The New Dublin Leprechauns visit in wit students at MBV School
Irish Fest is Saturday in New London and preparations in the city have been ongoing since the beginning of the week. It began with the New Dublin Leprechauns who were out and about, changing the city signs, visiting in with students at local schools, and the elderly at local nursing homes.
The leprechauns who take part in spreading cheer and getting involved in the week-long shenanigans ahead of Irish Fest say they take great pride in the role.
“Honestly, it’s a great honor to be asked to be a leprechaun in this community,” said Robert Leahy, one of the leprechauns of New Dublin. “It’s a week-long celebration in this town and we’re just the beginning of it. We get people in the right attitude and the right mindset to go out and have fun and embrace your Irish heritage.”
New Dublin has developed a strong reputation with their celebration, as they prepare to welcome thousands of visitors within their city for the weekend. Leahy describes it as an honor for such a small town that’s received national recognition.
“This is New London’s greatest week of the year and we are well-known for it around the world,” said Leahy. “We’re a small town in the middle of Wisconsin and they compare us to Boston and Chicago when it comes to biggest celebrations, so that’s pretty good for a small town of 7,000 people.”
Why is the celebration such a big deal? Leahy says it’s because of the many in New London who have Irish roots.
“There’s a very big Irish community here in New London,” Leahy said. “A lot of people settled here in the early days because it reminded them of their homeland, with the way the land rolls and the typography. There’s a lot of Irish here, a lot of Murphy’s, O’neil’s, and Sullivan’s and every other Irish name you can think of, like Leahy.”
Irish Fest kicks off tomorrow with the parade, beginning at 1:00 p.m. This year’s grand marshals are Wally and Mickey Schmidt.