Tracy McGowan, co-owner of the Annapolis Irish Festival, has announced that the Annapolis Irish Festival has been acquired by ABC Events. “My partners, Ron Getek, Pam Finlay, and I are pleased that ABC Events will take over the Annapolis Irish Festival. We are confident that under their direction, the Festival will flourish. My family and I are grateful for their commitment to carry on the tradition established by my husband, Eddie McGowan.”
The Annapolis Irish Festival was the dream of Annapolitan Eddie McGowan. In 2011 the Festival made its debut and was an instant success. It attracted a record crowd and unprecedented support from the community. Eddie’s personal connection to the Celtic music world allowed him to bring many of the top Celtic bands, entertainers, and vendors to Annapolis. Over the years Gaelic Storm, Albannach, Carbon Leaf, the Gothard Sisters, Scythian, Seamus Kennedy, the Chesapeake Caledonian Marching Pipe and Drums, and others all graced the “AIF” stage.
In addition to creating and developing a Festival that celebrated Celtic music and tradition, Eddie was committed to giving back to the community that embraced the event. Each and every year, the Festival donated a portion of its proceeds to local nonprofits, whose good work helped make his hometown a wonderful place to live. Since the Festival’s inception, total contributions to local charities were $168,000. Eddie McGowan passed away from ALS in February 2018.
The 2022 Annapolis Irish Festival is scheduled to take place this summer at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. Daryl Cooke of ABC Events confirmed. “ABC Events is excited to add the Annapolis Irish Festival to our 2022 event lineup and look forward to continuing the tradition of great Irish music, tasty food and beer, and a fun day for the whole family.” The festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
ABC Events produces the Maryland Chicken Wing Festival, the Maryland Seafood Festival, the Bay Bridge Paddle, and the Maryland Latino Festival. Past events have included the Naptown BarBAYq, Annapolis Beer Week, Annapolis Beer Run, Drafts and Laughs (comedy festival), and the Maryland Heritage Festival.