Irish Hooley brings thousands to Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Irish Hooley brings thousands to Dubuque


It was the luck of the Irish Saturday in Dubuque as the 9th annual Irish Hooley took place. This year, festival officials say will be the festival's biggest year. Officials say they expect at least 5,000 people to make their way to Dubuque for the party. That large crowd means more money for local businesses. Michael Siegert is the owner of Shamrock Imports in Dubuque. His family and other local Irish families started the Irish Hooley 9 years ago. Saturday, Siegert, along with family members, were helping customers pick out Irish gear at their vendor tent at the event.

"We have lines everywhere, we probably have between five and six people working our booth. We are very busy," Siegert said.

Shamrock Imports sells shirts, stickers, food and more, all with an Irish theme. Siegert says it's the store's quality items that attract customers.

"We try to do as much made in Ireland or genuine made in Ireland as we can," he said. "If we are not doing the regular made in Ireland, we try to buy everything local."

Keith Rahe is president of the Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau. He says Irish Hooley brings a lot of money to Dubuque.

"With any event like this that is reoccurring, what that brings into the area, hotel rooms, restaurants, convenience stores, all other activities is significant," Rahe said.

Rahe says he hopes that Irish Hooley is just a starting point for people who are visiting Dubuque. He says he hopes many return and tell their friends about what the Tri-State area has to offer. Next year, festival officials say they are moving Irish Hooley to A.Y. McDonald Park in order to accommodate the large amount of people. Irish Hooley proceeds benefit Hospice of Dubuque and other area organizations.

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