How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

It is totally time to rock this look.

It is totally time to rock this look.

This is the time of year when I wish teleporting technology was not just part of the fictional Star Trek universe, because my molecules would be scrambling and re-forming several times a day to get to all the great Irish events dueling for my attention. You too? Thought so.

Next weekend, there are at least four local parades, including the biggie, the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade, on Sunday March 16. But the calendar is packed even before that. Let’s start with this Saturday:

At noon, the kick-off of the Running of the Micks and McPatty’s Fest, a giant pub crawl and festival that starts at Finnigan’s Wake on Spring Garden Street in Philly, heads up the Art Museum steps, a la Rocky, and ends at McFaddens for a par-tay, with lots of music going on everywhere. You can hear Jamison at Finnigan’s Wake at 3 PM, for example.

Other Saturday goings on: the Conshy Parade’s Grand Marshall Ball at the Norristown Zoo Banquet Hall; the wonderful duo, McDermott’s Handy (Dennis Gormley and Kathy DeAngelo, about to be inducted into the Comhaltas Hall of Fame) will be performing “The Ballads of Irishtown” at the Carslake Community in Bordentown, NJ; Paul Byrom, formerly of Celtic Thunder, at the World Café Live; the Broken Shillelaghs at Cap’s Bar and Restaurant in Gloucester City, NJ, and Galway Guild will be rocking out at Marty Magee’s in Prospect Park.

On Sunday, the second annual AOH Mass will be celebrated at St. Malachy Church, the jewel of North Philadelphia. At 3 PM, Irish singers Ciaran Nagle of The three Irish Tenors and Tara Novak will be performing at St. Francis Xavier Church in Philadelphia, with special guest, local singer Theresa Flanagan Murtagh; Bill Monaghan and Celtic Pride will be making their annual visit to the Sellersville Theater; you can join the other “RUNA-tics” as they cheer on RUNA, an award-winning band that blends Celtic trad with bluegrass, jazz, and other influences, at the Irish Center; and Karan Casey, formerly of Solas, will be appearing with her trio at Crossroads Music at Calvary Center for Culture and Community in Philadelphia.

If you happen to be in Carbon County, local band Galway Guild will be performing in the Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day parade.

On Monday, Celtic Crossroads brings a variety of influences, from bluegrass to gypsy to jazz, to an all-star spectacular at the Sellersville Theater.

Survive hump day with The Shantys who are appearing at AOH Div. 61 Clubhouse in northeast Philadelphia. The Brehon Law Society is also having its St. Patrick’s Day party at The Philopatrian on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The John Bryne Band is performing.

On Thursday afternoon, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick will honor the Irish who played a role in the US Revolutionary War by laying a wreath at the plaque at Philadelphia’s City Hall that lists some of their names. Traditionally, the mayor reads a proclamation declaring March Irish month. The day is capped by a dinner and sashing ceremony for the parade grand marshal—this year, former Eagles General Manager Jim Murray—and members of the St. Patrick’s Ring of Honor.

On a serious note, there’s a free Tay-Sachs screening at Upper Merion High School in King of Prussia on Thursday afternoon. It’s part of a study by researchers at Albert Einstein Medical Center attempting the identify the number of carriers in the Irish community. A simple painless blood test can help the researchers determine whether Irish people should be routinely tested for the gene mutation that causes the fatal disease which affects babies.

On Thursday evening, AOH Notre Dame Division 1 throws one of the best parties going—their annual Irish coffee contest—at their Swedesburg digs. And yes, there are tastes all around.

Black 47, the iconic Celtic rockers from New York, are making a stop in Philadelphia on their ”Last Call” tour before the band dissolved. They’ll be at World Café Live on Thursday night.

On Friday. the Irish Society will hold its traditional toast to St. Patrick at noon at Finnigan’s Wake in Philadelphia. It’s also the kickoff of the fourth annual Newtown Irish Festival with Clancy’s Pistol (on Friday) and other performers such as Raymond Coleman, Tommy McHugh, and others up through St. Patrick’s Day. On Sundaynight, catch the Shantys at Schileen’s Pub in Westville, NJ.

Also on Friday night: The Women of Ireland, a show featuring the next generation of Ireland’s female performers, will take the state at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, and at The Ardmore Music Hall, Enter the Haggis will perform.

It’s almost sold out, but there are a few tickets left for the John Byrne Band with No Irish Need Apply at World Cafe Live on Friday night.

If that’s not enough, Blackthorn will be rocking Kildare’s St. Patrick’s part in their Manayunk location on Friday night.

But wait, there’s more. The Shantys will be at Tir na Nog in Philadelphia, the Broken Shillelaghs at Dubh Linn Square Pub in Bordentown, along with Galway Guild.

And take a peek at our calendar for next week. Your little Irish head will spin. We don’t even have all the local band gigs on the calendar (we encourage the bands to add their gigs themselves, for which we reward them with a shout-out).

Beam me up, Paddy!

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