2023 Entertainment Lineup

Seamus Kennedy
Socks in the Frying Pan
Eileen Ivers
Sharon Shannon
Paddy Keenan
One for the Foxes
Moxie Strings
Colm & Laura Keegan
Ian Gould
Kennedy’s Kitchen
Brother Crowe
Conklin Ceili Band
Black Murray
Enda Reilly
Ruth & Max Bloomquist
Barley Saints
Uneven Ground
Chelsea House Orchestra
Toby Bresnahan
Ardan Academy of Dance
Mona Shores Fiddlers

MIMF Announces 2023 Leaders

MIMF is pleased to announce the new 2023 officers on the board of directors. Kevin Donovan will transition to President of the organization after serving many years as VP and as Site Director. Kris Collee will now serve as the new VP in addition to her role with Volunteers. Dan Rinsema-Sybenga will serve as Treasurer, and Food Vendors. Debbie Smith continues in the Secretary role and in Blarney Bucks.

As the past President, Chris Zahrt will guide the new executive team and continue her role on the board as the Sponsorship Director and lead cultural activities for the festival. Chris is a founding board member, serving as President for 20 years and will continue to be instrumental in MIMF’s continued success, fostering growth, and developing new leaders to maintain the festival’s mission and commitment to the community. Our mission will continue with this group of dedicated directors: To produce a world-class Music Festival that promotes Irish culture and heritage, enhancing the community as a destination through entertainment, tourism, education, and philanthropy.

Michigan Irish Music Festival Board of Directors 2023

2023 Board members (Pictured Left to right, top to bottom)

Eric Anderson, Joe Preston, Tom Bitson, Dan Rinsema-Sybenga, Tom Schaub, Tom Zant, Marc Vanderstelt, Andrew Zahrt, Joe Doyle, LaShelle Mikesell, Mark Grant, Kris Collee, Debbie Smith, Kevin Donovan, Laura Holmes, Chris Zahrt

2022 Festival Tickets!

??? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ?????!

SAVE when you purchase early on our website.
* Discounted pricing on single-day tickets & four-day passes
* 12 and under remain free
* SAVE $5 – $10 on any single-day ticket when purchased online.
? For those who purchased tickets for 2020 or 2021, we have started sending out your fulfillment tickets.
…Don’t worry, we got you covered!
See you at Heritage Landing – September 15-18!

We’re Back, What’s New for MIMF 2022

We’re back and excited to share what’s new for 2022! The Michigan Irish Music Festival will return to Heritage Landing on Sept. 15 -18th for four days of outstanding live music, culture, Irish food, beverages, and entertainment. Tickets will go on sale soon and you can SAVE when you purchase early on our website.  Advanced tickets will officially go on sale on April 28!!!

This year MIMF will offer discounted pricing on single-day tickets, four-day passes, and kids, 12 and under remain free. Patrons can save $5 – $10 on any single-day ticket when they purchase online. New this year, Sunday will be our Discount Day: GET IN FREE 10:30 am – Noon and stay through 6 pm. (Please note, Sunday Mass will now be held at 11 am). And, as always, join our volunteer team and enjoy the festival for free before or after your shift.

2022 Ticket Prices (Online pricing available one day before entry)

Day Online Price Walk-Up At Gate
Thursday $10 $10
Friday $15 $20
Saturday $25 $35
Sunday $10 $15
4-Day $50 $65

Over 20 bands will grace our stages – stay tuned and listen in to Sounds Like Ireland for band announcements and details. Sounds like Ireland radio program airs Thursdays from 5 – 7 pm on Muskegon’s FM 100.9 Radio.

App http://www.muskegonradio.com/mobile/

Look for some exciting changes and new activities at this year’s festival. Whiskey service will now be available at our three main bars and at the expanded craft beer area. We will feature two cultural stages and the Irish Store and Marketplace return for great shopportunities. Wee Ones’ activities will be available and a variety of food and Irish fare in our Celtic Kitchen. Stay tuned to our social media for more announcements and when to sign up to be a volunteer. See you at the festival!

A Wee Bit o’ Irish Fun this March!

Our March blog is courtesy of Visit Muskegon

March is around the corner and we love how Muskegon goes all Irish all month long! There are more varied events for all tastes and ages than you can shake a shillelagh at!

“County Muskegon” is teeming with Irish and Celtic themed culture, activities, music and fun. We’d like to highlight some of them here for you.

Muskegon Sounds Like Ireland!

Did you know there is a Muskegon radio station that hosts an Irish music program? If you tune in to Muskegon 100.9 FM from 5-7 pm EST you will find that Muskegon “Sounds Like Ireland” every Thursday! The program is hosted by “Voice of the Michigan Irish Music Festival” Bill Marshall and is “jammers” full of jams to get you in the mood for March!

Trad Seisiún

Start getting your Irish on right at the beginning of the month. Bring your musical instrument and join a “Trad Session” at Unruly Brewing. An Irish traditional music session (seisiún) is an informal collection of folks gathered together to play traditional Irish music. Unruly Brewing hosts such sessions twice every month. Even if you don’t play, you can still come and enjoy the music! More Info HERE

March 1 and March 15
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Get Ready to Tap Your Toes!

Save the date for this performance of Celtic music by Uneven Ground at Hackley Public LibraryUneven Ground ushers in “Irish American” month with a night of vibrant and traditional Celtic music. Blending talented vocals and lively instrumentals, they their audience a unique and engaging performance to remember. Free More Info HERE

March 3
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

But, There are Four of Them?

Always a sensation at the Michigan Irish Music FestivalWe Banjo 3 are coming to The Playhouse at White Lake!  This Galway, Ireland, and Nashville-based quartet, comprised of two sets of brothers, seamlessly converge the varied traditions of Americana, Bluegrass, and Celtic music with pop-sensible songcraft and create a truly unique and gratifying signature sound. More Info HERE

March 8
7:30 pm

See the Book of Kells

A MUST see, while you are at the Hackley Public Library, is their rare copy of the “Book of Kells”. Only 1,480 facsimiles of this breathtaking illuminated manuscript exist in the world. The original, housed in Trinity College Dublin, is widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure. As far as we know, ours and the copy at Washington Centerville Library are the only two available for public viewing in a library. You can learn more about this treasure in this Hackley Library Video HERE 

Mark your calendar for a night of learning, and discover details and history about this centuries-old illuminated manuscript at a special Book of Kells Presentation. More Info HERE

March 10
5:30 pm

Get a Running Start 

Saturday morning gets a “running” start at 9 am with Run Muskegon’s Shamrock Shuffle, this festive 5K encourages participants to dress for the holiday – and awards prizes for the best costumes. More Info HERE

March 12
9;00 am

Look for Irish Treasures

The Michigan Makers Market debuts at VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center. This indoor shopping event is presented by the Lakeshore Art Festival and will feature 80-100 craft and fine art exhibitors from the state of Michigan. More Info HERE

March 12
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Gobble Green Eggs and Ham

Take the wee ones for a Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast at the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club! The ladies are celebrating Reading Month, Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the whole green theme with a delicious breakfast that includes a free Dr. Seuss book and visit from a Dr. Seuss’ character. More Info HERE

March 12
10:00 – 11:00 am

Everyone Loves a Parade

Be sure to finish your breakfast or run by 11:00 am! This is when the 9th Annual Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade is presented by the Greater Muskegon Jaycees. The fun, family oriented parade marches in Downtown Muskegon; and there is a great cause behind it!

Entry fees to participate in the parade are non-perishable food and pantry items – and spectators are encouraged to bring them too! Volunteers will push shopping carts along the parade route collecting the items. Or, look for collection barrels located along the parade route. So grab some canned goods and get gussied up in your green garb! Watch the floats, marching bands, dogs, live music, catch some candy and cheer for a very special Grand Marshall! More Info HERE

Route: Along Western Ave between 6th – 2nd Streets

That’s No Blarney

Make a wish and kiss the Muskegon version of The Blarney Stone! Superior Monument are bringing their version of the the famous limestone landmark. Seek it out near the Olthoff Stage and see if you can get the gift o’ gab.

March 12
11:00 am – 4 pm

Set Up Camp for the Day

Shamrockin’ In Your Shanty returns to Western Ave in Downtown Muskegon! Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day by reserving a spot for your “shanty” (ice shanty, small pop up tent or just seating)! Spend the day with your friends in the social district. You cannot bring your own alcohol to this event – but you can enjoy social district drinks in your shanty from participating establishments. Prizes awarded for Best Decorated Shanty! $15 More Info HERE

March 12
12:00 – 4:00 pm

Kick Up Your Heels at a Free Outdoor Concert 

Michigan Irish Music Festival brings Enda Reilly and CrossBow to the outdoor Olthoff performance stage to join in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations taking place in Downtown Muskegon. More Info HERE

March 12
12:15 – 4:00 pm

Unruly Music, Dancers and Craic

Unruly Brewing to celebrates St. Paddy’s all day on March 12, 2022! The craic begins at 9 am for “St. Patrick’s Parade Pre-Party”. Throughout the day there will be and Irish DJ keeping the spirit going and live performances from Mona Shores FiddlersArdan Academy of Irish DancersLepreconsO’Malley’s Cousin and The Barley Saints. Free. Schedule and More Info HERE

Irish Dancing

Ardan Academy of Irish Dance is a school teaching traditional step and Ceili dance classes for all ages. The dancers vie in state and national Feis competitions; including the Michigan Feis that takes place every September right here in Muskegon. They send qualifying dancers to the Mid-American and international Oireachtas each year. Come be amazed at their skills as they kick up their heals during  a free performance at Unruly Brewing on March 12th

Photo: Tim Reilly

Get Jack’d and Do a Jig

The Muskegon Lumberjacks hit the ice against U18 – USNTOP at Mercy Health Arena. They will also be celebrating St Patrick’s Day with a special performance from the Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums. More Info HERE

March 12
7:00 pm

Try MI Irish Stout!

Muskegon local craft brewery; Pigeon Hill Brewing Company  invites you to “Hop” in to the Brewer’s Lounge – Pigeon Hill and try a pint of their MI Irish Stout; the official stout of the Michigan Irish Music Festival! If you love it (and you will!) you can find cans to purchase in select stores while supplies last.

The Pipes, the Pipes are Calling

Whatever Downtown Muskegon business you are at on March 12th (and hopefully the 17th!) there is a good change the Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums will wander in for an impromptu performance. See our TikTok of them performing on Western Ave in 2021 HERE

Raise the Flag, Raise the Roof

On St. Patrick’s Day proper, the Muskegon Irish American Society/Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame conduct their 49th Annual Raising of the Irish Flag! A brief ceremony, followed by the flag raising, will take place at Noon at the Visit Muskegon Union DepotWatch the 2021 Flag Raising on TikTok. 
March 17
12:00 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Free Music 

Spend St. Patrick’s Day with one of West Michigan’s most exciting traditional/folk Celtic bands; Uneven Ground. They will be filling the Norton Shores Library with melody and music.  More Info HERE

March 17
7:00 – 8:00 pm

Something to Cherish

Cherish the Ladies perform with the West Michigan Symphony at the beautiful Frauenthal Center. The Grammy-nominated, Irish-American super group is one of America’s most heralded Irish music ensembles. You won’t want to miss  their rousing blend of traditional music, captivating vocals, and propulsive step dancing. More Info HERE

March 25
7:30 PM

Don’t Be Quiet About This

One dollar admission gets you in to the Playhouse at White Lake to see this classic film on the big screen! The Quiet Man is the beloved film set in scenic Ireland, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara! More Info HERE

March 26
7:30 pm

Can You Wait Until May?

We have waited two years – I guess we can wait until May! “House of Hamill, Celtic fiddle!” were originally scheduled to perform in March of 2020 at The Block.  But the pandemic had other plans. Finally, Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan will be able to perform in this welcoming and cozy space. This duo create exciting and original jigs, reels and songs while breathing new life into traditional Irish fiddling.

May 21
7:30 pm

Dig Into the Roots 

Find out why Muskegon has such deep Irish roots; visit the Lakeshore Museum Center’s “Voices of Muskegon” display which shares the story of the Irish diaspora to the West Michigan area. Listen to the Muskegon History and Beyond podcast on the Irish Diaspora to Muskegon HERE

See the Home of Our Most Famous Irish American

The Hume House of the Hackley and Hume Historic Site was home to lumber baron Thomas Hume. Thomas was very proud of his Irish ancestry. While tours do not begin until May, you can still wander the grounds and take in the marvel of these two Queen Anne style mansions, located in Downtown Muskegon. In the meantime, learn more about Thomas Hume HERE, in this Lakeshore Museum Center video.

Information for all these events, and many more, can be found on www.visitmuskegon.org

“Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!” Visit Muskegon wishes you a happy and safe St. Patrick’s celebration and would LOVE to see your photos on social media!

Share your shenanigans with the hashtags #visitmuskegon and #watchmUSkeGOnIRISH






Thomas Hume and The Irish Diaspora of Muskegon

If you visit the Hackley and Hume Historic Site there is a rock in the Hume’s parlor that is purported to be from Hume castle in Scotland!

Want to know why? Give a listen to this “Muskegon History and Beyond with Lakeshore Museum Center” podcast.

The podcast is part of a wonderful cultural collaboration between the Lakeshore Museum Center, Hackley Public Library and Michigan Irish Music Festival. The collaboration includes 2 podcasts and 2 videos meant to compliment our Hackley Hooley (taking place on September 18th) and the rich history of Muskegon’s Irish heritage and history. The podcast was exhaustively researched by the Lakeshore Museum’s Patrick Horn and Aaron Mace.

Listen ⤵️ and let Patrick know how much you enjoyed learning more about Mr. Hume!

Born in 1848 in Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland, Thomas Hume came to Muskegon in 1870. Finding work in the lumbering industry as a scaler and tallyman before becoming Charles Hackley’s bookkeeper in 1872, and business partner in 1881. Over the next 24 years, Hackley and Hume built a business empire that included timberlands all over North America. After the lumber era Hume helped create Muskegon’s industrial trade, which continues to this day.

Book of Kells

You can travel all the way to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland to view the Book of Kells…or visit the Hackley Public Library right here in Downtown Muskegon!

In 1990 Trinity College granted permission for 1,480 replicas to be published at a price of $14,800 each.
The Muskegon Irish American Society & Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame (then a chapter of the Hibernians) and the Friends of Hackley Public Library undertook a fund-raising campaign to purchase this exact replica to celebrate the Library’s 100th Anniversary.
The Hackley Public Library may be one of only two public spaces in North America with a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells on permanent display! Hackley Public Library’s magnificent copy can be seen in a large, beautiful wooden and glass case located in the Main Reading Room. A beautiful Waterford Crystal bowl accompanies the manuscript.
A page of the manuscript is carefully, and ceremoniously turned once monthly by a white gloved member of the library staff.

Couch Potato St. Pat’s Virtual Concert

To celebrate St. Patrick’s day and this wonderful Irish tradition, please join us for the Couch Potato St. Pat’s Virtual Concert brought to you by the Michigan Irish Music Festival and PNC Bank. This free event will premiere live on both Facebook and Youtube (links) on Saturday, March 13th at 8 pm EST.

Hosted by Bill Marshall, the voice of MIMF and the host of the Sounds Like Ireland radio program, he will lead us through an evening of music, culture, and fun. Featuring performances by Doolin’, Seamus Kennedy, The Friel Sisters, and Dave Curley.

▪️There is not a link to share prior to the concert. Do NOT click on any comments or posts claiming to have a link.
▪️This is a FREE show. Do NOT respond or provide any personal information to anyone claiming to have tickets for sale or a link for the concert.

? How To Watch
Go to the Michigan Irish Music Festival Facebook page at 8 pm EST on March 13th on your phone, computer or connected TV. You will find the concert streaming from a post at the top of our page.

Go to the Michigan Irish Music Festival YouTube channel at 8 pm EST on March 13th.

Go to IGTV on the Michigan Irish Music Festival Instagram account.

? Thank You To Our Sponsors!
PNC (Event Sponsor)
Pigeon Hill Brewing Co (The Friel Sisters)
Van’s Car Wash (Seamus Kennedy)
Shoreline Insurance (Dave Curley)
Mary Price (Doolin”)

We’ll see ya on the couch!

Keeping Irish In My Heart: Video Recap

A recap of the Michigan Irish Music Festival’s “Irish In My Heart” Virtual 2020 Festival.

We asked fans to share with us how they kept Irish in your heart over festival weekend (September 17-20) with photos and short videos.

Our wonderful music artist (who were scheduled originally to perform in person) provided hours of musical and cultural entertainment via the MIMF Facebook, IGTV and YouTube channel

Five Farms

It seems like every year there is something new and exciting at the Michigan Irish Music Festival, and 2019 was no exception.

A new sponsor was introduced in a major way; Five Farms Irish Cream debuted at the 2019 MIMF and was an instant hit with patrons, musicians, and volunteers alike. A sample tasting tent along the water nestled between the Cork and Kerry stages was the perfect spot to feature this delicious treat.

Patrons were able to learn a little about Five Farms, the history of how it came to be, and be some of the first people in Michigan to experience it’s creamy, delicious flavor. All of the bars sold the Irish Cream over the weekend and sponsors and festival organizers were thrilled with the reception by the masses.

In addition to tasting it on ice, in coffee, in tea (hot and cold), you can also enjoy it in a variety of recipes. We suggest the Irish Truffle Martini, but make sure to check out their website for more deliciousness!

Visit their Website: fivefarmsirishcream.com