Hundreds turn out for outdoor Mass at Oshkosh Irish Fest

By | June 6, 2012

A highlight was the outdoor Irish Fest Mass, held Sunday morning. About 750 attended under warm and sunny skies. The celebrant was Fr. Bill Hower, a retired priest from the Madison Diocese, who now lives in Oshkosh.

Photos by Jeannette Merten | For The Compass

A newly composed Hibernian Mass was introduced by members of the popular Irish band Switchback. Brian Fitzgerald and Martin McCormack not only composed the Mass but also performed it, along with members of the Oshkosh Irish Fest Choir. John Rogge of Oshkosh directed the choir, which was made up of singers from around the area.

The touching and spirited Mass was well-received by the members of the assembly.

Also assisting at the Mass were the Knights of Columbus honor guard and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. They included readings in both English and Gaelic.

The weekend offered nonstop fun, featuring celebrations of all aspects of Irish culture. Offerings included a medieval banquet; homelier fare and libations; the Irish Fest Idol Contest; children’s activities and games; Irish Fest 5k run; Celtic canines; Currach boat demonstrations; an Irish Wake House, exploring the traditions of an Irish celebratory funeral; and an Irish marketplace with plenty of cultural offerings to buy.

The Cultural Village offered a variety of talks highlighting Irish history, culture and fun.

And the Main Stage and Pub Tent offered continuous music and dance performances.

“This was the largest crowd we ever had,” said Matt Miller, president of Oshkosh Irish Fest. “It was a huge success. We are very pleased with how the weekend went. It’s nice to know we have a winning formula, and we’re looking forward to next year.”

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