By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 31, 2021 at 8:11 PM

The Milwaukee summer festival slate isn't entirely canceled as Irish Fest announced Wednesday night that it still plans to hold its 40th edition this year, a three-day rendition as opposed to the usual four-day fest taking place this summer on Aug. 20-22 at Henry Maier Festival Park. 

“We are moving forward with preparations for our 40th festival,” said Mike Mitchell, Executive Director of CelticMKE, in a release. “We’re going to do everything we can to ensure a safe environment. We will make any necessary adjustments to our operations and modify the layout to comply with regulations, restrictions and recommendations put in place at the time of our festival.

"Our festival preparations center around prioritizing the wellbeing and safety of our patrons, volunteers, vendors, entertainers and staff. With the rollout of vaccinations, we feel comfortable taking the steps to create an Irish experience this summer for all to safely enjoy."

In addition to working with the state and city health departments and tracking the evolving CDC guidelines, Irish Fest plans to put in place several COVID-19 precautions for the 2021 summer festival include sanitizing stations throughout the grounds as well as potentially limiting the number of tickets sold both online and in person at the gates in order to accomodate any future capacity restrictions. Plus, to make sure as many people as possible can enjoy, attend and celebrate, Irish Fest will also incorporate an exclusive virtual online component in addition to its in-person events. 

Irish Fest joins Summerfest and the Bloody Mary Festival at Fiserv Forum as festivals planning to return this summer season amid the state's nation-leading vaccination rollout. Several other summer festivals, however, have decided to avoid any potential uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, announcing they will instead return in 2022, including PrideFest, German Fest, Festa Italiana, Polish Fest and Locust Street Festival

Tickets, as well as a music lineup announcement, are expected later this spring, with schedules planned for release later in the summer. For more information – including purchasing tickets when they are available – visit Irish Fest's website, and stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more summer festival season updates. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.