How To Be Irish in Philly This Week
Okay, let’s just get to it. There’s a lot to cover—this weekend and St. Patrick’s Day take up an entire page of our calendar (and that’s not even the half of it—not every performer adds gigs to our calendar). Here’s the week, day-by-day, hour-by-hour:
Saturday, March 15
Parades today: The 26th Annual Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off at 10:30 from the parking lot of St. Joseph the Worker Church on New Falls Road; the Springfield (Delco) parade launches itself down Saxer Avenue at noon; the Wilmington, DE, parade also starts at noon; Bethlehem starts its march at 1 PM, and the Conshohocken St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes over Fayette Street at 2 PM. We’ll be at three of these parades—Bucks, Springfield, and Conshohocken—so look for us and smile for the camera. Yell, “Irish Philadelphia” to get our attention.
There are some great after-parade parties too, including one at St. Kevin’s Church in Springfield and a post-Bucks bash with the Broken Shillelaghs at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Hall in Fairless Hills.
Here’s how the day shapes up otherwise:
The 69th Irish Volunteer reenactors will participate in a special flag ceremony at Independence Hall and will be marching in Sunday’s Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade with a new flag they’ll receive at this event.
The First Highland Watch (bagpipes and rock ‘n roll) at Molly Magiure’s Pub in Lansdale
“The Legend of Finn McCool,” will be showing at the Ambler Theater in Ambler.
St. Patrick’s Event in the Tent with Blackthorn at the Ridley Marina in Ridley Park
Galway Guild at Chickie and Pete’s at the Tropicana in Atlantic City
Irish music and wine at Crossing Vineyards in Newtown, PA
Belfast Connection will be starting its multi-pub marathon at Halligan’s Pub in Flourtown.
The Bhoys of County Bucks will be playing at the historic Brick Hotel in Newtown
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick is holding its annual banquet at the Union League in Philadealphia
The Knights of Columbus has its holiday gala at the Red Clay Room in Kennet Square
Get ready to rock out with the second annual Jamison Paddypalooza at Curran’s Irish Inn on State Street in Philadelphia—look for the big tent.
The Sumney Tavern in Lansdale is hosting the 69th Irish Volunteers for an evening of Irish Civil War period music.
We look forward every year to a visit from musicians from St. Malachy’s College in Belfast, and they’ll be performing tonight at Bonner-Prendergast High School in Upper Darby.
Berklee College of Music grads Mark Kilianski, Lukas Pool, and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes will be performing a combination of Celtic, bluegrass, and jazz at this concert at Birdhouse Center for the Arts in Lambertville, NJ.
Sharon Corr, of the Corrs, will be on stage at World Café Live in Philadelphia.
Celtic Nights, featuring some of the best young Irish performers—both singers and dancers—will be at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
First Highland Watch will be rocking out at the Shamrock Café in Wildwood, NJ.
The Glengharry Boys bring their Celtic rock style to the Sellersville Theatre. Dancing in the aisles is encouraged.
Some of the greatest trad performers in the world will be at the Irish Center in Philadelphia—Mick Moloney, Athena Tergis, and Billy McComiskey, with special guest Michelle Mulcahy—thanks to the Philadelphia Ceili Group, along with The Irish Center and irishphiladelphia.com. Put this in the “must see” category.
The Shantys will be at JT Brewski’s Pub in Secane, Delco.
Joe Magee and the Galway Guild will be at The Deck in Essington.
SUNDAY, March 16
It’s the big one—the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches down the Parkway starting at noon, following a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Charles Chaput at St. Patrick’s Church at 20th and Locust. Many of your favorite pipe and Celtic rock bands will be in the parade, along with world class Irish dancers (really, they win awards on the world stage too), local celebrities, and floats. Dress warmly-it might be a little brisk, but hey, we’re used to that here. At least it’s not supposed to snow.
Here’s what else is going on:
You can stay warm if you keep up with the runners at the 29th Annual Leprechaun Run at The Navy Yard which benefits the Special Olympics. (There’s also a two-mile walk for you slowpokes.)
Head House Irish Festival features music and dance at O’Neals and Cavanaugh’s Head House—free admission if you have a parade badge.
McDermott’s Handy—that’s the soon to be Comhaltas Hall of Famers Dennis Gormley and Kathy DeAngelo—are performing at the Princeton Public Library.
Post-Parade party at the Irish Center, featuring music by the Vince Gallagher Ban and the Derry Brigade, with dinner catered by The Irish Coffee Shop. The Cummins School of Irish Dance will perform and there will be sets and other dances in the Fireside Room. This is your chance to buy tickets for a huge raffle basket filled with all sorts of Irish goodies. The new Glenside GAA will have an information booth.
If you’re staying in town after the parade, head over to the Philopatrian at 19th and Walnut for a free post-parade party sponsored by the Irish American Business Chamber and Network, the Brehon Law Society, and the Irish Immigration Center.
Tryone’s own Raymond Coleman will be featured performer at Philly’s newest Irish pub, St. Declan’s Well on Walnut Street, near World Café Live and the Penn/Drexel campuses.
Blackthorn is also throwing a post-parade party at the Springfield Country Club.
Local singer Rosaleen McGill will be performing at Jack McShea’s in Ardmore.
And catch Galway Guild at the Green Parrot in Newtown, which has Irish music pretty much nonstop throughout the weekend.
Monday— March 17
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The weather report is calling for snow today, which a Canadian friend of ours tells is is common up North, where they call it “Shelagh’s Snow,” after St. Patrick’s wife. . .or housekeeper, she wasn’t sure which. Let’s hope the weather report is wrong.
Start your day with a nice hearty Irish breakfast. There are two on offer this morning, one at Fado Irish Pub on Locust Street and the other at the Plough and the Stars on Second Street in Philadelphia. Both raise money for charity (and we know people who go to both, so it’s possible).
Or, start your day with some live GAA sports. The Irish Center is showing two games on pay-per-view this morning starting at about 10 AM.
“The Legend of Finn McCool” gets a replay at the Ambler Theatre.
Consider giving back (it’s the Irish thing to do): Einstein Healthcare Network on Broad Street in Philadelphia is holding a free Tay-Sachs disease screening for Irish people as part of a long-term study looking at the prevalence of this deadly disease of babies in the Irish population. It’s believed that the Irish are at higher risk than the general population for Tay-Sachs which has traditionally been considered disease of European Jews. The results of this study may help determine if people of Irish descent need to be tested routinely. Even if you don’t have anyone in your family with the disease, you may still be a carrier. The always fatal disease manifests in babies born to two carrier parents.
The Shantys are appearing at Erin Pub in Norwood.
The John Byrne Band, Belfast Connection, and Irish comedian Joey Callahan are the headliners for an all-day festival at Canstatters on Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia.
The Theresa Flanagan Band will be playing all your dance favorites at McGillicuddy’s in Upper Darby.
Seniors can enjoy a special luncheon at the Irish Center.
You may not be able to bust the moves of the young Irish dancers you see, but anyone of any age can learn sean nos dancing. That’s old style Irish dancing that doesn’t require great leaps. One of the finest sean nos dancers in the country, Siobhan Butler, will be holding a dance workshop at Villanova in the Alumni Hall gymnasium.
Jamison is performing at Finnigan’s Wake in Philadelphia.
Belfast Connection has left Canstatters and is now celebrating St Patrick’s Day at Doc’s Pub in Burlington, NJ.
The Bhoys of Bucks is taking the stage at Kenny’s in Southampton.
The Gloucester County AOH is holding its St. Patrick’s Day Open House at Rossiter Memorial Hall in National Park, NJ (that’s right over the bridge from Philly) with The Broken Shillelaghs providing the musical entertainment (they’re also supposed to be at McMichael’s in Gloucester City, but this is St. Patrick’s Day and magic can happen).
Blackthorn is performing at the Ardmore Music Hall.
First highland Watch is at Magerk’s Pub in Fort Washington.
Jamison is at RP McMurphy’s in Holmes.
The Shantys are at Reedy’s Pub on Frankford Avenue in Philly.
Galway Guild is at Ri Ra at the Tropicana.
Monday, March 18
You’d think it would let up, but no.
View the movie, “Kings,” about a group of Irish immigrants who do not make good in the promised land, starring Colm Meany. It’s at Villanova.
Tuesday, March 19
Eamonn Wall, the Heimbold Chair at Villanova, will discuss Irish writing in American with Daniel Tobin, a professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College.
Thursday, March 20
The Consulate General of Ireland is partnering with International House Philadelphia to present a special showing of “Death on the Railroad,” the story of Duffy’s Cut. Dave Farrell, the producer of the documentary, will be flying in from Dublin to join Bill and Frank Watson, who discovered the mass grave in Malvern of the Irish immigrant railroad workers who died of cholera or were killed, will join the discussion and Deputy Consul Peter Ryan will be there for a reception.
Friday, March 21
Experts from The Ulster Historical Foundation and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania will help you explore your Irish and Scots roots at the Haverford Township Community Rec and Environmental Center in Havertown.
Cap off the perfect St. Patrick’s Week with a pint and the musical stylings of Andy Maher and his Band at The Irish Center. It’s ’70s and ‘80s music, which you may not have heard at all this week.
Please check our calendar frequently for late-breaking events and for details on these.