The Rocky Mountains backdrop Clement Park. Yet for one weekend each year, this public gathering spot doesn't look, sound, smell, or feel anything like Colorado. A wave of green washes over the park like the die tank at a kilt factory exploded, and the Colorado Irish Festival kicks off its annual celebration of the Emerald Isle.
For two decades now, tens of thousands of people have flocked to the event to view (and perhaps wear) a grand collection of kilts and bagpipes. Those bagpipes roar to life with traditional Irish music, which shares the stage with step dancing and more contemporary Irish rock bands?including frequent headliner Gaelic Storm, who attendees may recognize from the film Titanic. Other areas of the festival brim with Irish and Celtic goods, including jewelry, sculptures, and kilt accessories.
In 2011, the Colorado Irish Festival marked the debut event for Killian's Irish Stout, which has a recipe that goes back to Enniscorthy, Ireland. George Killian's brew brings Ireland and Colorado together, since it's made at the local Coors brewery?making it an ideal choice for the festival's signature drink.