My name is Margaret. My Aunt is Mary Margaret. My Great-Grandma was Margaret Mary Latchford. My skin is pale and freckled. My hair is unruly and reddish. And wouldn’t you know it – I’m Irish. As if taking one look at me wasn’t enough, you couldn’t even walk into my home (or any of my family members’ homes) without being hit in the face with something shamrocked. There’s even an Irish Tricolor hanging in my office! (Thanks, Matt Georgi!) The point I’m trying to make here is – I’m a green-white-orange-blue-and-red blooded American and this weekend is the 21st Annual Indy Irish Fest.
The Irish Fest doesn’t just interest me because of my heritage; it interests me because it’s something I have been involved with for 15 years. I have been attending and volunteering for years. The Irish Fest is more than a family affair for me (seriously, I’m never more than a stone’s throw away from a cousin while there – we all work this gig), it’s a unique festival that celebrates two things I love: my Irish heritage and Indianapolis. Indy Irish Fest is also literally more than a festival – it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing the music, culture and contributions of the Irish people abroad and within our beloved city. In fact, the ultimate goal of Indy Irish Fest is to one day establish and operate a brick-and-mortar Irish Heritage Center in Indianapolis. The organization is entirely volunteer-run and all funds from the festival go right into the next year’s fest and to over two dozen charities around Indy. So, not only is Indy Irish Fest a really good time, it’s for a really good cause.
When I came to CVR, the chairperson of the fest approached us about doing some work for them. They wanted to refresh their image for the 20th Anniversary of the fest. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity. (I mean, have you met our owner, Kevin Flynn? It was destiny!) We were really excited work with an organization that is invested in making Indy a better place to live. Their short-term goal of giving people a great weekend celebration, and their long-term plans of preserving Irish history were something we wanted to be a part of. We reworked their overall look, while maintaining the brand equity in their logo, and produced some new artwork to put on items (t-shirts, sweatshirts, pint glasses) for them to sell. This pro-bono work was something we at CVR have been really proud to do, and something I, personally, was extremely excited to work on. Indy Irish Fest has been a great partner since our partnership began, and we look forward to many more years of creative, local work with them.
If you’ve never been to the Indy Irish Fest, I welcome and encourage you to come this weekend! If you have attended before, come back! The fest runs from Friday – Sunday and there is something for everyone! We have a “Wee Folk” kids area, Irish Dancing, Irish sport demonstrations, sheep herding, Irish dogs to meet and pet, traditional music, Celtic rock music, Irish storytelling, shopping, great Irish and non-Irish food options and of course beer – but none of it will be green.
I’ve been part of the Indy Irish Fest for years and I have met people from every walk of life there. They come for different reasons, but they all leave with their eyes smiling.