St. Patrick’s month roars in like a lion. The first full week is jam-packed with Irish things to do.
Without further ado:
Friday, March 6
A lot of you have been waiting for this one: It’s the fabulous John Byrne Band, appearing at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street near Center City. John and the gang promise a night of tunes off their new album, together with music of the Pogues and a ton of surprises. Also on the bill: No Irish Need Apply. The show starts at 8 p.m. Doors at 7. A cool night of Irish music at one of the best venues in the city. Details and tickets here.
On the same night, and speaking of the Pogues, you can check out “Poguetry: Songs of the Pogues” at City Winery Philadelphia, 990 Filbert Street in Center City. Doors open at 6 p.n.; show at 8.
The concert features Spider Stacy & Cait O’Riordan with the Lost Bayou Ramblers. You can get tickets here.
A little farther afield, check out Scythian at Musikfest Cafe Steelstacks with Poor Man’s Gambit. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors and dinner at 6. There’s a $10 minimum food and beverage for all reserved seating. Details here.
Finally, Rob Groden and Dave Pedrick serenade the folks at Con Murphy’s 1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 7
Many, many opportunities to get in the St. Patrick’s spirit, including:
- The Burlington County-Mount Holly St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s one of the best, attracting thousands. It rolls through downtown Mount Holly, N.J., starting at 1 p.m. The parade starts at the Fairgrounds Plaza, where Route 541 becomes High Street. Roughly 60 groups take part, including Irish dancers, pipe bands, and local Irish rock bands. We’ve been there several times, and it’s a guaranteed terrific afternoon. More info here.
- Ireland’s fab Dublin City Ramblers in concert at the Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in Mount Airy, starting at 7 p.m. They are renowned as Ireland’s best ballad and folk band. Online tickets here.Tickets in advance are $25; tickets at the door are $30. Kids under 16 get in for free.
- Young Irelands GFC Texas Hold’em at the Palombaro Club, 2632 East County Line Road in Ardmore. Registration is at 6 p.m., and the first game begins at 7. Buy-in is $120. To reserve a spot, venmo@Young-IrelandsGFC or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Starting at 7 p.m., it’s the Gloucester County Division 1 AOH St. Patrick’s Day Party at 200 Columbia Boulevard in National Park, N.J. Tunes by the Broken Shillelaghs. It’s 25 bucks to get in.
- Down in New Castle, Del., it’s the 8th Annual St Paddy’s Party Fundraiser. The fun takes place at the New Castle Senior Center, 400 South Street in Old New Castle, starting at 7 p.m., benefiting the senior center. The Seven Rings band will provide the music. If you’re going, you’re welcome to bring food. There will be an Irish hamper raffle, and soft and alcoholic beverages for sale. For tickets and info, call the center’s Marianne Caven at 302-588-7410, or email March7IrishMusic@gmail.com. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
- Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School’s Annual Irish Night, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the school gym/auditorium. You’ll find Good Shepherd at 835 North Hills Avenue in Ardsley, Montco. $40 includes an Irish-themed buffet and live tunes by Galway Guild. There will be a strolling photo booth, raffle baskets and an Irish shop run by Elite Florals.
- John Gilbride at Con Murphy’s, starting at 9 p.m. Tunes and pints!
Sunday, March 8
If you can’t find something great to do on this day, you’re just not trying. Here’s what’s on:
- A big darn fundraiser for the Philadelphia St Patrick’s Day Parade at Springfield Country Club, 400 West Sproul Road in Springfield, Delco. The fun starts at 3 p.m. Live Irish tunes and Irish dancers, and the best of Delco scone competition, along with raffle baskets and a 50/50. You can meet this year’s grand marshal, Michael Bradley, the Ring of Honor, and Fox29 celebrities. $30 for adults includes buffet, with cash bar. Ten bucks for children 12 and younger. Tickets will be available at the door. Make your checks available to SPDOA.
- Irish supergroup RUNA at the Irish Center. Doors open at 6:30, show at 7. They’ll be playing for a hometown crowd, so this show should be extra-special. Tickets here.
- The 8th Annual Duffy’s Cut Memorial Service at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, starting at 2 p.m. The event, honoring the memory of 57 Irish railroad workers who died while working for the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in the 1830s, is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested: email@example.com. We’ve gone, and it’s a moving occasion.
- The Philadelphia Ceili Group’s Ceili Og—a ceili dance for young people—which takes place at the Irish Center at 3 p.m. A limited bar menu will be available. Pass the hat donations and potluck contributions are welcome. There will be a 50/50, with Ceili Group membership raffled off.
- Enter the Haggis on stage at City Winery Philadelphia, 990 Filbert Street in Center City. The band’s a ton of fun. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8. Tickets here.
Tuesday, March 10
The Irish Diaspora Center, 1001 Darby Road, Havertown, hosts genealogy with Pat Corey. Special guest Sheila Nye director of the Family Search History Center in Broomall will present what’s new in FamilySearch.org. The event starts at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, March 11
Love Irish whiskey? You’ll love “A Celebration of Irish Whiskey” at Tir na Nog Irish Bar & Grill, 1600 Arch Street in Philadelphia, starting at 5:30 p.m. Join Drinks Ireland and the Irish American Business Chamber & Network in an exploration of the depth and diversity of Irish whiskey. Details here.
You say hello, but they say goodbye. Maybe. Regardless, the fabulous Chieftains appear in concert at one of the region’s most exciting venues, The Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street, in Center City. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Kimmel Center tickets for the event here. And read our recent interview with Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney.
Thursday, March 12
- The Philadelphia St. Patrick Day’s 2020 Grand Marshal Dinner and Ring of Honor Sashing takes place at Rivers Casino Philadelphia (formerly Sugarhouse), 1001 North Delaware Avenue, down along the waterfront, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person. To buy, contact Kathy McGee Burns at 215-872-1305. This is an absolutely grand, elegant night, the culmination of a lot of planning, and the perfect kickoff for the weekend’s big parade.
- Earlier in the day, you can attend the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Patriot’s Plaque Ceremony on the west side of City Hall, starting at 3 p.m. This is always an inspiring event.
- Ancient Order of Hibernians Notre Dame Division 1 hosts its Annual Irish Coffee Contest at the AOH Hall, 342 Jefferson Street in Bridgeport, across the river from Norristown, starting at 6 p.m. Local establishments go up against each other for the honors, with Montgomery County parade grand marshals doing the judging.
- Broken Goblet Brewery, 2500 State Road in Bensalem, is the scene of a St. Patrick’s Day Practice Party hosted by Bucks County AOH/LAOH Division 5, starting at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit the division’s charities. There will be food trucks, raffles and a 50/50. Live music by Mike Estabrook.
- Seamus Kelleher is on stage at Con Murphy’s, starting at 8 p.m. One of the area’s finest entertainers.
Friday, March 13
Another busy day:
- It’s the Irish Society Toast to Saint Patrick at Philadelphia FOP Lodge 5, 11630 Caroline Road in Philly’s Northeast. Bob Kelly hosts this year’s toast, starting at 12 noon. Proceeds benefit the society’s charitable fund. Donations are $50, including open bar, buffet and tunes. To purchase tickets please contact any board member or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets or additional information, contact Joe Cleary at 215-735-9099 or Tom Brady at 215-715-0064.
- The opening reception for “Beyond Words: Portraits of Irish Writers,” a show by a very talented photographer friend of ours, Robin Hiteshew, takes place at the Villanova University Art Gallery, 800 Lancaster Avenue, starting at 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Donegal Association of Philadelphia and funded by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme, the show features superb photos of Irish writers. It runs through April 14. Make plans.
- The Philadelphia Emerald Society hosts its 2020 Pre Parade Beef-N-Beer at the Philadelphia FOP Lodge in the Northeast. Tickets are available through Al Kuchler or Harry Marnie at the FOP Lodge and various Board members. Call 215-629-3613. Cost is $25 in advance or $30 at door. Music provided by DJ Mulholland, with a limited open bar, bottled beer, soda and water. Chow down on hot roast beef and meatball sandwiches, tuna and cheese hoagies, and salads. Your ticket gets you admission to Sunday’s post-parade family party. The fun starts at 7 p.m.
- Catch The Jameson Sisters—Terry Kane and Ellen Tepper—in concert at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 2871 Barndt Road in Harleysville, starting at 7:30 p.m. Details here.
- John Finucane, the newly elected Sinn Fein MP from North Belfast, is the guest speaker at the Irish Center, starting at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by AOH Danny Brown Division No. 80, Pennsylvania State Representative Kevin Boyle will moderate, with a Q & A session to follow. Admission is free. Finucane was witness to the assassination of his father Pat Finucane, a human rights activist. He is a longtime advocate for justice for his father and for all victims of the conflict in Ireland.
- Also at the Irish Center, and at the same time, it’s the annual St. Patrick’s Day Ceili Mor with the McGillians, with dance instruction by John Shields. The event is a production of the Philadelphia Ceili Group, together with the Circle of Friends Dancers.
That’s it for this week, but please also keep in mind that next Saturday is the Montgomery County parade, with the big Philly parade the day after. More on both next week.
See you next time.