Celtic Fest returns to Barrington

Green will be back in fashion in Barrington this weekend when the village and McGonigal's Pub host the 8th annual Barrington Celtic Fest.

The event begins Friday and continues Saturday outside the pub, 105 S. Cook St., in a heated festival tent stretched across Park Avenue.

But in a special kickoff for the two-day festival, McGonigal's will host Niall Kelleher, lord mayor of Killarney, Ireland, Thursday evening. He'll launch the weekend festivities with the proclamation of "Killarney Day" in Barrington, and help celebrate the village's new sister-city relationship with the town in western Ireland.

The festival itself starts at 11 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, St. Patrick's Day. Admission is free all weekend, but since the event supports the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, patrons are encouraged to visit their booth in the festival tent and donate to the cause.

The agenda for Celtic Fest includes a lineup of entertainment featuring performances from a plethora of musicians (Irish and rock), five Irish dance troupes and bagpipers. Schedules and band lineups can be found at

There also will be Irish-themed retail merchants and, of course, plenty of food and beverages both in the outdoor festival tent and within McGonigal's.

The pub's new next-door neighbors, Remember Charlotte's, will take part in its first Barrington Celtic Fest. The space, which is connected to the pub, will be open for business during the entire festival. Limited seating for dining also will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in The Loft, which is the pub's second level, plus there will be numerous tables in the festival tent.

Pub menus over the two-day festival will be limited from the normal offerings, though there will be plenty of additional food options in the tent, including cuisine from McGonigal's Pub, Clarke's Bakery & Deli, and Remember Charlotte's. All food and beverage transactions in the tent will be cash only; credit cards can be used for service within the pub.

Access via the Metra UP-Northwest line is convenient, as the festival is located only two blocks west of the Barrington station. An ample amount of free parking will be available all weekend in the Metra train station and throughout the downtown.

For more information on Barrington Celtic Fest, including directions and entertainment schedules, visit or Facebook at

  Annette dePaola of Barrington, left, and Tara McNally of Glendale Heights donned their Irish green while sampling beer and corn beef sandwiches during Barrington Celtic Fest last year. The eighth annual edition of the fest is set for this weekend in downtown Barrington. Mark Welsh/, 2017
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