IrishFeile Logo
  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds
welcome sign photo

Beaver Island has long been known as “America’s Emerald Isle”. It is the only Island in the United States where immigrants left an Island in Ireland and came to an Island in Lake Michigan. Many of those original people from Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland have descendants who still live on Beaver Island. Back in the day, house parties were very popular on the Island. At the parties the unique Irish musical legacy was carried on. Pat Bonner who played the fiddle, Johnny Green, Dominick Gallagher and others who remembered the songs from Ireland. In later years, we had Jewell Gillespie, Barry Pischner and Edward Palmer along with Glen McDonough. The music continues on with Edward his children, and Jewell’s son, Danny and daughter , Cindy Cushman have kept up the tradition of singing Irish music. The Island is long steeped in Irish History and music so join us in celebrating our unique Island and dance the weekend away. 


Hello all! The festival is approaching and we want to make sure that you are armed with all the important details.

If your looking for information on accomadations, places to eat, car rentals, and shops please check out Feel free to call 231-448-2505 or email with questions.

Taxi service is available with B’s Taxi. Give her a call for getting around town or if you need to pick from the airport or other place. Her number is 989-239-9292.

#1 WRIST BANDS – Wrist bands are REQUIRED to attend any of the musical/dancing performances. For $35 ($30 if you prebuy online) you get 2 days worth of incredible talent and fun. A one day wrist band is available for $20. Event staff will be working the doors to check bands. If you are without a wrist band, the staff will collect $10 from you to enter the establishment. If you want to move on to another establishment after that, you will have to pay another $10 and so on. This is why the wrist band is a great value. $35 lets you bop around to all the musical events/pubs for 2 nights. (If you are arriving to the island after the Cultural Center/Holy Cross Hall is closed, you will have the option of buying a wristband at any of our music locations.)
☘️Wrist bands can be purchased/picked up at the Cultural Center/Holy Cross Hall starting at 1:00 p.m. on September 6. This also includes the pre-buy wristbands that you did online.
☘️Wristbands for 12 & under are FREE
Ages 13-17 are $10 for the whole weekend

#2 SHUTTLE – We will have multiple marked shuttles to transport festival attendees around to the pubs. Look for shuttles to be parked outside Beaver Island Realty. Shuttles will be available from 6 pm to 11 pm.

#3 SCHEDULE– The event schedule has been finalized is now on the website. Check it out to view the times and locations of each event.

#4 CULTURAL CENTER/HOLY CROSS HALL – When picking up your wrist bands, be sure to swing through and check out the artisans and vendors as well as visit the Irish Tea Room, hosted by the Altar Society. You can shop on Friday from 1-7 and Saturday from 11-6.
Saturday there are several events happening at the Hall, so make sure to check the schedule.


We have a very large list of generous donors who are making this event possible. You will find their names on our banners around town, t-shirts and website. Thanks to all who are housing, feeding or transporting our guests. We know that they will see and feel the best of Beaver Island Hospitality.
We hope that you will all join us in enjoying all Emerald Isle Irish Feile has to offer!

🚨Don’t forget to pre-purchase your weekend wrist band & save 

Brother Crowe Photo
Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancing Photo1
Byrne Brothers photo
An Dro Photo
Finvarra's Wren photo
Brother Crowe
Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin
Byrne Brothers
An Dro
Finvarra's Wren
previous arrow
next arrow
Ruby John photo
Ed Palmer photo
John McCafferty photo
Danny Johnston photo
Brian Roman photo
Danny Gillespie photo
Ruby John
Ed Palmer
John McCafferty
Danny Johnston
Brian Roman
Danny Gillespie
previous arrow
next arrow

                                                Danny Gillespie

Danny was born on Beaver Island to Jewell Gillespie and Rita O’Donnell. Both of his parents were musical.  Danny lives in Charlevoix and has been playing in Northern Michigan and naturally on Beaver Island since he was a teen. Danny is a singer and plays guitar. He performs Irish and old Country Music.

                                           Cindy Gillespie Cushman

Cindy is Danny Gillespie’s sister. Cindy lives in Petoskey with her husband and family. Coming from a musical family, Cindy has been singing, playing guitar and bodhran since she was a teenager. Cindy knows many Irish songs and old Country.

                                                Edward Palmer

Edward was born on Beaver Island and raised by his parents, Clarence and Lorraine Boyle. He taught himself to play the piano, guitar, and harmonica by hearing the old time music on the Island. Edward has been entertaining folks on Beaver Island for over 50 years. Edward’s whole family were all musically inclined. Edward has made several CD’s, including one with his daughters, Tara, Hilary, and Rita. Edward, and his wife, Mary Gillespie live on the Island.

                                                John McCafferty

John was born in Chicago to Beaver Islanders, Bing McCafferty and Madonna McDonough. The family moved back to Beaver Island in 1968. John is self taught in guitar and has been playing and singing for about 30 years at house parties and different venues on the Island. John has recently moved to Charlevoix with his finance, Tracey McCrumb.    

                                                 Danny Johnston

Danny has lived in the Harbor Springs/Good Hart area his whole life and is a fiddle player. In August of  2014 at the Great Lakes Folk Festival, Danny was awarded the Michigan Heritage Award for his fiddling and impact in the Michigan fiddle community.  Danny has stayed active in fiddling and has been one of the organizers for the East Jordan Fiddler’s Jamboree.

Brian Roman

Brian is from Okemos and is a fiddler player. Brian came to Beaver Island about 15 years ago after hearing recordings of Pat Bonner’s fiddle playing at Michigan State.   Brian was fascinated by Pat’s fiddling (he started playing when he was 12) and he wanted to come to the place where it all began. Brian was quickly adopted by the Islander’s. Brian now lives in Traverse City.


Jim Boynton

Jim is a Jesuit Brother originally from Saint Ignace. The summer Jim was 15 his uncle took him to a barn sale and Jim saw a fiddle and immediately fell in love with it. He told his folks if they let him buy it he would learn to play it, and learn it he did. He attacked it everyday and had a few lessons. That same Fall his dad saw in the paper  there was a Fiddler’s  Jamboree in Cheybogan. Jim said he would go but wouldn’t take his fiddle. In the middle of the show he heard his name to come to the stage, his father was standing there iwith Jim’ fiddle. Every fiddler was supposed to play three tunes. He only knew two… One of them was the Tennessee Waltz. When I had played both I said I was done because I didn’t know any more. Then a nice guy who was right behind me on stage said, “Play the Tennessee Waltz again, but this time play it a little slower, and I’ll play it with you.” That was the beginning of my friendship with Danny Johnston. Through him I met Jewell Gillespie, and then Danny Gillespie. Music and the two Dannys have been a part of my life for a very long time now. Our music connection has grown into the best two friendships I could possibly have. When I play music with those two pot lickers my spirit is light and I am most alive. Besides the fiddle I also love to goof around with the mandolin, tin whistle, guitar, and piano. I’m happy to play with them anywhere, but for some reason our music sounds best when we are surrounded by the waters of Northern Michigan. Brother Jim currently teaches in Detroit.





Beaver Island, Michigan 49782

Beaver Island, Michigan is the most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes, As an unbridged island, the only way to and from travel to Beaver Island is via ferry, airplane or boat. Beaver Island is an amazing place to visit to unwind, unplug and relax. It is also a great place to attend a truly unique Irish Festival.

Our Great Sponsors

Hodgson Enterprises

Island Airways

McDonough’s Market

St.James Boat Shop

Gillespie Enterprises

Circle M/Island Energies

Fresh Air Aviation

The Blue Pearl

Beaver Island Boat Company

Schwartzfisher Stoneworks

Kirk & Judy McBride

Mike & Kitty Green

Bonnie Rice

Lisa Gillespie/Shipwreck Shirts

Beaver Island Historical Society

Charlevoix Hostpital

Beaver Island Lumber Co.

KM Construction

 Nackerman Design Associates

Traudt Family

Connaghan Construction

Mike & Christie Perdue

Greenwald Construction

Linda Wearn

Real Estate One- Sheri Richards

Northern Islander

John & Jeanne Gillespie

Ronald Stith

Stan Jensen

Ed Wojan Realty

Powers Do It Best

Robert’s John Service

Olson Construction

News on the Net

McDonough Construction

Eager Beaver Store

Emerald Isle Motel

Shirley Cole- in memory of Corneil/Ruth Gatliff

John Fiegen

Harbor View Motel

Pete & Sandy LoDico/L &L Carpet Cleaning

Beaver Island Retreat

Isle Haven

Vince & Marybeth Left-in memory of Vince Rice

Bobbi Welke

Beaver Island Golf Course-John & Carolyn Works

Ruth and Peter Igoe

Jeans Lawn Service

Ralph Williamson/Kimberlee Mitchell

Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate

Charlevoix State Bank

North Bay Hydroseed of Northern Michigan

Dale and Nancy Cull and Family

Ron Wojan

Long Road Distillers

Chris & Melissa Welke

Erin Motel

Anne’s Custom Cupcakes

The Charlevoix Community Foundaton

Milwaukee Irish Foundaton

Trisha Chandler in Memory of David Chandler &Edna Keenan-Chandler



               ·         Founding Sponsor:  $2,000 to $3,000 +

    o        Pre-event promotion

    o        Link to business on event website

    o        Event signage

    o        Verbal thank you (multiple) at the event

    o        Larger logo on event t-shirts

    o        Four event passes and four t-shirts

    ·         Major Sponsor:  $1,000 to $1,999

    o        Pre-event promotion

    o        Link to business on event website

    o        Event signage

    o        Verbal thank you (multiple) at the event

    o        Medium logo on event t-shirts

    o        Two event passes and two t-shirts

    ·         Corporate Sponsor:  $500 to $999

    o        Pre-event promotion

    o        Link to business on event website

    o        Event signage

    o        Verbal thank you (multiple) at the event

    o        Small logo on event t-shirts

    o        One event pass and one t-shirt

    ·         Supporting Sponsor of $100 to $499

    o        Link to business on event website

    o        Verbal thank you at the event

    o        Name listed on event t-shirts

    o        One t-shirt

Click Button Below for Sponsorship Payment


To Volunteer Please Fill Out Form Below
Phone: + 231-448-2505
Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce

Buy Your Tickets and Tell Your Friends

Emerald Isle Irish Festival

The Beaver Island Irish Feile is a new event for 2019. This event is sponsored by the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce as well as multiple private businesses on Beaver Island. This event is a collaborative event including the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce, BeaverIsland Community School and the Beaver Island Historical Society. Educational events are planned at both the school and the Mormon Printshop Museum. This  event is going to be a showcase for the Irish heritage of Beaver Island which is also known as America’s Emerald Isle. The First Annual Irish Festival will feature  Irish music, activities, and history as it relates to the settlement of Beaver Island.

There will be more, so keep checking back at the website for further information.

Emerald Isle Irish Feile Festival Press Release available from