There’s true Irish history in Walworth County, Wisconsin (WalCo) and plenty of ways to kick up your heels or comfortably relax on St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, we’ve pulled together a few lucky finds of great things happening in March in WalCo.
IRISH IN WalCo
Before the Great Chicago Fire and before the Civil War, the Wisconsin Central Railroad decided to run railroad tracks from Genoa, Wisconsin at the state line with Illinois to Whitewater, Wisconsin. The railroad hired a large number of Irish immigrant men to lay down the tracks. Many of the immigrants decided to stay in Wisconsin and bought land just west of Lake Geneva along what is now Highway 50. The heavily wooded area became known as Irish Woods.
The Irish traditions continue at WalCo’s favorite Irish pub, Foley’s Irish Woods, located in the same area Irish immigrants made home in the mid-1800s. There’s no shortage of Irish festivity, food and beverages all year long and especially for St. Patrick’s Day.
FOOD & LIBATION PICKS FOR ST PATRICK’S DAY
- Foley’s Irish Pub offers food for the hungry, rest for the weary and good drink for all. Kitchen is open 11 am-10 pm with tasty Irish appetizers, salads and entrees including Bangers & Mash and Shepards Pie daily. Corned Beef and Cabbage every Wednesday night. Karoake Friday night.
- The Treasury, is hosting a family friendly Old Fashioned Block Party from noon-8 pm, Fri, Mar 17, with delicious food & spirits including specialty Irish whiskeys and green beer. Free to attend, registration on our Eventbrite required.
- Lake Geneva Country Meats has Guinness & Corned Beef stew kits with everything you need to get started on a delicious corned beef dinner! Just add your preferred piece of corned beef and you’re ready to get cooking! See the video and order soon.
- MORE St Patrick’s Day Fun!
Geneva Tap House, Irish Weekend, March 17-19
Crafted Italia, The Ridge, Small Batch Trio Irish Music, March 17
Grandview Restaurant at Geneva Inn St. Patrick’s Day dinner and cocktail pairings, March 17.
LUCKY, UNEXPECTED FINDS AND OTHER MARCH ACTIVITIES
Surprise! March is full of activity in WalCo. Brush off that winter cabin fever and join us for a variety of unexpected, lucky activities.
- Yerkes Star Party on the Lawn, is sold out, however indoor tours are available.
- Whitewater Freeze Fest, featuring a chili-cook off, Polar Plunge, live music, hot cocoa, and more! Proceeds benefit Special Olympics. March 18
- Maplefest, at Covenant Harbor includes a classic pancake breakfast, a return of the outdoor market, and a few family friendly activities. Proceeds benefit scholarships for summer camp children. March 19
- Hills Are Alive Trail Run/Walk/CaniCross event, Lake Geneva Zip Lines, March 19
- Evergreen Golf Club Comedy Night, March 25
- Gary Con XV, an annual game convention celebrating the life and works of Gary Gygax, the Father of Role Playing Games & Dungeons & Dragons, March 23-26, Grand Geneva
- March 26, 2023, “The Young and the Restless,” turns 50. The daytime drama has been set in a fictionalized fantasy version of Genoa City, in southern Walworth County, for 50 years. The show’s original producers lived in Chicago and had a summer home in Lake Geneva. They traveled through Genoa City and they loved the name, so they set the show there. Conversations have begun between producers and Village officials to commemorate the 50th anniversary with a donation of 50 trees to the Walworth County village. Read more
- MORE ON WALCO IRISH ROOTS
- At the Lake Magazine, Feb 28, 2019, “Educating the Irish.”
- Pamela Myers Blog, Mar 4, 2020, “Irish Woods – The First Illinoisans to Escape to Wisconsin.”
- The Webster House Museum, Spring 2014, The Legacy Newsletter, article by Marra Andreas, page 4