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How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

We have an exceptionally busy week, some of it with a holiday flair.

Here’s how to get your week in gear. There’s plenty to choose from.

On Saturday, the John Byrne Band puts in an appearance at Puck in Doylestown, starting at 8 p.m. You can find Puck at 1 Printers Alley.

McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance hosts the Irish You a Merry Christmas Dance Spectacular Sunday, December 9, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Archbishop Carroll High School, 11 Matsonford Road in Radnor. Tickets are available at the door—it’s $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10. Continue Reading

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.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Elizabeth Spellman when she was crowned the 2012 Philadelphia Rose of Tralee.

Elizabeth Spellman when she was crowned the 2012 Philadelphia Rose of Tralee.

Elizabeth Spellman, a 28-year-old Havertown social worker, will give up her crown as the 2012 Philadelphia Rose of Tralee on Saturday night at the Radnor Hotel. The annual event is open to young women of Irish descent. The winner competes in the televised Rose of Tralee event in County Kerry, Ireland, in the summer.

Also on Saturday night, catch Galway Guild at Marty Magee’s in Prospect Park.

Also, Gerry Timlin—he of the beautiful voice and a million ad libs—will be doing two performances at the Act II Theatre in Ambler on Saturday night.

On Sunday, the annual Easter Rising Observance will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery at the graveside of Joseph McGarrity, prominent financier of the IRA who lived in Philadelphia. Sinn Fein Councillor from Monaghan, Sean Conlon, is expected to speak.

At the Irish Center, catch the GAA weekly telecast: 10 AM, Tyrone vs. Kerry, and at 11:45 AM it’s Cork Vs. Mayo (a delayed broadcast). Pay-per-view cost is $20.

At 1 PM, there will be an open house and free clinic sponsored by the new Glenside GAA, a youth Gaelic sports club, at Bishop McDevitt High School In Wyncote.

On Tuesday, Villanova Theater offers a staging of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome,” a stunning adaptation of the Biblical tale involving St. John the Baptist.

On Wednesday, “The Hand of Gaul,” a new play by Philadelphian Jared Michael Delaney, opens in preview at the Inis Nua Theater Company’s Off Broad Street Theater. It’s been described as “is a wild comedic romp through the ‘what might have been’ of November 18, 2009. That was the day Ireland got bounced out of a place in the World Cup 2010 contention by the unchecked foul of French superstar Thierry Henry. Three ardent Irish supporters decide to avenge their team and get mixed up in international intrigue beyond their wildest imaginings.” You had me at wild and comedic. Opening night is April 10.

On Wednesday, Irish singer Len Graham (County Antrim) and American Brian O hAirt, an award-winning traditional singer, will offer an evening of Irish singing and storytelling at a house concert in Center City Philadelphia, then again on Thursday at The Banana Factory or 25 W. Third Street in Bethlehem. They recently released a CD, “In Two Minds,” and have performed together at the Philadelphia Ceili Group Festival. Please see our calendar for information on the concert in Philadelphia–seating is limited.

Enjoy your week! Buy Irish!

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to be Irish In Philly This Week

Members of the Ensemble Gallelii will appear in Philadelphia this week.

Members of the Ensemble Gallelii will appear in Philadelphia this week.

Happy Easter! Hope the kids find all the eggs you hid around the house in record time. If they miss one, that’s an event that can call for hazmat suits and a visit from the Environmental Protection Agency. We don’t want that.

On Monday, April 1, the Irish flag will be raised at the Red Bank Battlefield in National Park, NJ, a program sponsored by AOH Div. 1 in New Jersey. There will be a mass celebrated at the division hall followed by a free lunch. The event is open to all.

Also on Monday, tickets will go on sale for the Philadelphia Fleadh Festival, scheduled for June 22, which will features bands including Black 47, the Young Dubliners, Jamison Celtic Rock, the Bogside Rogues, Galway Guild, Raymond Coleman, a bagpipe competition, and a feis stage for dancers. Check their website for the info.

It seemed like a strange event to post on our calendar, but given that so many Irish are involved in the building trades, we approved it. So, on Wednesday, April 3, there’s an outreach event for construction subcontractors at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. You can learn about the Pennsylvania Gamin Control Board’s service provide registration and certification process as well as the Whynne Reports and the proposed Wynn Philadelphia Resort. It’s touted as a networking event, so it may be worth the gamble. Uh-oh, bad pun alert. Details are on the calendar.

Also, on Wednesday night, special guests Aine and Bernie McGill from Ardara will be part of the Singer’s Session at the Irish Center. Aine is an award-winning (and world-ranked) Irish dancer from County Donegal.

On Thursday, Professor John Walsh from the National University of Galway will be speaking on new trends in Irish-language acquisition in the US—new speakers of Irish.

On Thursday night, noted Dublin-born publican Fergus Carey (Fergie’s Pub, Monk’s Café, Grace Tavern, Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant) will be roasted and toasted at an event at The Ruba Club, 414 Green Street in Philadelphia.

If you’re in Delaware, Scottish singer-songwriter Jim Malcom will be appearing at the Blue Ball Barn in Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington. Old Blind Dogs fans will know Malcom—he was their lead singer for seven years.

In Sellersville on Thursday, catch the Battlefield Band, the “Scottish Folk Band of the Year,” at the theater at 24 W. Temple Street.

On Friday night, April 5, Trio Galilei, which mixes early instruments with Celtic traditional music, will be appearing at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill. The concert will take place by candlelight—which promised to be a beautiful, spiritual experience.

On Saturday, Elizabeth Spellman will be giving up her tiara. She’s the reigning Philadelphia Rose of Tralee and her successor will be chosen at an event hosted by CBS3 reporter Jim Donovan at the Radnor Hotel in St. Davids.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

There’s one of these playing somewhere in the region.

There’s one of these playing somewhere in the region.

We don’t know about you, but some of us have been really Irish for several weeks and would like to take a week off. For those of you who didn’t get your Irish up quite as much as we did, here’s what’s going on:

Robbinsville is having its St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday. The parade route in on our calendar.

And on Saturday night, the Delco Gaels promise a night of comedy and music (and anyone who’s attended their “Dancing like a Star” event knows they can deliver) at St. Laurence Hall in Upper Darby—it’s a fundraiser for the organization’s GAA youth league.

Clancy’s Pistol is playing at the Big Heads Pub in Willow Grove on Saturday night.

On Thursday, Jerry Collins and Shaun McCann of the Broken Shillelaghs will be performing at Schileen’s Pub in Westville, NJ.

Next Saturday is the Charlie Dunlop Memorial Banquet, which is raising money to establish a fund in the name of the popular Tyrone native who lived in Delaware County and who died in 2011 at the age of 45. Blackthorn is playing. The good news: It’s sold out. The bad news: It’s sold out so you can’t get tickets if you want them.

Check our calendar frequently for late-breaking Irish events.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

The great and glorious.

The great and glorious.

Does the fun ever end? Well, it might, but not this weekend.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! (Or Happy Paddy’s Day to you real Irish. To the rest of ye, it’s not Patty. Not now. Not ever. Never. ) The big day is Sunday this year, and there are three local parades on Saturday that will get you in the spirit. They’re staggered a little so you may be able to make all three (some of the bands do two, so it’s possible).

First off the line is the 25th annual Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade which starts at 10:30 AM from St. Joseph the Worker Church at 9172 New Falls Road in Levittown.

At noon, the Springfield, Delaware County parade starts from West Springfield Road.

Then, at 2 PM, the Conshohocken St. Patrick’s Day parade takes over downtown Conshohocken.

There’s plenty more out there to help you get your Irish on. Here it is in chronological order, and we are not taking a breath:


9:30 AM. Paddy Whacks’ St. Patrick’s Day Dash and Bash features a 5K on a closed course to raise money for patients at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, followed by the Bash, an all-day tented event at the bar’s Comly Road location featuring Jamison, Slainte, and the Bogside Rogues. Lots of drink specials.

10 AM. Register for the new Glenside GAA at the MacSwiney Club in Jenkintown.

10 AM. Hear Clancy’s Pistol at The Boat Club in National Park, NJ.

Noon. Enjoy drink specials and lots of music at the Piazza at Schmidt’s Shamrock Celebration on Hancock Street in Philadelphia.

1 PM. Head to the Irish Center for televised GAA sports from Ireland.

2 PM. The Molly Maguires Ceilidh Band will be providing the music at the St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside, a production of the Sean MacBride AOH Div. 2. Lots of dancing and fun for the kiddies.

3 PM. The Bogside Rogues go on stage at Paddy Whacks at 9241-43 Roosevelt Blvd. n Northeast Philadelphia.

5 PM. Clancy’s Pistol is on the move. They’re playing at Maynard’s Café in Margate, NJ.

6PM. Jamison goes on at Paddy Whacks’ Paddy Bash.

8 PM. Catch Burning Bridget Clear at World Café at the Queen in Wilmington, DE.

8 PM. Celtic Pride will be showing it off at the Temperance House in Newtown.

8:30 PM. The Broken Shillelaghs will fix you up at Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill, now under new ownership (Brittingham’s that is).

9 PM. If you need a break from Irish music, check out Electric Boa and Hammer Down at World Café Live in Philadelphia. Not sure what they’re doing on our calendar, but, oh well. Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

10:30 PM. Hope they get mileage. Clancy’s Pistol is setting up at yet another Jersey location on Saturday—the great old Anglesea Pub in North Wildwood.

Sunday-St. Patrick’s Day!
7 AM The Annual AOH St. Patrick’s Charity Breakfast takes place at Fado Irish Pub on Locust Street in Philadelphia.

8 AM. Have another charity breakfast at The Plough and the Stars in Philadelphia. Your host: Judge Jimmy Lynn, who can always be counted on to sing.

8:30 AM. The Derry Brigade will be at Marty Magee’s in Prospect Park.

9:30 AM. More televised GAA games at the Irish Center in Mt. Airy.

11 AM. This is a special year for the Irish Memorial—its 10th. There will be prayers, speeches, music, and, of course, Irish dancers, at this lovely location at Penns Landing Park.

11 AM. The Shantys open up the Erin Pub in Norwood for a day of celebrating.

12 PM. Clancy’s Pistol, on very little sleep, will be playing at Paddy Whacks on Comly Road in Philadelphia.

12 PM. Galway Guild will be at Fado in Philadelphia.

12 PM. Join John Brennan and the musical Brennan family, harper Ellen Tepper, and fiddler Bette Conway and more at The Water Gallery in Lansdale for a day of live music (and lovely handcrafted Irish items). You can also buy our CD, “Ceili Drive: The Music of Irish Philadelphia,” which features the Brennans, Tepper, members of Blackthorn, The John Byrne Band, and many of your local favorite traditional musicians.

12 PM. Have your lunch at Roller’s in Chestnut Hill and hear Kitty Kelly Albrecht and her husband, Mike Albrecht. For $10, you get a copy of the latest Philadelphia Ceili Band CD, “Kelly Time.”

12 PM. There’s an open house at the Gloucester County AOH/Richard Rossiter Memorial Hall in National Park, NJ, featuring live music by the Broken Shillelaghs.

1 PM. There’s a family friendly event at Tom & Jerry’s in Folsom featuring Blackthorn—and they promise Irish music all day long.

1 PM. Attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass at the Irish Center. Afterwards, enjoy a lunch of ham and cabbage and shepherd’s pie (it will be authentic, believe us) along with music and dancing.

1 PM. Bill Monaghan and Celtic Pride make their annual trek to the stage of the Sellersville Theatre.

4 PM. Mick Moloney and Friends come to the Cape May Convention Hall. Expect topnotch traditional Irish music and some great stories.

5 PM. Mary Beth (Bonner Ryan) and Friends Irish Band will be playing at The Springfield Inn in Springfield. What a voice!

6 PM. Pack the House Entertainment is going green at World Café Live Downstairs. Listen to three rock and three hip-hop bands, wear something green, participate in the leprechaun costume contest (winner gets a green $50 bill—do they come in other colors?).

7 PM. Chances are I will know about half the audience at the TLA because I count many Saw Doctors fans among my pals. These Galway rockers come to Philly every year because of the love.

8 PM. Burning Bridget Cleary will be at World Café Live.

8 PM. Clancy’s Pistol (where were you all day?) will be playing at Dubh Linn Square in Cherry Hill, NJ.

8 PM. Catch the Shantys at Reedy’s Tavern on Frankford Ave. in

9 PM. Galway Guild will be rocking RiRa at the Trop in Atlantic City.

That’s it so far for Paddy’s Weekend, but keep checking back because new events are being added to our calendar about every hour. Please note: Some sessions on our sessions calendar that repeat every week may not be as scheduled because of the weekend events. Call ahead to find out about any changes. There are more details on all these events on the calendar, including addresses and even maps.

Ah, but that was just the weekend. There’s more.

Blackthorn leaves this week for spring training—if you didn’t book, you missed out.

On Tuesday, Sir James Galway, celebrated Irish flutist (flautist?), comes to the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

On Thursday, Mary O’Malley, the Heimbod Chair at Villanova, will be reading from her newest work, Valparaiso, which deals with themes of Ireland’s economic boom and bust, at Villanova.

There’s also a new recurring event on our calendar—Irish Music Thursday at Schileen’s Pub in Westville, NJ.

On Friday, the Yanks are coming. American-born trad musicians Dylan Foley, Dan Gurney, and Sean Ernest will be playing a house concert in a private home in Ambler. Contact info is on our calendar.

Coming up: the Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day Parade is next Saturday, as is the Delco Gaels Night of Comedy and Music (I thought that was what “Dancing Like a Star” was) at St. Laurence Hall in Upper Darby. And Clancy’s Pistol will be playing at Big Heads Pub in Willow Grove next weekend. Like Chicken Man, they’re everywhere, they’re everywhere! Hats off to ya, lads!

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.

How to Be Irish in Philly, News

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Philly Police and Fire Pipe Band from last year's parade.

Philly Police and Fire Pipe Band from last year’s parade.

This Sunday is Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, the second oldest in the country and one of the best. As veteran parade goers, we highly recommend certain spots on the parade route, which starts at JFK Boulvevard and marches down the Parkway. Anywhere near Tir na Nog is always great—the road is narrow there so you can get up close and personal with the floats, bands, and dancers if you want to get some good photos.

Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway is also a great locale—it’s small, so can’t squeeze in lots of onlookers, but if you find a spot you can stay warm while watching the parade with a beer. Kinda like being at home (you can see the parade live starting at 1 PM on CBS3, with Kathy Orr and Chris May), but with a little more atmosphere.

Then there’s the viewing stand down by Eakins Oval parking lot. All the dancers and bands get jiggy in front of the stands, where you can usually find CBS3’s charming traffic guy, Bob Kelly, interviewing folks (you might get interviewed yourself!).

We’ll all be there, so if you see us, come up and say hello! And look for my girls, The Divine Providence Rainbow Irish Dancers, who will be showing off their brand new jackets that they bought with proceeds from their Christmas recital this year. They’re pretty proud of those jackets so let them know how great they look.

BUT, before Sunday comes Saturday and there’s so much going on that your head will spin. In a nice way.

At 2 PM there will be a memorial service at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd where six railroad workers, who died more than 180 years ago, were buried last year. A seventh, John Ruddy, was buried last weekend in Ardara, County Donegal, with members of his family in attendance. Irish Center President Vincent Gallagher donated a spot in his family plot for Ruddy’s burial.

Marita Krivda Poxon will be signing her wonderful new book, Irish Philadelphia, at the Plough and the Stars in Philadelphia on Saturday frm 4 to 5, then from 5:30 to 6:30. It’s a great gift for your favorite Irishman. The book is also available at

The play Jimmy Titanic is still on at the Adrienne Theatre on Sansom Street.

At noon, Galway Guild, a local group, is playing at Marty Magee’s in Prospect Park. They’re heading to Paddy Whacks in Philly at 9 for another Saturday gig.

A couple of other events start in the early afternoon: There’s Beerfest at Harrah’s Philly, which has a tangential link to St. Patrick’s Day in that they’re serving lots of beer (our guess).

Catch the Broken Shillelaghs and Slainte at Dubh Linn Square in Cherry Hill for Paddypalooza, an afternoon delight of music and fundraising for The Claddagh Fund, a charity started by Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphy’s who are appearing at the Electric Factory on Saturday night.

The great little Conshy parade is next weekend, but on Saturday, they celebrate their grand marshal, Tom Couhglin, at a special ball at the Washington Fire House at Elm and Fayette Streets in Conshohocken.

Mary Courtney and Morning Star—she’s an extraordinary singer, and they’re an extraordinary band—will be performing at 8 PM The Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia, a Philadelphia Ceili Group concert.

The John Byrne Band and Friends will be debuting the band’s newest CD, Celtic Folk, at a concert at Sacred Heart Church in Riverton, NJ on Saturday night at 7:30 PM.

Mythica and Melissa Cox will be bringing their amalgam of Irish, Scottish, folk and world music to The Queen on 500 North Market Street in Wilmington, DE. on Saturday night.

There’s also a St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Holiday Concert featuring The Maidens IV, Irish Blessing, the Ladeens, piper Chris Lewis, and The Cara School of Irish Dance at the Schneider Center in Parkesburg, Pa.

On Sunday, start your day off right with Mass at St. Patrick’s Church at 20th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia. Archbishop Charles Chaput is expected to be there, along with many other Philadelphia-area VIPs. There are also post-parade parties all over the city, including at The Irish Center.

McDermott’s Handy will be performing the afternoon at Old Friends Meeting House in Bordentown, NJ.

There’s also a St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Holiday Concert at St. Malachi’s in Cochranville featuring all the folks from the Parkesburg concert listed above.

And at 8 PM, head down to the North Star on Poplar Street in Philly to hear The Tossers, a six-piece Celtic punk band from Chicago, who regularly tour with The Dropkick Murphy’s.

And it’s not even St. Patrick’s Day yet.

On Monday, the Mayo County Council (yes, that Mayo) will be at Maloney’s Pub in Ardmore where you can learn more about Admiral William Brown, an Irish-born Argentine admiral who became Argentina’s greatest naval hero. There’s no charge and there will be bar specials.

Harper Janet Harbison will be performing on Monday night at the Markeim Center for the Arts in Haddonfield, NJ. You can also hear her—and get some pointers—at her workshop on Tuesday night at the Virginia Harp Center in Haddonfield.

On Wednesday, you have your choice: The Irish Rovers on their farewell tour at World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington, or the amazing accordionist from Galway, Sharon Shannon, at Sellersville.

On Thursday, catch Dervish at Longwood Gardens (and on this little video).

Or you could taste-test some Irish coffee at AOH Notre Dame Div. 1 Hall in Swedesburg, a little event that gets bigger every year, with eight to 10 contestants brewing up their finest creations for the judges (and you get to be one). That runs from 7-9 PM.

Also on Thursday, hear Billy Donahue and Jack McKee of the Shantys at Schileen’s Pub in Westville, NJ. And Galway Guild at the Tap Room in Morton, PA.

On Friday, tune in to CBS3 at 6:30 AM to hear Blackthorn playing us up to St. Patrick’s Day. Later in the evening, the band will be performing at La Costa in Sea Isle, NJ. (Is it summer yet?)

On Friday night, The John Byrne Band, with No Irish Need Apply, will be doing the music of Shane MacGowan and the Pogues at the World Café Live in Philadelphia. They will all have teeth.

Also on Friday night:

Natalie MacMaster, the powerhouse Canadian fiddler, will be at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Carbon Leaf, a Celtic band from Virginia that often performs at Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic, will be at World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington.

The Trenton Titans hockey team is having Irish Night at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. Expect both dancing and fighting.

The Galway Guild will be at Con Murphys on the Parkway in Philly starting at 6 PM.

And The Broken Shillelaghs will be at Lazy Lanigan’s Publick House in Sewell, NJ.

A little taste of what’s ahead: St. Patrick’s Day is on Sunday! And on St. Patrick’s eve, look for parades in Bucks County, Conshohocken, and Springfield, Delaware County; Jamison at Paddy Whacks; a St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside with the Molly Maguire’’s Ceilidh Band (expect authentic traditional Irish celebration); and much, much more.

Don’t believe me? Check our calendar.

And keep checking back. New things are being added every day. Um, pretty much every minute.


How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

If you haven't seen GAA sports, do!

If you haven't seen GAA sports, do!

Better late than never!

Your usual trusty HTBI guide Denise Foley is enjoying a well-deserved rest, which leaves the task of filling you in on all things Irish and Philly during the upcoming holiday week up to me.

As seems to be the case every time Denise hits the road, most of the coming week is a bit on the light side. Maybe everyone’s at the shore.

But there is one big exception: Sunday.

Let’s start with the Project Children Benefit in Kildare’s in Manayunk, Sunday from noon to 3. We’ve been there, of course, and it’s a great venue in one of Philly’s funkiest neighborhoods. Hard to think of a better place for the fund-raiser. Project Children helps contribute to peace in Northern Ireland in its own small but significant way, bringing Protestant and Catholic kids from that often troubled area of the world to the United States for summer vacations. Price of admission is $20 for adults, and $10 for kids. (Kids under 10 get in for free.) There’s going to be a great buffet, plenty of draft beers to keep you cool, and Irish tuneage by Frank Daly of Jamison and friends. Irish dancers, too, of course, and fun for the kiddies, including face-painting.

More details here.

Sunday being a bright, beautiful sun-filled day in the summer, there is, of course, more to do on Sunday. Starting at 2 the same day, there’s Irish football and hurling at cardinal Dougherty High School field. If you haven’t seen these uniquely Irish sports, find time sometime this summer to take in an afternoon of games. (Bring plenty of sunblock. There aren’t many trees.)

And if you love Irish music, Sunday is a day full of traditional Irish music sessions at local bars. See our calendar for all the details. It’s a pretty good bet there will be a session near you.

See you next week.