4th Street.

Leave a Reply