No need to head overseas, The Emerald Isle is actually in Imogene in Fremont County

For many, a trip to beautiful Ireland is a bucket list trip. I've personally never been but perhaps someday. After all, anybody with a "Mc" last name probably has a little bit of Irish in them somewhere down the family lineage. However, for those of you who can't find the time or the money to head to Ireland (or travel to Europe is banned because of a global pandemic), you can still visit The Emerald Isle without ever having to leave the friendly confines of our state. You see, the Emerald Isle is actually in Imogene, a small community in Fremont County that is brimming with Irish pride, tradition, and heritage.

Last year, when things were still emerald green, a couple of friends of mine and I made the visit to this beautiful southwest Iowa town of about 72 people (as of the last census). Despite it's relatively small size, there is a lot of life and vibrancy in this small community. They are proud of their Irish Catholic heritage and are eager to invite others to share in it too.

Every Irish community needs their Irish pub and The Emerald Isle fits that bill for Imogene. Last year, I stopped in "Iowa's Little Ireland", which is Melrose in Monroe County. They have their own Irish pub known as Feehan's.

The Emerald Isle is located on the Main Street in town. There's not many streets so it shouldn't be hard to find it. It's a green and brick building with big and robust lettering.

When my friends and I visited, you could still faintly make out the large painted shamrock in the middle of the road.

Inside, the Irish vibe is literally everywhere. From green seated chairs and table cloths to green paint, a green tree, and a whole assortment of other fun decor and signage.

Beside a full bar, they also serve a variety of food options. It is pretty standard small town bar and grill fare.

They also offer specials.

I spotted these corn hole / bags boards handing on the wall. I'm sure during warmer months, they get some use on or near their nice outdoor patio space.

I've been told that their St. Patrick's day festivities last several days and are the stuff of legend. These thirsty Irish folk practice all year on the 17th of every month. I got a good chuckle out of the "St. Practice Day" promotion. Clever.

Of course, there is more to Imogene than just a fun Irish pub. The Wabash Trace trail runs through town and is popular with bicyclists.

Naturally, a lot of those bikers will make pit stops at The Emerald Isle as evidenced by the sizable bike rack on the premises.

Beside benches, picnic tables, and a fire pit near the trail, there is also a grain bin that has been converted into bathroom and shower facilities.

Whether you are in town because you pedaled through or you are stopping for a pint at the pub, you should also head to check out the beautiful St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Literally from any angle, it is an impressive structure. It goes without saying that they do not make church buildings like this anymore.

It was not open for my friends and I to peer in when we were there but based on some of the photos I've found online, it looks to be rather magnificent. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are going to be celebrating that history and heritage later this year if you want to swing into town for what I imagine will be a blockbuster event.

The town is quite proud of it (and rightfully so) and there are a few other church structures nearby too.

The St. Patrick's Academy building was built in 1906.

This beautiful brick building, perhaps once a nunnery or convent, is across the street from the church.

There is a large and quite regal statue of St. Patrick on the church property premises next to this building.

Of course, agriculture is a major part of the rural economy everywhere, including in Fremont County. I found both corn and soybean fields nearby and a large grain elevator as well

There is more than just corn and soybeans that are raised in the area. A local garden center, Baile Market, is also in business.

Nearby to the market is a a small stage venue that has been painted with "Floodstock 2019". Unfortunately,