Alto Vineyards hosts fundraiser for Southern Illinois Irish Festival


ALTO PASS, Ill. (KBSI) – “It doesn’t matter if you’re Irish or not. It’s kind of like St. Patty’s Day. Everybody’s Irish on that day.” 

That is the Southern Illinois Irish Festival in a nutshell.

And its most recent fundraiser at Alto Vineyards was a precursor to what folks, Irish or otherwise, can expect in April. 

Festival president Tom Grant said the festival’s uniqueness makes it stand out. 

“It’s just a very unusual event that we’re trying to get to stretch out over a couple days,” he said. “It gets the children involved, it gets families involved, and it puts a smile on people’s face.” 

Brian Kennedy, who emceed last year’s Irish festival and is quite the musician, recently gained Irish citizenship because his grandmother is from Ireland. 

“I’ve been to Ireland four times. The music, the people are great, the gossip is great. People talk wherever you go, and you hear a story to be had,” he said.

Kennedy said his family of eight is actually small relative to other Irish families, and the Southern Illinois Irish Festival epitomizes the family aspect of Irish culture. 

“The old togetherness and everything. The families come out. It’s a great place for kids. They always have a good time setting these up for the children and showing just what family is about, and Irish is a family-type thing,” he said.

So maybe at next month’s Southern Illinois Irish Festival, you can make some memories of your own. Kennedy sure is. 

“Great stories to be told, and just lots of fun,” he said “The Irish Fest is great, and you ought to come out there in April.”

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