How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish In Philadelphia This Week

Shannon and Matt Heaton

Less than a month away. That’s right. St. Paddy’s Day—and all the local St. Paddy’s day activities are less than a month away. In fact, this week many pubs are celebrating “St. Practice Day” to help folks get ready for March 17, commonly known among Irish bartenders as “amateur night.”

Well, there’s plenty to do to get yourself conditioned. On Friday night, for example, Tir Na Nog in Center City is hosting the Bogside Rogues for “The Great Guinness Toast,” an international more-or-less simultaneous quaffing of the brown stuff.

And the 19th annual Greater Philadelphia Mid-Winter Scottish and Irish Festival gets underway in Valley Forge with a concert featuring the Scottish tribal drum group Albannach and The Dubliners, as well as locals Jamison and The Hooligans. This one runs all weekend and features everything from swordplay to whiskey tasting, with a whole lot of music and dance thrown in. There are people who need to practice for this event too. Not us—we’ll be there all weekend and you can see how we handle all things Celtic.

Direct from Boston, Irish duo Matt and Shannon Heaton will be making their magic at Trinity Episcopal Church in Swarthmore on Friday night.

And you have your choice of two great Irish plays – Terminus at the Zellerbach Theatre and The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Plays and Players. Better yet, go to both. If you buy tickets for two or more plays in Philadelphia’s Irish Theatre Festival, you get  a 20 percent discount. Go to the Philadelphia Theater Alliance website to order.

On Sunday, Dr. William Watson, director of the Duffy’s Cut Project in Malvern, where the bodies of 19th century Irish immigrants have been unearthed, will be speaking at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside.

At 12:30 PM on Sunday, Irish Network-Philadelphia is holding a public meeting at the Irish Immigration Center in Upper Darby to discuss future events. Tea, coffee and sandwiches will be provided. If you’re not a member of this networking group, here’s your chance to join and. . .network.

There are still a few spaces in a one-day course at Temple University-Fort Washington on Celtic Christianity, which will be held on Wednesday evening. Dr. Ken Ostrand will take you from Irish Christianity before Saint Patrick to today, and introduce you to a variety of Irish saints (some with amazing powers).

Big day next Friday. The Irish American Business Chamber and Network Ambassador’s Awards Luncheon will honor Aramark Corp, the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, outgoing president of St. Joseph’s University, and businessman James Hasson and his wife, Sarah. The event will take place at the Crystal Tea Room at 100 East Penn Square in Center City. Irish Ambassador to the US, Michael Collins, will make the presentations.

Later that evening, Collins along with Consul General Noel Kilkenny will be attending a fundraiser for the Duffy’s Cut Project. Money raised at the event, which will feature the music of Paul Moore and Friends, will be used to cover the costs of continued DNA tests on the remains found at the archeological site and to erect a memorial to the dead at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls.

The details for all these events and more are on our amazing calendar. If you have an event you want to publicize, you can add it to our calendar yourself or email me at

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