Iowa Irish Fest sees record attendance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Irish Fest sees record attendance

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

 With lots of work behind them, and some still ahead, Iowa Irish Fest organizers are calling this weekend's gathering a huge success -- even with some clean-up left.

"We're getting it back to the proper places," said fest director Rory Dolan, throwing another folding chair onto a stack.

This is the eighth time the event has been hosted in Waterloo. Dolan said attendance was incredible.

"If you want me to guess, I'm going to tell you 28,000-plus," he said.

For the three-day gathering, that's a new high. Many crowded into downtown Lincoln Park for bands like Gaelic Storm and The Elders.

Dolan said he can't comment on how much money the festival brought in, but at $15 per ticket, 28,000 would bring the total take to $420,000. However, organizers say many of the 28,000 were repeat guests with weekend passes, so it's likely less.

Dolan said he's already looking forward to next year, and another opportunity to share the culture he's so proud of.

"That's what Irish culture is all about," he said. "Very good people, having a good time, building strong families and strong faith. I couldn't do it without all the volunteers."

And down the block at Jameson's Public House, a successful fest meant a busy weekend.

"It's always a lot of fun, but it's stressful," manager Shaylin Girsch said. "It's long hours and a lot of people."

Fest organizers said they can't comment on how much money they brought in, but they plan to donate some to local charities, and then throw the rest back in the coffers for next year.

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