Thousands attend Irish Music Festival

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MUSKEGON, Mich. -- It was a musical weekend in Muskegon County. Sunday was the final day for the Michigan Irish Music Festival that was held at Heritage Landing.

The event was filled with plenty of cultural activities, such as different types of food and four stages for live music. There were 23 different bands all weekend, including some festival favorites like Gaelic Storm.

"The music that we present is just world class musicians from all over, not only the United States but Canada and Ireland," said Chris Zahrt, President of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Irish Music Festival. "It's a great opportunity for us to bring these musicians and put them on stage here in Muskegon."

Organizers also said the festival helps bring business to Muskegon during a time of year business tends to slow down.

"Our whole reason to begin this event was to present the Irish culture not only to our community but those that visit us, but also to bring people in to stay in our hotels," said Zahrt. "We've continued to grow and sell out the hotels, and so that's exciting."

This was the 15th year for the Michigan Irish Music Festival, and organizers estimate about 20,000 people came out this weekend.

The event is said to have been made possible thanks in part to about 850 volunteers.

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