There’s a lot of music on tap for this week, along with a fund-raiser and what promises to be one fun bowling night.
First off, for those of you who make last-minute plans, two opportunities for music tonight.
At Dubliner on the Delaware, 34 North Main Street in New Hope, catch the always entertaining Gerry Timlin’s show, starting at 7:30.
Also tonight … Jamison Celtic Rock at Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 39, 7229 Tulip Street in the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia. The show starts at 9 p.m. and runs through the wee hours. It’s open to the public, and there’s no cover.
About 43,000 Coast Guard service members and employees nationwide continue to work during the government shutdown, including about 200 at the Coast Guard station in South Philadelphia on Columbus Boulevard.
Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians/Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians are banding together to provide the local Coast Guard members with the essentials they need to keep providing for themselves and their families until the shutdown ends.
It’s not too surprising that Michael Higgins is a bartender at one of Philadelphia’s favorite Irish pubs.
“My family owned a pub in Galway for probably seven years,” he says, “and the first time I poured a pint of any kind was the night we opened. That’s how I was thrust into the pub world, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
After the pub sold, he moved to the United States. He’s been at Tir na nÓg for 10 years.
We caught up with him recently and asked him a few questions about his life behind the bar.
A bit of a slow week, but what there is promises to help you keep your New Year’s resolution to be a better-informed Irish person.
Tonight, starting at 8, John Byrne and band members will perform at a new venue, the Living Room at 35 East, 35 East Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore.
Also tonight, Seamus Kelleher fans can catch him at O’Mare’s Irish Pub, 10253 Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. His show also starts at 8.
One quick note for those of you who were hoping to catch the Seamus Egan Project at the Michener Art Museum tonight in Doylestown … the show is sold out. Sorry about that.
One too many snickerdoodles this holiday season? Or has the weight just been coming on for a while?
Here’s an opportunity to shed those unwanted pounds and help out the Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia at the same time.
It’s the center’s Biggest Loser challenge, set to begin Monday, January 14, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Anyone can join the challenge. All you need to do is set your mind to it—we admit, that part can be tough—and visit the center for a weekly private weigh-in. The three “losers” with the largest percent weight loss after eight weeks will win cash prizes. Entry fee is $50, which supports the Immigration Center.
After the Christmas holidays, you’d expect a lull in Irish-y activities. Guess again.
Start tonight at 6 by joining First Fridays with Round Tower at Hanrahan’s Irish Pub, 690 Burmont Road in Drexel Hill. It’s a nice long happy hour—it lasts ‘til 9—with a terrific band.
Meanwhile, at Philadelphia’s Irish Center (the Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center), 6815 Emlen Street in Mount Airy, you can join the First Friday traditional Irish music session, starting at 8 p.m. If you play an Irish instrument, by all means drop in. (Learners and beginners welcome—the first hour is the “slow session.”) Even if you don’t know one end of a tin whistle from the other, it’s still a great opportunity to visit and listen in.
Two area Gaelic athletic clubs are sponsoring fund-raisers this week, and of course New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, so you’ll have an opportunity to put on your party hat and celebrate.
Here’s what’s on.
Glenside Gaelic Club hosts its annual Adult Winter Holiday Party Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m, at Jerzee’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria, 2609 Mount Carmel Avenue in Glenside. Friends of the club are invited to join in the fun, which includes drink specials. Jerzee’s will donate a portion of the night’s profits to the club. There will be a 50/50 and baskets of cheer and beer raffles. All donations cheerfully accepted. Music by Raymond McGroary.
Also that night (at the same time), the John Byrne Band presents the music of Shane MacGowan and the Pogues at The Locks at Sona, 4417 Main Street in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood. Shane was born Christmas Day in 1957, so consider this his 61st birthday party.
The Philadelphia-Delaware Valley chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (translation: Gathering of Musicians in Ireland) carried on a long tradition Wednesday night, holding its 19th annual Wren Party.
The event commemorates the Irish custom of the Wren Boys—ragtag bands of townsmen in motley attire who went door to door playing tunes, dancing and singing songs, all in hopes of collecting money for a community party or dance.
In the early days, they mounted a dead wren on a stick. December 26 is the feast of early Christian martyr St. Stephen, whose hiding place in a bush was given away by the chattering of a wren. Or so legend has it. Hence, the sacrifice of one of those small birds.
That grisly last part of the tradition faded away—thank goodness—a long time ago.
The local Comhaltas chapter commemorated the feast of St. Stephen with a big party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside, with lots of traditional Irish music, dance, holiday treats—and a wren hat parade.
We have pictures from the night’s merriment. Check them out.