Southern Illinois Irish Festival returns after five-year hiatus

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – The Southern Illinois Irish Festival returned to Carbondale with a flourish on Saturday.

From the music to the outfits, the theme was simple: Have a good time.

“We’ve had four or five hundred people, maybe more, coming and going, just having a great time,” emcee Brian Kennedy said. “It’s a great place for the kids and family to come. Good entertainment, good food, good beverages, and just a good time.”

Some of that entertainment was supplied by the Brianna Brown Band. The group plays traditional Irish music, which guitarist Tim Yau says are the tunes that make you want to get up and dance.

“I like the fast things. I like the things that get the audience going,” he said. “Those are the ones that people really enjoy and are the fun ones to play.”

Yau now lives in St. Louis but is originally from Carbondale.

“I come back every year to spend a few days in Carbondale,” he said. “It’s still very special to me, the people, the place. I’ll never forget it. That’s why I wanted to come back and bring my family every year because it’s something they enjoy and I want them to be exposed to it.”

While folks weren’t dancing to their favorite Irish jigs, they could visit crafter Jon Martin or any of the other vendors in attendance. Martin makes clothing and accessories like ponchos, handbags, and top hats.

“You name it, I got it. If you want to look like a rock-and-roll star, I got it right here for you,” he said.

So put on your top hat, break out your leprechaun suit, and have a good time at the Southern Illinois Irish Festival.

Categories: News