Published on March 14th, 2014 | by Ballard Lesemann0
Aim for Park Circle’s St. Paddy’s Day Block Party
Americans generally go a little insane during the weekend of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The annual event was initially celebrated in remembrance of the patron saint of Ireland but it gradually became a general sort of Irish-themed holiday. In the U.S., heavily commercialized and thematically corrupted, St. Patrick’s Day (or the nearest Saturday night to it on the calendar) has almost degenerated into a tacky beer bash with green-dyed lager, tacky decor, and lame costumes.
Occasionally, groups of Irish-Americans and Hibernophiles strike the right balance between celebration, respect, authenticity, and accuracy. Some tavern parties, parades, and street festivals hit the mark, despite the modern tendency for tackiness.
Here in Charleston, there’s never a shortage of St. Patrick’s Day events, although venues tend to spread and stretch things out across whichever weekend dates come close to the traditional March 17 date of the official celebration.
From the business districts of Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach to the busy commercial blocks of downtown Charleston, several block parties, pub crawls, and performances are schedule around the Lowcountry this weekend. One of our top recommendations for local revelers and music fans is the 11th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Block Party & Parade in the Park Circle neighborhood in North Charleston on Sat. March 15.
Located on East Montague Avenue (between Virginia and Jenkins Avenues), the St. Paddy’s Day Block Party & Parade will run from 12-7 p.m. on Saturday with live music on three stages, bagpipe music, snare drummers, a mechanical bull, food vendors, food trucks, kids activities, and more.
Their annual parade will kick things off at noon at Park Place East (adjacent to E. Montague Avenue and across from Park Circle Community Center). The route will head down E. Montague Avenue through the block party location to O’Hear Avenue. Madra Rua co-owners Robert Spencer and Stephen O’Connor will act as grand marshals.
The family-friendly events are sponsored by the Madra Rua Irish Pub, the City of North Charleston, Southern Eagle Distributors, Lee Distributors, Cheerwine, and the Olde North Charleston Merchant’s Association.
There’s a wild and fun variety of folk, rock, Celtic, and Americana acts on the schedule. On the Family Zone Stage, the bill will feature the Charleston Hot Shots, the V-Tones, and the High Gravity Jazz Band. On the Cheerwine Stage, it’ll be Lizzy Pitch, Folkgrass, the 3 Dudes, and the Ryan Perry Band. The Madra Rua Stage will host Karl Byrne, Don Merckle and the Blacksmiths, and WADATA. The party, midday parade, and parking are free to the public.
There’ll be plenty of American-style party action, but the Guinness will be poured with the proper flare, the food will be hot and tasty, and the wild spirit of the Emerald Isle will be in the air. Cheers to that.
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