Entering the Michigan Irish Music Festival is like stepping into an enchanted space. Twenty years strong now, and there is no doubt these festival planners know how to curate an experience. The best part about this festival, for me, is the unhurried pace. The setting encourages strolling, and allowing the experiences to unfold as they will.
Friday Night couldn’t have been better, and there’s still two days left to go.
The evening started with the Pipe and Drum Opening Ceremony; a multitude of volunteers were already working the lines before the gates opened, getting wristbands on people and making sure once 5pm hit people walked right on through during the community free admission hour courtesy of Family Financial Credit Union. No log jam, no lines, just ease right in.
We went in hungry so the first thing we did, after stopping for some Blarney Bucks, was hit the Celtic Kitchen for some potato soup and a corned beef sandwich. Fresh and delicious and enjoyed at a table in the back of Bob & Bernie’s Pub listening to the music of Kennedy’s Kitchen.
We finished dinner and popped into the nearby County Cork stage to listen to The Conifers for a bit, then out to the Dingle Peninsula to see the demonstration on the Highland Games. Amazing feats of strengths!
Back inside the festival proper and I thought this might be a good time to check out the new addition to The Tea Room – Five Farms Single Batch Irish Cream Liqueur added to cold brew or hot chocolate (I had both over the course of the evening, and both were delicious).
We took a moment to sit with our drinks out back of The Tea Room, on a little area facing the lake. It’s like a little peaceful secret space for a moment away from the festivities. Just then, four old warplanes flew by in formation, trailing colorful smoke and circling the grounds with a greeting for all. Fun.
Decided it was time to get back to the music, and settled on checking out Brother Crowe at the Belfast Stage. The breeze was picking up and the view west across the lake was amazing, we watched the sun set over deep blue water and push against thick, beautiful high clouds. The music encouraged joyful dancers, including a very elderly man who had some very impressive moves.
In between acts we popped over to the Merchandise Tent to buy a sweater, and returned to the Belfast Stage for a great show by the Drowsy Lads. Mosying on our way out, we lingered at the Pigeon Kings show for a few songs before heading home. Hard to leave before the shows ended, but need to save some energy for Saturday! Lovely full moon guided us out.
Author: Kerri VanderHoff