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IRISH EYES ARE SMILING

OCTOBER 9

Hello everyone! It’s been a little quiet on the FF blog for the last few days. My apologies! Let’s get caught up with all the latest good news.
I was lucky enough to get to spend a few days in Milwaukee with Matt Marlatt and Richard Hillsman for the annual conference of the Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals. It was a fun coincidence that the Milwaukee Irish Fest folks were the hosts of this year’s conference, because after the amazing experience we had with them this summer, they invited us to attend! In the very first meeting, in his opening remarks, the executive director of MKE Irish Fest said “Be sure to introduce yourself to the Five Farms team if you haven’t already, because they’re part of the Irish Fest family now!” And the whole room burst into applause! Our reputation had definitely preceded us.
There were about 130 attendees representing almost 30 Irish festivals from around the country, several of whom we have already partnered with (MKE, Kansas City, Iowa, and Peoria) and who were extremely enthusiastic in singing our praises. There were other Irish groups represented there including Irish Central, Irish American News, the Consul and Vice Consul from the Chicago Irish Consulate, and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development (Ciaran Cannon), who gave a rousing speech about the importance of these Irish American festivals in keeping the culture and traditions of Ireland alive. There were music showcases featuring fantastic Irish bands showing their stuff in hopes of getting festival gigs. Such a fun event! In the Saturday morning meeting opening remarks, the crowd was asked what the highlight of Friday had been and the consensus response was “FIVE FARMS!”
Five Farms was a huge hit at this conference and wonderful new relationships were formed with festival organizers from states including Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. We have a lot of great partnerships to look forward to in 2019!