The Dublin Irish Festival is a cultural and musical event that’s held in Dublin, Ohio every year. It is organized and supported by the City of Dublin. Twenty-nine acres of scenic land in Coffman Park is converted into a massive venue with eight different entertainment stages. It is known as the largest Irish Festival in the world, with activities spanning over three days.
A few dancers and a band called the Irish Brigade started the Dublin Irish Festival in 1988. The City of Dublin came on board in 1992 and became the main sponsor. In 1997, the festival entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Irish event of its kind ever held.
Over 100,000 festival-goers visit the Dublin Irish Festival every year in early August. There is plenty of entertainment on offer including Irish and Celtic music, dance, genealogy, games, cultural exhibits, arts and crafts, sports, activities for kids, and delicious food. Additionally, a range of classes on Irish culture and music will be offered by the Dublin Irish Festival Academy.
The world-renowned dance competition, the Columbus Feis, also takes place at the same time as the festival. Over the years, the event has grown into a cultural phenomenon that brings the city alive with music, dance, and festivities.
You can buy general admission tickets or opt for the VIP experience. These range in price from $10 for single-day general admission tickets to $4850 for the Trinity VIP passes (8 festival passes per day + 8 Trinity Experience Passes per day + 4 VIP parking passes per day).
Dublin Irish Festival offers special options available for students, military personnel, and seniors. Children below the age of 12 can enter for free. There are also group ticketing options available which will bring down the costs of passes significantly.
Dublin, Ohio is a short twenty to twenty-five-minute drive from Downtown Columbus. Be sure to adhere to speed limits and drive slowly especially when getting on or off the interstate in your rig. Potholes frequent the roads in this area, so keep an out as you travel. If you drive to or near the festival site from afar, it may be preferable to take the outer highway belt around Columbus. Motorists can expect festival traffic and some roads near the venue may be closed.
Complimentary general parking is available a short distance away from the festival venue. It is a good idea to get there early since spots tend to fill up fast. ADA accessible parking is provided to patrons with disabilities on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is not a specified area for motorcycle parking, but there is a designated area for bicycles.
A free shuttle service will run continuously from Dublin's city center to the festival venue. It will begin ferrying passengers one hour before the festival starts and go on one hour after it ends. Other ways to get to the nearby Columbus area are by bus, train, or taxi.
Camping on the festival grounds is not permitted, but you can book a spot at an RV park or campground nearby.
You’ll find several great campgrounds under thirty minutes away from the festival where you can park your RV and relax in comfort. You can get to these easily from the main highways and not have too much fuss with side streets. They come fully equipped with facilities like WiFi, laundry services, big rig access, pool access and typically offer water, sewer, and electrical hookups.
The best way to get around the venue is on foot. Bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, hoverboards, or other types of personalized vehicles will not be allowed inside the festival areas. The site is wheelchair accessible, but there are a lot of grassy areas. Patrons with disabilities can get around using the curb ramps, sidewalks, and streets that can be found all over the grounds.
Most festival-goers choose to wear light, comfortable clothing. So you can’t go wrong with shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops. It’s likely to be pretty sunny August, so don’t forget to wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Also, put on a pair of shoes that you’ll be comfortable walking all day in on various surfaces.
Only small bags or purses will be allowed into the venue. It’s a good idea to carry a few essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, a lightweight blanket, and maybe a rain jacket. You will be allowed to take in two sealed non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. Make sure your beverages are not packaged in a glass bottle or can.
Ensure that you're protecting yourself from the sun by wearing sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat. Take frequent breaks to find some shade and sit down. Stay hydrated and drink alcohol in moderation in order to enjoy all three days of the festival. Guests will not be allowed to carry in any alcohol and smoking on the festival grounds is prohibited.
Area campgrounds allow cooking as long as it is on the equipment within your RV. Small portable stoves and grills are often also permitted, but campfire regulations may depend on current conditions. It’s a good idea to stock up on essentials like bread, cheese, and sandwich meats for an easy meal. Cooking on the festival grounds is not permitted, but you’ll find a ton of food and beverage options on site.
You’ll find some great steakhouses in Dublin, and you may want to add that to your trip agenda. There are also some great restaurants serving up delicious Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Indian cuisine. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick snack, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from near the festival site and area campgrounds.
At the Dublin Irish Festival, you’ll find so much more than the usual carnival fare. The event is Ireland themed so can choose from some delicious Irish food. You’ll also be able to enjoy some delightful American staples like hot dogs, burgers, barbecue, corn on the cob, and crab cakes.
Security personnel will be present at all the entrances and will also be making rounds. Guests will be allowed to carry a small bag, which will be searched before entry. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, and anyone seen breaking the festival rules will be escorted out of the venue.
It is likely to be quite sunny and pleasant in August in Ohio. In case a weather emergency does occur, information and instructions will be announced over the outdoor warning system. It’s a good idea to carry a jacket or a rain poncho just in case it rains.
First Aid Stations can be found near all the entrances. Festival staff and EMTs will be making rounds and can be flagged down in case you require assistance. Wheelchairs will be available at the information tents but are limited in number. They are free of cost, but you’ll need to leave behind an ID for security purposes.