The 12th annual Indy Irish Festival is still weeks away, but the festivities have already begun as Celtic fans move from one Irish pub to another across Indiana and Ohio. Each stop will find pub-goers with their drinks and voices raised in the air — all part of the Fourth Annual Irish Toast Contest.
Before the winner is crowned Saturday, Sept. 15 in Military Park, contestants must be whittled down to an elite few. The next preliminary round takes place Aug. 25 at Griffin’s County Kerry Pub. The rules for the event are simple: Contestants must present a toast that uses Irish culture, tradition, humor, alcohol or Celtic imagery. They will be judged on oration, creativity, subject matter and audience response. The winner will be named “pub champion” and will advance to the semi-finals at the Irish Festival.
Registration for the toast contest can be completed online at www.indyishfest.com/activities/toast.html. Contestants can also register at any participating pub. Walk-up participation is also accepted, but only on the night of a preliminary round. The first place winner at the Indy Irish Festival will receive a $1,000 travel credit for an Irish vacation (www.visitireland.com).