The St. Patrick's Day celebrations and events throughout Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., make other areas green with envy. Whether you're looking for a place to toast to the health of your closest mates or a family-friendly time for you and your little Leprechauns, The Pursuit offers more options than you can shake a shillelagh at.
It's a four day celebration of the Emerald Isle at the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. Starting Friday, March 14, and stretching to the wee hours of Monday, March 17, the live music, food, drink specials, bagpipers and giveaways are sure to be pleasing all lads and lassies. Dance away (a jig, perhaps?) to the band House Money or the live DJ, both of which are sure to sham-"rock." Open wide for the Scotch egg-eating contest, or put on your best knickers and orange beard to be hailed the Best-Dressed Leprechaun.
The tradition of an Irish wake, where the life of a deceased relative or friend is marked by a glorious celebration rather than maudlin sentimentality, is a deep-seated part of Celtic heritage. The Methacton Community Theater cast of "The Irish Wake of Patty O'Toole" revives this style of unusual farewell in a comedic but touching dinner-theater show. The delightful and mischievous Patty O'Toole has passed away, and all his friends have gathered to say their last good-byes. The funeral director brings everyone to order and the eulogies begin. Things start rather normally until suddenly the ghost of Patty O'Toole appears to participate in his own wake. The fun and laughs unfold March 14-16 at the Center Square Golf Club.
Under the theme "Ireland: Land of Legends," Montgomery County's St. Patrick's Parade, held in Conshohocken, starts at 2 p.m. March 15 at 11th Avenue and Fayette Street. The bands, dancers, flags and shamrocks march along Fayette to Elm Street, ending in front of the Washington Fire Company. It is the centerpiece to a day of Irish-themed events and storefront offers, including a 5k run, a church bake sale, drink specials at nearby pubs and eateries, and even ice cream with free green sprinkles.
St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without music. Let your feet start a'tapping at the "Road to the Isles" performance at Montgomery County Community College. The concert showcases the traditional music and dance of Ireland and Scotland with two performances: One geared toward schoolchildren and families (March 14, at 10:30 a.m.) and an evening performance on for adults (March 15, at 8 p.m.). The group's six performers contribute their talents on the fiddle, flute, pipes, guitar, and with vocals, Irish Step dancing and Scottish Highland dancing. Dance performances include the sword dance, highland fling, Irish reel and jig, slip jig, and hornpipe, all complemented by songs, stories, and instrumental solos and duets.
You and your "wee bairns" (kids) can scout the grounds for hidden gold coins scattered throughout the field at the March 16 Schuylkill Canal Lock 60 Treasure Hunt. If the luck of the Irish smiles upon ye, the found "shillings" can then be turned in at the Locktender's House for a bag of treasures. The day also includes Irish music, treats and stories, including the tale of the Irish immigrants that were so integral to the hand-digging of the historic waterway.
It's an old Irish blessing that goes:
Walls for the wind, And a roof for the rain, And drinks beside the fire -
Laughter to cheer you, And those you love near you, And all that your heart may desire!
The imagery is clear: The warmth and embrace of a room to nestle down in. Follow your own rainbow this St. Patrick's Day weekend to one of our pot-of-gold comfy hotels or B&Bs. You'll wind up with a jackpot of a good memories.