How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Hope you love a parade. There are a few of them this weekend.

The biggest is the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday. It marches down the Parkway (and, heads up, around all the construction between the library and the Franklin Institute which PennDOT is referring to as “changing traffic patterns”) to Eakins Oval at the foot of the Philadelphia of Museum of Art. Fox29 is broadcasting the parade this year, but it’s even more fun experienced in person.

Some of the best spots to watch the parade: Around 16th Street, near Tir na nOg, though there’s construction there in Love Plaza that could cut down on the standing and sitting room; around the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, or, as one experienced parade goer recommended, from inside Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway. Seamus McGroary will be performing there.

You can practice your parade watching or marching on Saturday. The Bucks County Parade, followed by a hoolie, will start at 11 AM from St. Joseph the Worker Church in Levittown. The Springfield (Delco) Parade is at 11:30 AM on Saturday, and the Conshohocken St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes over Fayette Street at 2 PM. There are parades in York and one in Sellersville on Saturday too.

Not into parades? You can still be Irish this week. Head to Curran’s in Tacony on Saturday. Starting at noon, there will be an Irish festival and block party featuring Seamus McGroary (he gets around), Jamison Celtic Rock, and Mike Shackleton, plus ham and cabbage to eat and chances to win a meet-and-greet ticket for the sold-out Dropkick Murphy’s show at the Electric Factory. Proceeds from what’s billed as Paddypalooza will benefit the Claddagh Fund, founded by Dropkick Murphy’s front man Ken Casey, which donates to underfunded charities in Philadelphia and Boston.
You must be 21 or older to attend.

Like a quieter way to be Irish? There’s a special program at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, with historians talking about the Irish interred there, plus food and drink. You don’t have to be dead to get in.

Singer Gerry Timlin will be performing on Saturday night at the Yardley Community Center in Morrisville.

Also Saturday night: The trad group, The Truckley Howl, made up of John Blake, Mairead Hurley and Nathan Gourley, will be on stage at the Irish Center in Mt. Airy, a production of the Philadelphia Ceili Group.

More Saturday gigs:

No Irish Need Apply at the American Legion Oxley Post on Decatur Street in Philadelphia.

Celtic Connection is at The Dubliner on the Delaware in New Hope.

The Shanty’s at JT Brewski’s Pub in Primos, Delaware Count
A St. Paddy’s Day Party with Blackthorn is on the scheduled for PJ Whelihan’s in Maple Shade, NJ.

Galway Guild will be at Katie O’Donnell’s in Northeast Philadelphia.

The Broken Shillelaghs will be on stage at Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill.

Here’s how it looks the rest of the week:

Sunday, March 13
There’s a huge lineup of performers at Tir na nOg at 16th and Arch Streets in Philly during and after the parade. Reel to Reel (featuring amazing fiddler Paraic Keane), Clear the Battlefield, Irish dancers, and bagpipers will be on hand to keep parade goers happy all day.

You can get the full Irish breakfast at both locations of the Irish Pub in Philly starting at 10 AM.

The annual Mass will be said at St. Patrick’s Church at 29th and Locust. This year Father Kevin Gallagher, parade chaplain, will be the celebrant.

The Galway Guild will be in the parade, then at 1 PM will be playing at New Deck Tavern on Sansom Street in the city.

If you’re looking for after parties, there’s Sober St. Patrick’s Day in its second year at WHYY studios on N. 6th Street. The acclaimed trad group The Yanks will be there, along with Reel to Reel, Alex Weir and Mikey McComsikey, and Darrin Kelly. Look for the Philadelphia Rose of Tralee Mairead Comaskey and the McDade Cara and Emerald Isle dance schools to be there. If you love to ceili dance, come on along. There will be dancing.

You also have the opportunity for a good deed at the Sober St. Patrick’s Day. Representatives from Einstein Medical Center will be there doing screenings as part of a study on the incidence of Tay-Sachs Disease in the Irish. Once considered a “Jewish” disease, Tay-Sachs has been virtually eliminated in the Jewish population because of mass screenings. There have been at least three cases of this very rare inherited disease that kills young children among people of Irish descent in the Philadelphia area. You must be 18 years old, have three grandparents of Irish descent, and not drinking alcohol to participate. It’s a blood test but it’s no biggie (I had it done so I’m speaking from experience).

There’s also a family friendly post-parade party at The Irish Center in Mt. Airy with music, dancing, and Irish food.

The Shanty’s are partying at PUB 36 on Frankford Avenue.

The Dropkick Murphy’s are in town at the Electric Factory but their shows have been sold out for months. But you may still be able to get tickets for the Chieftains who are on stage  at 3 PM  at the Merriam Theater.

John Blake, Mairead Hurley and Nathan Gourley will be back on stage on Sunday at the Coatesville Cultural Center in Coatesville.

And Sinead McArdle will be performing at The Dubliner on the Delaware.

Monday, March 14
Musicians from St. Malachy’s College in Belfast will be doing a concert at 7 PM at Msgr. Bonner High School in Drexel Hill.

Dreams of Freedom, an Irish ballad band, is on stage at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia starting at 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, March 15
Taste some Tullamore Dew whisky at the Irish Pub on Walnut Street in Philly tonight.

Catch the Irish rebel band The Druids with local performers Galway Guild at the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore starting at 7:30 PM.

It’s “Cork Night” at The Dubliner on the Delaware in New Hope as Cork natives Donie Carroll and Diarmuid MacSuibhne perform.

Wednesday, March 16
The Broken Shillelaghs are at Schileen’s Pub in Westville, NJ.

Aingish is at The Dubliner on the Delaware

Galway Guild is at RiRa in Atlantic City.

Thursday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day
For the stalwarts, the day starts early. Among your choices:

Judge Jimmy Lynn’s annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at The Plough and the Stars on Second Street, which draws Philly celebs, politicos, and performers every year. It’s always a “squeeze another one in” crowd. It starts at 8 AM. It’s followed by a ceremony at The Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut at 11 AM.

11 AM. St. Patrick’s Day Mass and Open House at the Gloucester County AOH in National Park, NJ

The Shanty’s at the Erin Pub in Norwood, PA.

St. Patrick’s Day Lunch at the Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia

1 PM
Irish Tay-Sachs Carrier Screening at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

1:30 PM
Blackthorn at The Green Parrot in Newtown

2 PM
St.Patrick’s Day with Jamison at Paddywhacks on South Street

3 PM
Singer Raymond McGroary at Haggerty’s Café in Holmes, PA.

6 PM
The Birmingham Six at Pub 36 on Frankford Avenue in Philly.
The Broken Shillelaghs at Tavern on the Edge in Gloucester City, NJ

7 PM
Pie-Eyed Preachers and Mass Folk Commons at Kung Fu Necktie on Front Street in Philadelphia

7:30 PM
“One Great Thing” at Pennbrook Middle School in North Wales, a play written by a local teacher, grandson of immigrants from Tyrone and Donegal

8 PM
Seamus Kelleher and Na Bodach at The Dubliner on the Delaware

“The Quiet Man” will be screened at The Irish Center. Admission free.

Blackthorn performs at The Lucky Well in Ambler

Jamison at RP Murphy’s on McDade Boulevard in Holmes

Friday, March 18
7:30 PM
The play, “One Great Thing,” continues at Pennbrook Middle School through March 19.

8 PM
Raymond Coleman at The Dubliner on the Delaware

9 PM
Blackthorn at Katie O’Donnell’s Irish Pub in Northeast Philadelphia

Oh, and it doesn’t end there. Phil Coulter with Andy Cooney will be performing at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 19. They’re approaching a sellout so get your tickets now.

For further information on these and other events this week, see our calendar.

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