Live from Peoria, Illinois it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, The Peoria Irish Fest with a cavalcade of guest stars! And now, please welcome from Riverfront Park in beautiful downtown Peoria, the Peoria Irish Fest!
Here we are at the entrance to the Riverfront Park on Water Street. The sign says we’re entering Ireland along the Illinois River! All we need to do is purchase a ticket from this pretty lady and...
Here we are at the Peoria Irish Fest! Let’s first take a tour of some of the different tents and spaces here at the festival!
One thing I like about the Irish Fest is all the variety of the festival. Every tent has it’s own unique atmosphere with plenty of beer and whiskey in some spots. There’s also clothing, jewelry and Irish information in the Cultural Village and of course there’s all kinds of live Irish music.
This is just a small sampling of the bands that played here over the weekend. There’s local Irish bands as well as Irish musicians from Milwaukee, Springfield, Canada and of course Ireland! You can click here to see all of the bands that played at this year's Irish Fest.
The Peoria Irish Fest is a friendly place where I ran into old friends and made new acquaintances as well in my travels. Here’s some of the smiling faces who let me take their portrait with the ever-present MBIP Camera!
There’s a nice variety of food available at the Irish Fest. Of course there’s traditional Irish staples like corned beef, haggis, fish and chips and sausage rolls but there’s also corn dogs, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, gyros, pulled pork and ribs. It was a tough decision to pick one of these vendors for my Saturday night dinner, but after perusing all the menus, I picked my choice for this year’s Saturday night dinner at the Peoria Irish Fest!
Saturday Night Dinner
There’s a new vendor this year at the Peoria Irish Fest and that new kid on the block is: W.E. Sullivan’s! They had an enticing menu featuring Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips and two items that no one else at the festival had: Irish Corned Beef Egg Rolls and Deep Fried Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding! I decided that this was our destination for this years Saturday Night Irish Fest dinner! As you can see, lots of others had the same idea and there was quite a line for their inventive menu offerings! It moved quickly though and I placed my order at the window and then passed my time waiting for the order by taking a photo of this gentleman in a kilt. It just seemed like the proper thing to do!
Alright, the order came out and here’s tonight’s dinner! I had to try the Irish Corned Beef Egg Rolls because I had never seen this on a menu anywhere! I’m not a big fan of corned beef, but these were so delicious. There was rich cream cheese inside that really blended nicely with the corned beef and the crisp egg roll. I really enjoyed these and if you didn't get a chance to try them, they're on the menu at the bar on Prospect! The fish and chips were a delight as well. The chips were W.E. Sullivan’s home-made fries and they’re curly fries seasoned on the outside and there's fluffy potato on the inside. The fish had a nice light fried beer batter and there was flavorful juicy chunks of cod inside. The home-made tartar sauce added a nice creaminess and it was a wonderful Saturday night dinner! I was too full to try the Deep Fried Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding, so I strolled around in search of a less filling dessert for the evening.
Hey, check out this vendor, shaved ice, vodka snow cones and vodka lemonade! Sounds like a nice liquid dessert to me! And the owner of this stand is none other than Janey Scott who recently bought The Nut House. If you missed the MBIP post on that, just click here. Janey said they’ve been at all the shows and events at the riverfront this summer and they’ll be here at the upcoming Blues Fest and Oktoberfest as well. And they’re also going to be at the Pekin Marigold Festival. In addition to the drinks and snow cones, they also have hot roasted nuts for sale here. Janey is the owner of the Nut House, so that makes sense! I had a nice conversation with Janey and Bridget who is serving up the dessert in a glass. I love their shirts!