St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and the city of Portsmouth is gearing up to celebrate.
Port City Cafe and Pub, the 7 Nations Celtic Club, and the Community Action Agency of Scioto County are sponsoring and cross-promoting this year’s St. Patrick’s events as part of the first-ever city-wide St. Patrick’s Festival.
“All of the events are designed to connect Portsmouth and Scioto County to the world- wide celebrations on March 17 of the feast day of Ireland’s patron, St. Patrick. The local activities include readings of the poetry of some famous Irish writers, music and Irish dance, the annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K fundraiser, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, more and more music, and even bingo,” said 7 Nations Celtic Club President, Mark Cardosi in a release. Cardosi is a native of County Tipperary, Ireland.
Cardosi pointed to the efforts of Cory Maillet from Port City Pub, Luanne Valentine of the Community Action Organization of Scioto County, and Lee Daily from the Celtic Club for coming together to organize the events.
“Many of these events have been successfully presented for years by the three entities involved this time. But, because of the calender and the desire to coordinate the related events, instead of one St. Patrick’s Day we will have a Festival of activities occurring over a number of days. As is said in Ireland, it should be ‘brilliant’, the public is invited to join the fun, rain or shine,” said Cardosi.
According to Port City’s General Manager, Cory Maillet, the Pub’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration has become a tradition for folks in Portsmouth. Maillet says St. Patrick’s proves to be the busiest day of the year for he and the staff, but they enjoy it.
“The planning for this event really starts back in January. I start making calls to the music acts and performers and we begin stocking up on Guinness even then. By the time March comes around, I have a whole wall of kegs ready to go. People get excited once March rolls around, it’s not even St. Patrick’s yet and we have people that come in and ask us about it,” said Maillet. “We’re doing things a little differently this year, the 7 Nations Celtic Club is sponsoring all of our music. We’ve changed our lineup, we’re really excited to have the Bloody Tinth from Cincinnati come back and play this year, it’s been a few years since we’ve been able to have them. They play Irish festivals all over the mid-West now, so it’ll be really great. We’ve also added the Irish poetry night. I put in a lot of hours around this time of year but its worth it. Once the bag-pipe players come in on Saturday, me and the staff, we all just get a special feeling.”
The schedule of events is as follows:
March 10: The Party Connection, 2034 11th Street in Portsmouth will be hosting a pre-St. Patrick’s Day Craft Beer and Wine tasting. Appetizers will be served. Ian Jones and Keith Edwards will be performing a selection of Celtic music. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 7 Nations Celtic Club.
March 15 – 19: “Green The City,” local businesses and residences are invited to light up their buildings or homes with green lights to show unity and express support for St. Patrick’s Day events.
March 15: Port City Cafe and Pub, 424 Chillicothe Street will be hosting an Irish Poetry Night, from 7-9 p.m. An Oscar Wilde impersonator will be featured. There is no cost associated with this event.
March 17: Join the Cirque D’Art Celtic Dancers, the Rose Mountain Ramblers and Ian Jones and the Tipperary Three at Port City for a night of music and dance beginning at 5 p.m.
Several local restaurants and businesses will be hosting fish fry’s for the Lent season, known as ‘Chippers,’ or ‘Fish and Chips,’ to the Irish, this meal is a traditional favorite. Port City will be featuring Fish and Chips on their menu, as well as the Knights of Columbus, 1518 Gallia Street. Keep your eyes peeled for others as well.
March 18: Shamrock Shuffle 5K, 3.1 mile flat terrain walk/run fundraiser for the Scioto County Community Action Agency Backpack Program. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Scioto County Welcome Center, 342 Second Street in Portsmouth, Ohio. Entry fees are $30 for individuals and members of teams registering in groups of 5 or more. Age groupings for the event are 14 and younger, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and older. Awards will go to the fastest female and fastest male overall, and to the top female and top male finishers in each age bracket. The course goes through the downtown and historic Boneyfiddle District of Portsmouth. Volunteers will be on the route ready to assist runners/walkers as needed. All awards will be made immediately after the race.
Port City Cafe and Pub will also be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast for Shamrock Shuffle participants and those preparing for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins assembling “rain or shine” at 10 a.m. on Market Street in Portsmouth between St. Mary’s Church and Third Street. Sean Dunne, Shawnee State University Professor, is this year’s Grand Marshall. The parade begins at 11: a.m. and will proceed from Market Street to Third Street, on to Court Street, north to Fifth Street, then west to Chillicothe Street, and on towards Tracy Park.
Immediately following the parade, Port City will be hosting music, food and dance. Featured artists include: the Cyril Scott Pipe Band, the Cirque D’Art Celtic Dancers, Amhrain, the Poverty String Band and the Bloody Tinth from Cincinnati, the party goes on until midnight.
The Community Action Welcome Center, 342 Second Street, will also be hosting a bingo night. Doors open at 4 p.m. and games begin at 6:30 p.m.
March 19: Bingo, again, at the Scioto Community Action Welcome Center, 342 Second Street. Doors open at noon and games start at 2 p.m.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on events, you can follow the organizations on their Facebook pages by searching, “Port Coity Cafe and Pub,” “7 Nations Celtic Club of Southern Ohio,” and “Community Action Organization of Scioto County, Inc.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.