About The Southern Illinois Irish Festival

The Festival began in 1997 by Charles Fanning, Director of the Southern Ilinois University Carbondale (SIUC) Irish and Irish Immigration Studies Program, as a Celebration of Irish American Music. Overwhelming response to this event prompted individuals in the community to organize the 1998 festival, which attracted 1000 participants.

SIUC’s Shryock Auditorium co-sponsored the Festival concerts in 1999 and 2000; the Festival became sole sponsor in 2001. A full-day Saturday Celtic Fair was added to the Festival in 1999. Attendance varies from 1,000-4,000 for the weekend events.

Festival activities compliment and enhance SIUC’s Irish and Irish American Immigration Studies Program and WSIU-FM’s nationally-syndicated Celtic Connections radio program, making Carbondale a hub of Irish/Celtic activities in the region. Until 2003, the Festival was loosely affiliated with SIUC, but self-supporting. In 2003, the Festival was approved by the IRS as a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit organization.


  • Mike Shanahan, President, Entertainment Coordinator
  • Al Kuczynski, Vice-President, Marketing Committee Coordinator
  • Bryan Kelso Crow, Secretary/Treasurer
  • John Cotter, Site Coordinator
  • Tom Connelley, member at large
  • Steven “Bunny” Howe
  • Andrea Stader, member at large
  • Jim Temple, member at large


  • Holly Kee
  • Les Lannom
  • David Barnhart
  • Chuck Litecky
  • Phil Reed
  • Cherie Martin

Upcoming Events

Celtic Fair:

September 8-9, 2018

More Info

Contact Us

Mailing Address: Southern Illinois Irish Festival
PO Box 3276
Carbondale, IL 62902-3276

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