Green will be a popular color in downtown Waterloo this weekend when Iowa Irish Fest returns to Lincoln Park and the surrounding nine-block area.

The state's largest Celtic celebration features an entertainment lineup that includes nearly 20 music groups and around 50 performances. Festival Director Chad Shipman says organizers are preparing to welcome as many as 50,000 visitors to the Cedar Valley.

Shipman says it takes around 1,500 volunteers to make the festival run smoothly and about 500 of them are still needed to work at booths, beer tents and other areas.

Iowa Irish Fest was held as a virtual event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipman says there is plenty of excitement surrounding this year's celebration, which is taking place just days after last week's overnight RAGBRAI stop brought an estimated 20,000 visitors to Waterloo.

Shipman says several first-time activities have been planned for this weekend's festival. Among them will be a variety of workshops -- some free and others requiring pay-in-advance registration -- that focus on the Irish culture.

The 15th annual Iowa Irish Fest runs Friday from 4 PM to midnight, Saturday from 9 AM to midnight and Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM. Event organizers have launched an Iowa Irish Fest phone app, which is available on the Apple and Google stores. The newly developed app allows users to purchase tickets and view the entertainment schedule, among other things.

For information about Iowa Irish Fest, CLICK HERE.

Our Freedom Story mural - downtown Waterloo

Take a walk along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo to view this 3,000-square-foot mural of the city's civil rights history shown abstractly through lines, shapes, and colors. Located behind the Waterloo Center for the Arts (near the Highway 63 bridge). Created by the Waterloo Youth Art Team.

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