St. Patrick’s Day festivities return after two year hiatus

By Derrick C Parker - For The Daily Times

PORTSMOUTH – Two years ago, the nation was in the infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolated cases were popping up around the country. Experts and government leaders were tracking the virus – trying to create contingency plans in the event of a full on outbreak in the United States.

By mid March, it was clear that COVID-19 was here – and it was spreading. That meant the closure of restaurants, bars, and so many other businesses in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. It also meant the cancellation of many events – the first of which in the area being the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other Irish heritage celebrations.

Now, two years later, the St. Patrick’s Day and Celtic heritage celebrations return in Portsmouth, Ohio. With any luck – the events will mark the last gasp of the pandemic and see a return to normalcy for the residents of Scioto County.

“I’m so excited,” said Gail Valentine, board member for the 7 Nation Celtic Club of Southern Ohio. “We are all vaccinated – and boosted – and are finally ready to have some fun. It’s been two years since our last celebration and we are ready to kick things off!”

Irish heritage events run from March 10 to March 19. On March 10, Port City Pub will host Business after hours. On the 12, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church will host an Irish Festival. On the 14, local artist Charlie Haskins will host a paint night at Port City. On the 15, the Shawnee State Vern Riffe Center for the Arts will host the Celtic Angels, On March 16, the 7 Nation Celtic Club will host an Irish Poetry night featuring Bram Stoker (Dracula) – portrayed by local John Biggs.

On March 19, the 7 Nation Celtic Club will host the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade with Grand Marshall John McHenry. The parade steps off at 11 a.m. Additionally, Port City will offer food specials (such as Irish Breakfast) and have musical performances by Mad Maudlin, the Cirque d’art Celtic dancers, and the Rose Mountain Ramblers.

For more information, check out the Port City Facebook Page.

The 7 Nation Celtic Club is also looking for new members to join and grow the annual festivities.

“To become a member of the club, all you have to do is show up on the third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Port City Pub. We are in the front room and will sign you up,” explained Valentine. “Our main purpose is to bring Celtic culture to our town along with great food, music, dancing, and poetry.”

By Derrick C Parker

For The Daily Times