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St. Patrick’s Day

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

This is the week Philadelphia’s Irish have been waiting for. There’s so much music on the agenda, you’ll never keep up. Although we invite you to try.

On the big day itself, there will be food and drink specials at most, if not all of the pubs and bars where our artists are performing—including our favorite St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, kegs and eggs. Try it, you’ll like it. And be sure to support our many Irish pubs and restaurants as best you can. Many of them have had a hard time of it. 

Here’s what’s happening in this very busy week to come.

Friday, March 12

Raymond Coleman takes the stage at the New Deck Tavern, 3408 Sansom Street in University City, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Shantys are on tap at Marty Magee’s Beer Garden, 1110 Lincoln Avenue in Prospect Park, Delco. The show starts at 7 p.m.

You can see Frank Daly, Jamison Celtic Rock front man, and fiddler Alice Marie, from 8 to 11 p.m., at Kensington Pub, 2116 E Tioga Street in Philly.

Saturday, March 13

It’s a big day at Renault Winery, 72 North Bremen Avenue in Egg Harbor, N.J., starting at 11:30 a.m. Among the day’s events: Jimi Milligan Band, Fiddle Mix by Shelly B and South Philly String Band’s Irish Brigade. Outside, Irish bands, food, vendors and a lot more.

There are two pop-up performances by the McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance outdoors at Cardinal John Foley Regional Catholic School, 300 East Eagle Road in Havertown, at 2 and 3 p.m.

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A Pandemic-Era St. Patrick’s Fundraiser Benefits Local Irish Charities

This is the time of year when Philly-area Irish charities would be asking you to dig deep into your pockets to help them raise money for their big St. Patrick’s Day events.

With the coronavirus pandemic rules meant to keep us safe and attendance at live events seriously limited, those events just aren’t going to happen. We’ll miss them, but for now you’ll have to be satisfied—actually, we confidently predict that you will be well and truly satisfied—by a virtual fundraiser called Shamrock Aid 2021.

It’s scheduled for Wednesday, March 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. You’ll be able to see it on the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade Facebook page . If you are typically inclined to support organizations dedicated to Irish causes, now is the time to give, and give generously.

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Food & Drink, News

St. Patrick’s Day 2014 at Brittingham’s

Tom Webster and Richie Maggs from Down By the Glenside

Tom Webster and Richie Maggs from Down By the Glenside

One of the area’s best known and beloved Irish pubs underwent a facelift last year. We wanted to experience St. Patrick’s Day in the Lafayette Hill eatery’s light and airy new digs.

The day started with a great buffet. The hash was the best we’d ever tasted.

Things got off to a slow start, but business picked up pretty quickly–not long after local singer-raconteur Oliver McElhone started to sing rebel songs, and whatever else anybody wanted to hear, from a stage not far from one of Brittingham’s two bars.

And both bars were pretty busy when we left.

St. Patrick’s Day at Brittingham’s attracted a pretty diverse crowd, including two guys from a band called Down By the Glenside who had played there the night before, and two off-duty nurses who had just come off the night shift. “It’s our happy hour,” they said.

Early or late, it was a pretty happy hour for everybody.

We snagged a few photos. Check them out, up top.

And one video of McElhone himself, singing … of course … a rebel tune. Feel free to sing along. We did.


Conshohocken 2014

Valley Forge Pipe Major Joe Raudenbush

Valley Forge Pipe Major Joe Raudenbush

There’s always a crowd at the Montgomery County St. Patrick’s Day parade. Saturday in Conshohocken was no exception. If anything, the balmy near-60 degree weather brought out many more Irish, and wannabe Irish. We also saw the first flip-flops we’ve seen in months, a harbinger of spring if ever there was one.

Grand Marshal Jay Murray, wearing the maroon kilt of Irish Thunder—he plays pipes—led the bands, dancers, fire trucks, local pols, Hibernians and more down Fayette Street.

Check out the photo gallery.


Recipe: Bar Cookies. . .With Guinness

The key ingredient!

The key ingredient!

When we’re looking for a special St. Patrick’s Day treat, we turn first to our favorite Irish cook, Margaret Johnson, author of “Flavors of Ireland” and nine other cookbooks celebrating Irish cuisine. And she has something special for us this year—Guinness for dessert!

We’ll let her tell it:

“No one was more surprised than I to learn that desserts could be made with Irish stouts, beers, and ales. Drinking them was a no-brainer, and using them for marinades and flavoring stews was a great idea, but I thought desserts were another matter. That was before I realized that the sweet flavor produced by yeast and hops could easily translate to cakes, breads, and bars like these (see recipe below). This recipe originated with the brewers of Guinness more than three decades ago. Note: you can also make this in an 8- or 9-in. square pan for more of a cake-like finish.

Guinness Applesauce Bars with Lemon Drizzle
Makes 27 bars

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Guinness stout
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Drizzle Icing
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking pan and dust with flour; tap out excess.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, stir together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and Guinness. Mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the raisins, dates, and walnuts.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Cut the bars into 9 rows by 3 rows.
5. To make the drizzle, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, and lemon juice. Drizzle the mixture over the bars and serve immediately.

You can join Margaret M. Johnson on a culinary tour of Ireland next October 8-15 when you can visit and have a tasting at the Guinness factory yourself. The 8-day escorted tour ($2,468, land only price based on double occupancy) includes deluxe accommodations plus visits and tastings at the Burren Smokehouse, the Jameson distillery, and a half-day, hands-on cooking class with Chef Catherine Fulvio at Ballynocken House in County Wicklow, among other things. For more information and a complete itinerary, go to Margaret’s website.


Merry Chris. . . Uh, Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Conshy

conshy-paradeIt rained, it snowed, it sleeted—but the Conshohocken St. Patrick’s Day went on as planned on Saturday, March 16. While fewer people than usual lined the march route (Conshy’s main drag, Fayette Street), the folks who braved the bad weather had a very good time—a very good time, indeed.

If you need proof, check out our photos!


How Did You Spend St. Patrick’s Day?

This McDade dancer didn’t let the cold weather steal her smile.

This McDade dancer didn’t let the cold weather steal her smile.

We hope you had a great St. Patrick’s Day, because we did. We started the day as we usually do, at The Plough and the Stars in Philadelphia for Judge Jimmy Lynn’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. It’s a charity event, but it’s also a place for local pols to meet and greet. For all we know, deals were being made over the full Irish breakfast, but were too busy listening to the music, the party pieces, and watching the dancers who managed to so some amazing leaps on a very crowded dance floor.

Even more amazing were the dancers who performed outside at The Irish Memorial at Penns Landing, which is marking its 10th anniversary. Mayor Michael Nutter and State Senator Mike Stack spoke at the event, after which they joined members of the Memorial’s board in planting shamrocks at the site. It was very, very cold, yet the young dancers kept their smiles up.

For dancing, nothing beats The Irish Center on St. Patrick’s Day, where both the young and old took to the dance floor after a hearty lunch of ham and cabbage and shepherd’s pie.

Some of us went a little quiet in the afternoon–heading to Lansdale’s Water Gallery where there was an Irish/Old Time Music session going on all afternoon. Water Gallery co-owner Bette Conway is a fiddler herself, and brings not only Irish music but Irish artisans to her shop. And no, we didn’t get out of there without buying something.

We took photos of our festivities.

See St. Patrick’s Day at The Plough and The Irish Memorial.

View photos from The Irish Center.

Check out our afternoon at the Water Gallery in Lansdale.

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.