Milford Irish Festival returning after two years

MILFORD — For the past two years, the Irish Heritage Society of Milford has not been able to have its traditional festival, but that will change on Sept. 16.

The society was forced to shutter the popular event due to the pandemic restrictions. But plans are in place for the return of the 14th annual two-day event once again.

“There hasn’t been a festival for the past two years, and they were hoping to have it last year, and because COVID numbers started to go up in August, it was canceled,” said Ed Mead, Irish Festival chair. “We are looking forward to seeing everybody have a good time at the festival while supporting our organization so we can continue to promote Irish music and culture throughout the city.”

During Oyster Festival, Mead worked the booth for the Irish Heritage Society, and he said people were coming up to the booth telling them how excited they were for the festival.

“We anticipate it to be good because, after COVID, people want to get back out and get back into the normal routines of attending festivals and socializing,” he said. “We are hoping for a good time and hoping that the weather stays on the good side too.”

Milford Irish Festival starts on Friday, Sept. 16 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and continues on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“We are going to have all local Irish bands, going to have a merchandise area, a cultural area with Irish step dancing and Irish music,” said Mead. “We are going to have local food vendors and food trucks there as well.”

Some of the vendors include Walnut Beach Creamery, Duffy’s Tavern from West Haven, Silver Sands Pizza and more.

“Of course, we are going to have Guinness Beer on tap, and it should be a good time,” said Mead. “On Friday night, we usually get more locals to come out, and then Saturday, we get plenty of people from around different cities.”

This year Milford Irish Festival has a cash raffle to help sponsor the Irish Heritage Society of Milford with different prizes.

“On Saturday, we have a children’s area with two bounces houses, and they have an area for kids to do Irish-themed arts and crafts,” said Mead.

Historically, Mead said Milford and other organizations have supported the Milford Irish Festival, and this year will be the same.

“We are expecting a good turnout for the festival,” said Mead. “There’s always a good buzz around town in the middle of September, and Sept. 17 is halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.”