How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

It's that time again.

It’s that time again.

Hope you’ve dug out your car. There’s plenty to do this week, so let’s get craic-ing.

Maria Walsh will be the International Rose of Tralee for another several months, but on Saturday night she gives up her local crown as Philadelphia Rose of Tralee at the gala selection event at the Radnor Hotel.

The Burlington County, NJ St. Patrick’s Day Parade, always the first in our area, won’t be first again this year. They’ve had to postpone it until March 29 because of this week’s snowstorm.

This and next are the weekends for the pub crawls that are part of the fabric of the St. Patrick’s holiday observance in the region. We posted several on our calendar, include the Shamrock and Roll in Delaware County. Marty Magee’s is part of the event and will have live music, including the Malarkey Brothers, Joe Magee and friends, and the John Byrne Band. Don’t drink too much and enjoy the music.

The McHugh Irish Dancers have also posted their schedule for the next couple of weeks on the calendar so if you have a hankering for seeing some step dancing—high recommended just for the adorableness overload—check it out.

Also on Saturday:

Lafferty’s Wake, an interactive play, continues at Society Hill Playhouse.

The Bogside Rogues will be providing the Irish music at Paddy Whack’s in Northeast Philly.

The AOH Division 6 Montgomery County is holding its St. Patrick’ Day party at St. Mary Parish in Schwenksville.

The Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Ball is Saturday night at Falls Manor Caterers (former Kings Caterers) in Bristol.

The AOH Notre Dame Div. One parade folks are having their grand marshal ball at the Elmwood Park Zoo Banquet Hall in Norristown. Congrats again to GM Mickey McBride.

Belfast Connection is playing at Darlington Arts Center in Garnet Valley.

Blackthorn is the headliner at the Beer Festival at Harrah’s Chester Casino.

You can spend an evening with Celtic Spirit at the Nazareth Center for the Arts in Nazareth or with Donegal’s own Altan at Annenberg Center on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. (Side note: Altan was the first Irish group I ever saw live, and they hooked me.)

Jamison is taking the stage at Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill.

On to Sunday:

There’s an all-day fundraiser for the Springfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Maggie O’Neill’s in Drexel Hill. Doors open at 11 AM for Irish breakfast and if you tell your server you’re there to support the parade, a portion of your bill will be donated to the parade. At 4:30 PM, catch the local Celtic rock group Round Tower and meet the 2015 Grand Marshal Dr. William McCusker, who is the recently retired president of Cardinal O’Hara High School.

At 10 AM, there will be an Irish Mass at St. Malachy’s Church in Philadelphia, a recent tradition that looks like it might have staying power. Read our story from 2013.

The group Celtic Spirit will be entertaining at brunch on Sunday at Kildare’s Irish Pub in West Chester.

This Sunday will also mark the third anniversary of the burial of some of the victims of the Duffy’s Cut tragedy at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd. There will be a memorial event at graveside starting at 2 PM.

At 3 PM, Blackthorn takes the stage at The Deck at Harbor Pointe in Essington for a fundraiser for the 162nd District. It’s a GOP benefit.

Catch local young phenoms Haley and Dylan Richardson and Keegan Loesel, along with the Cumberland Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band and the group, Sligo Road, at the Down Jersey Celtic Celebration in Vineland stating at 3 PM.

The Paul Moore Band will be playing at the Jokers New Year’s Association—think Mummers’ Parade—St. Patrick’s Day party at the group clubhouse in Philadelphia.

Women of Ireland bring their full stage production to the Keswick Theatre on Sunday at 3 PM.

Then on Wednesday

Villanova’s Irish Dance group will be showcasing their prodigious talent on at the Connelly Center Cinema at the University starting at 7 PM.

At 9 PM, the Druids, a rebel ballad band from Kildare, will be performing at Mary Magee’s Pub in Prospect Park.

Thursday dawns. . . .

And so begins the 12 days of Irish music at the Green Parrot in Newtown. Slainte, Seamus McGroary, Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfetones, Clancy’s Pistol, McGraw and McLaughlin, Seamus Kelleher, Tom McHugh, the Hooligans, Secret Service and Challenge Accepted are all booked there through the holiday season. Check our calendar for links to the Green Parrot where you can see who is playing when. Some of the gigs are on our calendar. (Bands can post their gigs to our calendar, but there are so many of them that we can’t usually do those.) For instance, we know that Slainte is performing on Thursday night because they always put their gigs on our calendar. Well done, men!

The annual Philadelphia Parade Grand Marshal dinner will be held on Thursday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia. Kathy McGee Burns, who has been the head of just about every Irish organization in the city from the Donegal Association to the Irish Memorial, is this year’s GM.

Also on Thursday night, the AOH Notre Dame Div. 1 Irish coffee contest is happening at the club house in Swedesburg. It’s a well-attended event that’s loads of fun—and, there are samples.

The Irish conversation group continues talking in Irish on Thursday at Villanova.

The Wolfetones will be performing at the FOP Lodge #5 in Northeast Philadelphia this evening.

On thank-God-it’s-Friday:

Hoo boy, this is quite a day and night.

Check out the Paul Moore Band on “Good Day Philadelphia” in the morning. That’s on Fox29.

Then, listen to the Bleeker Street Café Celtic Mandolin Concert on WDVR (89.7 FM) starting at 1 pm. That should be amazing.

The Hooligans will be playing for the early dinner crowd at Fluke’s on State Road in Philly.

The John Byrne Band with No Irish Need Apply are scheduled for World Café Live that evening. The show is almost sold out.

McDermott’s Handy—two fine musicians, Dennis Gormley and Kathy DeAngelo—will be in concert at the Bridgeton Public Library in Bridgeton, NJ. BTW, I know for a fact that these two will play anywhere. I once ran into them playing in the deli at a New Jersey supermarket.

The Celtic group, Carbon Leaf, will be at the World Café Live at the Queen.

The Glengarry Bhoys are scheduled to be on stage at the Sellersville Theater.

Blackthorn is back playing at Ambler’s The Lucky Well BBQ place. Love the band, love the BBQ. A win-win.

The Bogside Rogues are at Reedy’s Irish Pub in Philly.

The Hooligan’s are at the newly re-opened Dubh Linn Square in Bordentown (after their early bird special at Fluke’s in Philly).

The Broken Shillelaghs will be at Tavern on the Edge in Gloucester City, NJ.

2U, a U2 tribute band, is booked at Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill.

Isla Verde, a Philly bar, is having its first St. Patrick’s Day Party, though we’re not quite sure how Irish it’s going to be.

And a word about next weekend:

The Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade is on Sunday. It’s broadcast by CBS3 and CWPhilly but it’s really fun to see live. Really. I wouldn’t lie. The crowds alone are worth the drive or train fare. There are two Irish pubs along the parade route that are crowded and convivial (Tir na Nog and Con Murphy’s). Me, I usually eat a pretzel from a vendor because, hey, I’m working here. Last year, I bought gloves from a vendor. Best purchase ever. $5. For both gloves. But the weather’s gong to be nice, so fear not the evil Arctic blast or polar vortex. Or polar bears. There won’t be any of those either.

There are lots of parties after, but may we suggest Sober St. Patrick’s Day at WHYY. It’s one of a group of St. Patrick’s Day events across the country that cater to families and to those in recovery. Maria Walsh, the International Rose of Tralee (and an affirmed teetotaler) will be there, as will a remarkable array of Irish traditional musicians from all over.

On Saturday, there are beaucoup parades: Bucks County, Springfield, Hamiton, NJ, North Wildwood, Trenton, Conshy. I’ll be going to all of them. Yeah, right. Look for me in Springfield, if all goes well. Look for Gwyneth MacArthur, our parade photographer, in Conshy and in Philly on Sunday. You’ll see Lori Lander Murphy in Philly on Sunday and you’ll also see Jeff Meade there, totally wrapped in camera straps like something from 50 Shades of Grey. No one knows where he’s going to be on Saturday. He is the man of mystery.

Take a peek at the calendar for next week. It’s already large and will grow to Godzilla size (Aieee! Aieee!) by next Friday, when we write the last big How to Be Irish in Philly for the season.

Also, consider joining our Irish Philadelphia Facebook page. There are some lively discussions going on there (I especially like the “who/what is more Irish” debates) but there’s also a great exchange of information and ideas. I now have lists of great Irish books, movies, and songs, thanks to this enthusiastic group of people who share a love for all things Irish (and Philly). It occasionally gets a little salty there, but if you can overlook that, I think you’ll learn a lot. And be entertained.

Check our calendar frequently this week. It’s changing almost every minute.

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