We wanted to update everyone on MeagherFest 2018.
This year the Thomas Francis Meagher Association (TFMA) will be doing a series of small events around the state as opposed to a single festival. After careful thought and consideration, we decided this would be for the best for the future of the festival, TFMA, and all who support the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher.
We had many considerations going into this year’s festival. Like all events like this, there are things we plan for, and then there are unforeseen circumstances that create challenges. While often these are challenges we can overcome, at times circumstances outside our control present themselves.
Only after setting a date and months of planning did we learn there of ongoing construction on the Capitol Grounds – a series of improvements to ensure ADA compliance and ongoing infrastructure upgrades. While this will be great long term for all the visitors to our capitol, it is not conducive to holding a festival. One of the appeals and main attractions of the Meagher Festival last year was the historical presentations in conjunction with musical artists at the Montana Historical Society and Capitol grounds respectively. The Montana State Capitol is unique in many ways, one of the most conspicuous being the giant statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, in whose shadow our musicians performed. With the construction, there was really no way to push ahead with the June 30th date.
We then began to consider different dates. One of the exciting things within the community of the Montana Irish has been the continuing growing number of Irish and Celtic festivals and events. While we are excited about the broad appeal of MeagherFest, we truly want to support the other Irish and Celtic events around the state, these being very much in line with our own mission of celebrating the life and legacy of Meagher. We certainly do not wish to divide audiences with overlapping schedules. With other events already underway, it would be difficult to add another full festival at this late date.
Moving forward, we are certainly excited about working with individual communities around the state throughout the coming year. We will be sponsoring a series of events, including presentations, music, and a variety of get-togethers celebrating the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher. Next year we plan on being back with a full festival in Helena.
Apologies for any inconvenience this change of plans may have caused. Meanwhile, please follow us on meagherfest.org of Thomas Francis Meagher Association on FB for continuing updates and information. Thank you all for your patience and support!
Beir bua agus beannacht!