Thank You Topeka!

Thank you to everyone who attended Topeka IrishFest Lite! It was wonderful to see all of your smiling faces (even under those mask)! Please check out our Facebook page for pictures from the event.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars, Sept. 18th, we will be celebrating Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day! This will be a larger event located downtown with live music, more yummy food, and of course Blind Tiger beer!

For those of you who participated in the virtual IrishFest 5k don’t forget to:

2021 Virtual Finishers

Congratulations to all this year’s runners, as they had to traverse a year of pandemic and a month of sub freezing weather just weeks before the race. This year’s event was won by Mimi Gardner and Kirk Johnson, with a time of 30:12 and 22:36 respectively.

Our youngest participant this year was Trace Brungardt who a 3rd overall time of 27:14, while the grandest participant Lon Stanton finished with a time of 40:57.

Thank you again to all of our registrant and participants who made this event what it is year in and year out.

Topeka IrishFest Lite – What You Need to Know!

This year will look a little different, but we are determined to do a wee bit o’ celebratin’ for the 2021 Topeka IrishFest sponsored by Mater Dei Parish.

Join us on Saturday, March 13th, 2021 between 11am and 5pm, either in person or at home, as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our homemade Irish Stew, Banger and Mash and Blind Tiger beer.

Online Order & Reservation System

Topeka IrishFest 2021 Lite

March 13, 2021

Mater Dei Parish Hall

1114 SW 10th St. Topeka, KS 66606

Order and Reservations due by Friday March 5, 2021

This is a two step process:

  1. Reserve your time for the Dine-in, Carry-out or Delivery option of your choosing, here.
  2. Return to this page and click on the corresponding link at the top or bottom of this page to order, checkout and pay for your order

Topeka IrishFest Lite Menu:

  • Irish Stew – $7
  • Banger and Mash – $7
  • Blind Tiger Draws – $5
  • Bottled Water – $1
  • To-Go Blind Tiger “Growler” Gift Certificate – $25

Reservation Times For Dine-In & Pick-Up:

  • 11:00 am to 12:00 noon
  • 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
  • 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
  • 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm 
  • 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Social distancing dining will be in 1 hour increments, this will allow us to seat, serve and entertain you with Irish music, all while maintaining appropriate numbers indoors and maintain social distancing. Masks will be required while standing or moving around inside and outside. Masks may be removed only when seated and eating or drinking.

You are free to come before or stay after your reservation time in our outdoor beer garden which will be open till 5:00pm.

**We will provide drive thru pick-up in the alley on the north side of the Parish Hall.**

Delivery Option – We will provide delivery service by our own volunteers within the Topeka city limits for orders of $40 or more and a $10 delivery fee. Available for delivery, Irish Stew ($7), Banger and Mash ($7), and the Blind Tiger “Growler” Gift Certificate ($25). Delivery will be available between 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Blind Tiger Brewery is partnering with us to offer a Gift Certificate for $25 that you can purchase and take to Blind Tiger (37th & Kansas) to redeem for one growler of your choice of their locally brewed beer to go along with your meal or it can be used on another day of your choice. Please note: We will not be able to pick-up or deliver the growlers, only the gift certificate.

If you decide to join us in person, Blind Tiger beer will be available for $5 per draw. Weather permitting, you can also enjoy your beverages in the beer garden just outside the Mater Dei Parish Hall. All proceeds benefit Mater Dei Parish.

To order meals and make your reservation, and to find out about our home delivery options, please here, or visit https://topeka-irishfest-2021.square.site/.

Don’t forget, IrishFest 5k Fun Run Virtual Race will also take place on March 13. You can find registration information at www.irishfestfunrun.com.

What is a Virtual Race?

There are no parking problems. No crowds. No long Porta Potty lines. There is no start gun or nervous, pre-race chitchat with other runners.

There’s not even an official starting line.

That’s the kind of flexibility offered by virtual races, a new trend in the running community. Runners who sign up for a virtual race register online and simply choose their own starting line, whether it’s a treadmill or a neighborhood street. They run the race distance, upload their finishing time and a few days later are mailed a medal.

It may seem strange to traditional runners, but race organizers say the virtual race is a great option for those who want convenience.

How It Began

Years ago, before national championship meets, high school runners mailed in their times to a national postal competition, and a champion was then selected and announced. 

It’s unclear when virtual racing made the leap online to a mass audience. Some race directors say it evolved from runners’ requests to participate in physical races from afar. Regardless, in recent years virtual racing has exploded in popularity, mostly because of its flexibility.

The Benefits

“There are many people who would love to participate in physical races but are unable to for one reason or another,” says Mark Petrillo, founder of Virtual Strides, a small business that organizes virtual races and donates a large percentage of the proceeds to charitable causes. “With virtual races, you don’t need to deal with traffic, parking, poor weather or unexpected schedule conflicts or injuries that might cause you to miss the race.”

“Virtual races can be used to experiment with new training plans and methods to find out what works best for you on nutrition [and] hydration before and during the race, supplements, resting and waking time before the race, apparel and many other very important factors that can make you or break you on your big upcoming race,” he says.

The Cons

Still, as the popularity of virtual races has grown, so have runner’s opinions of it. Many runners say that virtual races simply can’t deliver the same race day atmosphere, the community or the camaraderie of races.

But virtual racing advocates have an answer to that, too. “You are able to keep the community feel because of the online environment,” Jackson says. “Kind of the same way that other running groups share stories and feedback on social media, virtual races create this type of community also.”

How It Works

Most virtual races work the same: participants select a distance, sign up and pay the registration fee. Some races allow runners to complete the distance at any time, but they all allow runners to earn their medal anywhere.

After the virtual race, runners post their times online and are then mailed a finisher’s medal. Some organizers even offer race packets and electronic bibs to their runners as well.

Fees are typically lower for the virtual race alternative, meaning runners can earn their miles and save money. Such is the case with the Walt Disney World Radio Running Team’s Tomorowland Virtual Race, which gives runners an alternative to making the expensive trip to Disney World and Disneyland for their series of half marathons and marathons.