“Who’s Erin, and where is Bragh?” I asked my first grade teacher at our St. Patrick’s Day party. “No, honey,” she corrected. “Éirinn go Brách. It’s Irish. It means ‘Ireland Forever!’” she shouted, and all the kids cheered! Were they all Irish? No. Did they want to be Irish? No idea. There was just a certain something … that ‘everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day’ feeling … it was infectious then, and it’s infectious now.
With our town’s rich Scotch-Irish heritage dating back to the 1700s, and more than 10 percent of Pittsburghers claiming Irish ancestry, St. Patrick’s Day in the Burgh is always a huge deal. Whether you’re Irish, or you just aspire to it, yinz can déan spraoi (have fun) all over tahn this year celebrating the holiday named for the patron saint of Ireland.
If a cóisir (party) with your pooch is what you’re looking for, head for Animal Friends’ McBark and Brew Friday, March 14 beginning at 7 pm. They’ll have microbrews for you and Irish treats for your people-and-dog-friendly pup. If you’ve got the luck o’ the Irish, you may win an auction prize or a 50/50 raffle! Registration and vaccination records are required. Call 412-847-7055 for more information.
If ceol (music) is your bag, check out Claddagh Irish Pub at Southside Works for a weekend of Gaelic glee. The lineup includes Wild Geese Irish Rock Band on Friday, March 14 at 8:30 pm and St. Baldrick’s Signature Head Shaving Event on Saturday at 10 am, followed by live entertainment at 1 pm with Irish and Celtic bands. Claddagh rounds out the weekend on Sunday with more Irish rock music as well as fiddlers, bagpipers, and even Irish dancers! For more information, visit www.southsideworks.com.
If a more traditional ceiliúradh (celebration) with the whole muintir (family) is what you have in mind, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a must. Festivities begin Saturday, March 15 at 10 am at the Greyhound Bus Station (intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street). This year’s impressive program includes appearances by the U. S. Air Force Honor Guard, Olympic Medalists Michael Carruth and Lauryn Williams, and Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Queen Ciara Scanlon Crossey, 19, of Crafton. For more information, visit www.pittsburghirish.org/parade.
If you just want to have a nice quiet suipéar (supper) with your muirnín (sweetheart), you might want to try Max & Erma’s on Saturday, March 15, for their spectacular beer cocktails and St. Patrick’s Day discounted munchies from 5 pm to closing. With ten locations in and around Pittsburgh, and even a fabulous gluten-free biachlár (menu), Max & Erma’s is a great place for St. Patrick’s Day sláinte … cheers!