Iconic puppet Kermit the Frog once lamented in song that it isn’t easy being green. The Jim Henson amphibian may have needed to expand his horizons and consider just how easy it really is this time of year when St. Patrick’s Day activities are held from Portsmouth to Ireland and countless locations in between.
In 2017, Portsmouth and Scioto County celebrated the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day with nearly a week of special events. The 7 Nations Celtic Club is again coordinating a festival week “plus” of activities in and around Portsmouth and Scioto County to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint and the worldwide heritage of Irish people.
Festivities begin Friday, and run for eight days through St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
The 7 Nations Celtic Club, the Port City Pub and the Community Action Agency of Scioto County are sponsoring the week-plus of events. Activities include an Irish festival, an Irish-themed pub quiz, readings of the poetry and literature of some famous Irish writers, music and Irish dance, the annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K fundraiser, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, and more and more music.
In addition to the local events , the sponsors are calling on local residents and businesses to a “Green the Town” March 15-18. It has been the custom in Dublin, Ireland for a number of years to light up major iconic buildings with green lights. Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the General Post Office are a few of the major edifices bathed in green light during Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival. Along Portsmouth’s Chillicothe Street, some of the businesses have already lit up their establishments in green, and it is hoped that many more businesses and local residents will join the effort.
The 7 Nations Celtic Club is the beneficiary of the proceeds of Friday’s “St. Patrick’s Day Tasting” at The Party Connection, 2034 11th Street in Portsmouth. For a small fee, patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy hot appetizers and taste some Irish beers and regional wines. Live music will be part of the experience from 5 to 8 p.m.
The St. Patrick’s festival of events in Portsmouth and Scioto County will continue at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Irish Festival of the Holy Redeemer Church, 1325 Gallia Street in Portsmouth. Food, music and beverages, a presentation by the Cirque D’Art dancers, a homemade quilt raffle, several cash raffles and the sale of homemade goods are all part of the church’s annual Irish celebration.
The McIans will present traditional and modern Celtic music in the vein of The Pogus, Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys beginning at 8 p.m. at Port City Cafe and Pub, 424 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth. The evening is expected to be lively with great fun, music and, maybe, some dancing.
On Monday, the Port City Pub is again the venue for a St. Patrick’s festival event. The pub staff will host a first-ever Irish-themed pub quiz. Your knowledge of Queen Maeve, Brian Boru or U2 might win you prizes (or, at least, great respect ).
Local artist Charlie Haskins brings his talent to Chillicothe Street (also at Port City Pub) 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. A social hour will precede the Irish-themed painting class. There is a $25 charge for the painting kit, and there are a limited amount of tickets available.
For the second year, Barbara Costas Biggs will host an “Irish Poetry Night.” Last year , Oscar Wilde’s memory was invoked by a local impersonator. This year, there will be readings of works from Ireland’s famous sons and daughters, including those of poets and writers such as C.S. Lewis, Anne Enright, W.B. Yeats, Katharine Tynan and Seamus Heaney. The event begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Port City Pub.
The Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce gets into the act March 15 with its monthly Business After Hours gathering. The networking opportunity for chamber members is 5 to 7 p.m. at Port City Pub. An Irish-themed evening of food, music and encouragement for community involvement is planned. The 7 Nations Celtic Club will also be selling raffle tickets for its St. Patrick’s Day basket of food and gifts. The club will also conduct its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the venue, which is open to members and prospective members.
The music of Ireland and other Celtic nations gets a re-boot 8 to 11 p.m. March 16 when the Columbus band Two2Many presents music at the Port City Pub.
Finally, the day that the Irish await each year, St. Patrick’s Day, gets off to an early start March 17 with the fun and fund-raising efforts of the Community Action Organization of Scioto County’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K walk/run. The 8 a.m. walk/run begins at 342 Second Street in Portsmouth. The Shuffle proceeds benefit local children by providing nutritious meals on weekends when free lunch isn’t available because school is not in session.
The 12th annual Portsmouth 7 Nations Celtic Club’s St. Patrick’s Parade will follow at 11 a.m., complete with the bagpipers of the Cyril Scott Band, a sea of folks in green attire and, maybe, a vision of St. Patrick. The parade starts on Market Street in Portsmouth, and winds down Second Street to Washinton, along Fifth Street, and then onto Chillicothe Street to end at Tracy Park. The Cyril Scott bagpipers will later go to the Port City Pub, where more Irish dance, music, food and dancing will be available throughout the day and evening, and will feature the Cirque D’Art aerial dancers, Amhrain, Poverty String Band, Rose Mountain Ramblers, and Ian Jones and the Tipperary Three.
County Tipperary native Mark Cardosi, and this year’s parade Grand Marhall, cites the organizing efforts of Cory Maillet from Port City Pub, Luanne Valentine of Community Action Organization of Scioto County, and Lee Daily from the Celtic Club as the reason the St. Patrick’s festival of events has returned to the area for another year.
“Many of these events have been successfully presented for years by the the entities involved this year,” Cardosi says. “But, one St. Patrick’s Day is not enough. We will have a festival of activities occuring over eight days. And don’t forget the ‘greening’ of our town from the 15th through the 18th.”
As is said in Ireland, organizers expect the festival to be “brilliant.” Activities will go on rain, snow or shine. Facebook pages for Port City Pub, 7 Nations Celtic Club and Community Action Organization of Scioto County will provide updated information about the individual events.