Music City Irish Fest Prepares to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Rain or Shine in Nashville

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Festival Expects Record Attendance; Drivers Encouraged to Beware of Roads Closures

“The festival strives to put as little impact on traffic as possible and therefore has invested additional money in police officers,” Music City Irish Fest President Jessica O'Sullivan said.

Nashville’s largest free St. Patrick’s Day celebration will take place Saturday, March 12, 2016 rain or shine. The festival runs from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. in the Demonbreun Hill area.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead for festival road closures starting March 11. Demonbreun Street will close at 6 p.m. Friday. It will be shut down from the iconic “Musica” Statue at 16th Ave South and Division Street all the way to 14th Ave south. Please note the roundabout will remain open for traffic. To keep traffic moving no Lyft, Uber or Cab pick-up or drop offs will be allowed at the roundabout or on side streets near the festival, there will be a designated loading zone on Music Circle E just off Division Street. For those who drive to the festival valet parking is available on Music Circle E just off Division Street.

“The festival strives to put as little impact on traffic as possible and therefore has invested additional money in police officers that will be dedicated to making sure traffic at that roundabout continues to flow smoothly,” Music City Irish Fest President Jessica O’Sullivan said.

This year Music City Irish Fest’s (MCIF) exclusive ride-sharing partner is Lyft. New users can download the Lyft app to get their first ride free and existing users can save on trips to the festival by using the code MCIRISH10.

MCIF aims for all ages to embrace Nashville’s heritage and explore its Irish musical roots.

Opening ceremonies start at 11 a.m. Saturday. Viewers will see a special dance performance by The Willis Clan dedicated to the visiting foreign dignitaries. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry along with former Mayors Karl Dean and Bill Purcell are set to join Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson, among others in kicking off the second annual MCIF.

The festival is thrilled to partner with Tourism Ireland to present a full day of free musical performances featuring some of Irish Music's top groups including We Banjo 3, The Willis Clan and Altan.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said, "Tourism Ireland is delighted to once again support the Music City Irish Fest. Our hope is that the great music and dancing on show in Nashville over the St Patrick’s period will whet appetites for what is on offer at the great festivals of Ireland and encourage vacationers to choose Ireland in 2016.”

Music City Irish Fest is held every March in Nashville. Last year, more than 10,000 people attended the inaugural event. This year, the number is expected to double. Other highlights include Irish dance, crafts and instruments. Traditional food and drinks will be on sale. Beer can be purchased by those 21 & up with valid ID.

MCIF 2016 is sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Dark Horse Institute, WSM Radio, Lightning 100, CIE Tours, Harp and Fiddle, Guinness, Yazoo, Lyft, McNamara’s Irish Pub, Prime Tours, Sister Cities of Nashville, Yazoo, Barnes and Noble, The Keenan Group, Fireball Designs and CapStar Bank.

Follow us:
Twitter: @musiccityirish

Instagram: @musiccityirishfest



Go Green. Go Nashville. Go Ireland.

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Brenda Willis
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