Milwaukee Irish Fest caves to Freedom From Religion Foundation, ends free admission promo for Mass-goers

You would think this is from the Onion, but no... Madison, Wis., strikes again.

Freedom From Religion Foundation: 
Irish Fest organizers in Milwaukee announced today that they are dropping a promotion that violated civil rights laws by rewarding Mass attendance, in response to a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Irish Fest will now offer everyone who drops off a food donation by 11 a.m. free admittance.

Freedom From Religion Foundation Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott is pleased with the resolution: "We have been going back and worth with Irish Fest officials for the past two years to stop their discriminatory Catholic mass discount [laugh or cry?]. It wasn't until we had local members weigh-in that we seemed to make some progress."

FFRF asked its Wisconsin members on Tuesday to stand up for their rights as local citizens and taxpayers. Not only was the festival excluding nonreligious Wisconsinites, but citizens who practice a religion other than Catholicism.                                                                                                        
"We received many strong testimonials from our secular members. Some identified as Irish folk who have been attending the event for years, but do not subscribe to the Catholic faith — or any faith for that matter — and felt ostracized [OSTRACIZED! THE HORROR!] by festival officials," said Elliott.


  1. (Brian from Illinois): My Bishop David Malloy of Rockford will be celebrating the Mass at Irish Fest on Sunday morning. Maybe he should do an excorcism as part of it? :(

  2. I am shocked that Irish fest caved so quickly. Doesn't Polish fest have a similar free admissions Mass promo? I am sure they'll hold the line.

  3. The true Catholics need to twist the arms of the Irish Fest organizers to help them develop some spine!

  4. On behalf of Milwaukee Irish Fest, I'm forwarding information about the Sunday gate promotion. This information can be found directly on thier website:

    Sunday Gate Promotion
    We’re expanding our gate promotion for Sunday, August 19th. Anyone donating a non-perishable food item by 11 a.m., will receive free admission to the festival. Those who donate food items are welcome to stay for the mass beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will receive free admission directly following. Those choosing not to attend the mass will receive a free admission ticket or hand stamp for free entry at any point during the day (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) All non-perishable food items will be donated to Hunger Task Force.

    -Brian M.


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