Unbelievable — A Report on the Response for Help
John L. Martin/Peoria Irish Fest – Erin Feis Event Co-Chair

In the 25 years that I have been chair of the Peoria Irish Fest/ Erin Feis the Irish community has never let us down. The response for donations to help pay for the cost of 2020 exceeded our exception. While I expected some help, I was overwhelmed by the numbers, the commits and the desire to help keep the Irish Culture alive in Central ILL.

We had hoped between t-shirt sales and Donation we would raise enough money to cover half of our $8000 budget. After rechecking the numbers several time we raised from t-shirt sales and donation….$9,975 We sold almost 100 t-shirt/hoodies at $3500 and received $6,475 in donations, more than double what we hoped for. There were 60 donors, 50 individuals and 10 businesses. Donation ranged from $20 to several at $500. In grateful appreciation we list them below.

Melissa Arbisi
Paulette Archer
Steve Baker
Shari Bell
Steve Bergquist
Debra Booth
Michelle Borland
Tom Carney
Sally Crandell
Ed & Nancy Dugard
Timothy Dunne
Donna Farrell
Kristine Finn
Terrence Flaherty
Robert Gess
Staci Gierich
Donna Guy
M. Henry Helton
Marcia Hill
Theresa & Eric Hoadley
Timothy Howard
Jim & Tanja Kokos
Wm Liningeer Jr.
Rita Loyd
John & JoAnn Martin
Patrick Martin
Thomas & Kelly McConnaughay
Mike & Tracy McCormick
Thomas McLaughlin
Thomas McMahill
Carolan McNally
Warren E. McReynolds
Ed & Donna Monroe
Sara Naslund
Karen Nelson
Eric Nevitt
Wendy Norlin
Deborah O’Shea
John W. Parkhurst
Jeff Putnam
Larry Resutko
Justin Rose
Nadine Saueer
Jane Seiler
Kevin Seymour
Robert Simpson
Constance & Chet Tomczyk
Sandra Velde

Busey Bank
Envision Insurance Group
Home Depost
IBEW #34
Jimmy’s Bar
Kevin Kelly Jewelers
Ladies Ancient Order of Hiberians
Mike Murphy Ford
Nena Hardware
Ray Dennison Chevrolet
Trefzger’s Bakery

While this made my day (I should say a whole month) the comments made by donors were very good for the soul. Here are a couple:

“I come to Peoria every year for Boys basketball but in 2019, for my birthday I decided to attend the Irish Fest. I saw you were having Doolin, a band I really wanted to hear. I got a hotel room for Friday and was going to see how things went. Well I stayed all weekend and had a great time. I was looking forward to coming in 2020. Hoping things get back to normal, I miss Irish music and the fun I had at your festival. Hope this helps.”

“Here’s a little something to help with the debt. Sorry it cannot be more. Hopefully I will see you in 2021.”

“We volunteer every year. Erin Feis is our favorite summertime event. We meet a lot of friends and always have a great time. We will be there in 2021.”

“For several years we have driven up from southern Illinois. Haven’t missed one yet. Your fest is always a great time and we look forward to meeting our Peoria friends. See you in 2021.”

“We so missed the high point of our year – The Irish Fest. Looking forward to a better 2021 and another awesome festival.”

“Learning of the cancellation of the 2020 Irish Fest came with great sorrow and disappointment. It is our hope that by August of this year we have put the pandemic concerns to rest and we can once again gather to enjoy music, food and Guinness. Keep up the good work and God Bless.”
Mark your calendars for August 27 – 28 – 29, 2021, for one of the best Irish festivals in the Midwest … the Peoria Irish Fest!
You’ll love what we have planned for you! Outstanding music and dance. Celtic culture galore through Highland Games, exhibits and interactive sessions. Delicious food and drink. Legions of laughs and mounds of memories!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

If you enjoyed yourself at our fest, then please take a moment to thank the sponsors that helped make it happen. Let them know you appreciate their support of YOUR fest, every chance you can!

Will PIF Happen

Will Our ’21 Fest Happen?

We are very hopeful, and planning for all the needed approvals. Click here to read more.

Why Volunteer?

Peoria Irish Fest simply cannot live without our wonderful volunteers. We always need more help, so why not you? Volunteer to help, and you’ll be so happy you did — from the great time you’ll have to the outstanding people you’ll meet.

Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals