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Kansas City’s Irish Fest celebrates all things Celtic

Families walked among the food and crafts vendors during the 13th annual Kansas City Irish Fest at Crown Center Plaza on Sunday. The festival had a few new features this year.
Families walked among the food and crafts vendors during the 13th annual Kansas City Irish Fest at Crown Center Plaza on Sunday. The festival had a few new features this year. skeyser@kcstar.com

There was only one place to get haggis at the Kansas City Irish Fest this weekend, even if it wasn’t steamed in a sheep stomach because of food safety rules.

“It’s one of our best sellers,” said Dean Kirby, who was working the Hamish’s Kitchen food stand, which also served Scotch eggs and Irish eggs. Basically they are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in pork sausage and deep-fried.

“It’s one of our best sellers,” Kirby chimed.

Hamish’s was also the only place to get a deep-fried Mars bar.

“It’s one of our best sellers,” repeated Kirby, blarney or not.

The 13th annual Irish Fest at Crown Center enjoyed good attendance even as the temperature was in the mid-90s on Sunday, the final day. A stiff breeze and lots of shade kept things comfortable.

“It’s hot but at least it’s humid,” joked musician Eddie Delahunt from the Miller Light stage.

Delahunt invoked the memories of P.J. and Mollie Cullinan, whom he credited with being among the main instigators of the Irish Fest.

“They are up in heaven right now and looking down at you, so behave,” he told his audience, which was a sea of green T-shirts.

The waterfall at the terrace in Crown Center’s courtyard was also dyed green. Guinness and Jameson flowed everywhere.

New this year was a large, tented Irish marketplace where browsers could buy just about anything Celtic-themed. Also new was an Irish Fest Quest app that challenged kids and adults to find various locations and objects.

“It gives you a good lay of the land of the fest and it’s lots of fun,” said Jessica Julich with O’Neill Communications, which handles marketing for the festival.

The Irish comedy show by Colin Murphy with David Nihill sold out Saturday night.

“We’re definitely on track for one of our best years,” Julich said Sunday afternoon. “It was definitely one of our best Saturdays that we’ve ever had.”

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