Founder's Corner

 

Ed Ward

 

Ed Ward - Featured Blogger
Ed Ward is the founder of Milwaukee Irish Fest.  
He also founded the Irish Fest Foundation and the Ward Irish Music Archives.  

Ed is a permanent member of the Irish Fest Board and serves as the Chair of the Entertainment Committee.

 

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Nash's Irish Castle

Kit Nash and the Bloody Tinker

Everyone I know who frequented Nash's Irish Castle has a story to tell.

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McNamara's Land

The DERRY-AIRS

In 1977, Ed Ward submitted a request to the Shamrock Club to organize a concert featuring local Irish talent. The concert became the first ever of its kind, using SOLELY local artists. The lineup included a quartet of Irish bar owners, dancers, a fiddler, a ten year old banjo player, and more.

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The New England NFL Connection

The New England NFL Connection

The first New England Irish Festival, a two day event, ran inside the Patriots' Sullivan Stadium, in 1984. Michael Chamberlain, Stadium Manager at the time, hired none other than Milwaukee Irish Fest's Founder, Ed Ward to coordinate and run the event.

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Derry Hegarty's Irish Pub

The Barman and The Bards

Derry Hegarty decided in 1975 that Milwaukee needed real Irish folk music and hired a Boston-based, four person group to appear in his pub, Derry's, in February, 1975. The Bards, originally from Belfast, became a big hit on the local Irish scene.

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The French Connection

The French Connection

Ed Ward talks about the beginnings of Irish Fest and the seeds that planted the creation of his Irish band, Blarney, in the 1970s.

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The Color Purple

The Color Purple

My generation's exposure to purple was Sheb Wooley's song, "The Purple People Eater." Well, that and finding out that purple crayons don't taste like grape. But you may be surprised to know that in the mid-1980s the color purple and Irish Fest had much in common.

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Paddy's Daddy

Paddy's Daddy

In the past week, long-time Irish Fest supporter and creator of the smiling leprechaun image that came to be known as Paddy McFest, Jim Finnerty, passed away from cancer at the age of 68.

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