Pinellas gets set to celebrate all things Irish
Here come those lucky leprechauns.
Pinellas County may be far from the Emerald Isle, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish feast day actually has little to do with the leprechauns — a type of mischievous fairy in Irish folklore. The holiday actually is in commemoration of the patron saint of Ireland — and it is celebrated worldwide. The Tampa Bay area is no exception. Preparations are underway all around Pinellas to celebrate the holiday on Sunday, March 17.
Area residents will soon be downing pints of Guinness while singing along to Irish drinking tunes such as “Whiskey in the Jar” and “The Wild Rover.” The aroma of corned beef and cabbage will waft from pub kitchens and everyone will be digging through their closets trying to find green apparel.
Many Tampa Bay area businesses and entertainment venues will mark the occasion with a sampling of Irish and Celtic performers.
Here’s a look at St. Patrick’s Day events around Pinellas.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival will be presented Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, at O’Keefe’s Family Tavern and Grill, 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater.
O’Keefe’s has hosted the celebration since 1980, according to the website.
“In the beginning, it was a small event, held mostly inside,” explains Garth DuQuesnay, owner of O’Keefe’s. “Then we went outside, added a tent, added days, and added live music.”
In addition to an 11,000-square-foot tent, small tents have been added so the fun stretches over the entire block. O’Keefe’s expects to sell more than 2,000 pounds of corned beef and go through at least 200 kegs of beer. The festival will feature live music with bands, bagpipers and Irish dancers set to entertain attendees. There also will be family-friendly activities such as costume contests, face painting, rock painting and more.
Admission is $5. For information, call 727-442-9034 or visit okeefestavern.com.
Following is a summary of the entertainment lineup:
Saturday, March 16
• Orlando Irish Band, noon
• Wyndbreakers Band, 4 p.m.
• Irish dancers, 4 p.m.
• Bagpipers and drummers, 8 p.m.
• The Black Honkeys, 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 17
• Irish Buskers, noon to 8 p.m.
• Bagpipers and drummers, 2, 6 and 8:30 p.m.
• Irish dancers, 2:30 and 5 p.m.
• The Greg Billings Band, 9 p.m.
• DJ, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. (inside bar)
The town of Indian Shores will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores.
There will be vendors specializing in fine arts, crafts, jewelry and clothing. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Corned beef and cabbage will be served at the Shamrock Irish Pub. Music will be provided by DJ Dan Bauer.
The town’s library will host a book sale.
Admission and parking, adjacent to the event, are free. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the beach community food pantry. Festivalgoers also may wish to bring lawn chairs.
For information, visit www.myindianshores.com.
Downtown Largo will be going green once again when the annual Shamrock’n Run returns Friday, March 15.
The race will begin and end at Ulmer Park, 301 W. Bay Drive. Besides featuring a 5K, 1.5-mile walk and Clover Kids Dash, the St. Patrick’s Day-themed event also will feature live music, food and drinks.
The start times and race fees are as follows:
5K: 7 p.m. $25 day of event
1.5-mile walk: $20 day of event
Clover Kids Fun Run: 8:15 p.m. (ages 7 and younger). $10
Parking will be provided at the Pinellas County School Board lot at 301 Fourth St. SW.
Runners may register online by visiting PlayLargo.com or may print out a registration form and mail it to Largo Golf Course, 12500 Vonn Road, Largo, FL, 33774. Pre-registration ended March 10.
Pre-registered participants may pick up their race packets Thursday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Largo Golf Course, or beginning at 5 p.m. on race day at Ulmer Park.
For more information, call 727-593-6166 or email Athletics@largo.com.
A St. Patrick’s Day celebration will run Friday through Sunday, March 15-17, at Peggy O’s, 1026 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor.
On Friday, the entertainment lineup will include headliner The Black Honkeys as well as Doyle’s Revenge and I Heart Cats. On Saturday, Stormbringer will headline with performances by She’s That Dude and Audio Star. Sunday’s lineup features headliner Jeriko Turnpike as well as Lie Low, Dennis Panars, Denny Dwyer, Celtic Conundrum, Dunedin Pipe Band, Larry Castle and pipers and dancers.
For information, call 727-787-7734.
St. Pete Beach
According to Postcard Inn on the Beach, spring break has nothing on St. Patrick’s Day.
The newly expanded beach bar, at 6300 Gulf Blvd., will be pouring green beer on Sunday, March 17. The day’s festivities will include an authentic Irish game of rings on the sand. Attendees are encouraged to wear green: Postcard Inn on the Beach will host a contest to determine who is wearing the most green. The winner will be selected by the crowd. Irish spirits and a special Irish-themed meal will be available for purchase.
The Irish Comedy Tour will make a stop in the area just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The show will be presented Friday, March 15, 8 p.m., at The Palladium at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
Reserved seating tickets start at $30. Call 727-822-3590 or visit www.mypalladium.org.
The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and combines it with a boisterous, belly-laugh band of hooligans. The clever comedians, whose ancestors hail from the Emerald Isle, include Detroit native Derek Richards, Boston-born Mike McCarthy, Nova Scotia’s Damon Leibert, and from Inchicore, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, Derrick Keane.
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A St. Paddy’s Day block party will take place Saturday, March 16, noon to 10 p.m., on the 200 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
The event will be hosted by DTSP Block Party with sponsored partners Jameson Irish Whiskey, Great Bay Distributors, Creative Loafing, and a live remote by 102.5 The Bone.
The party will feature a full lineup of live bands, river dancers, stilt walkers, $1,000 costume contest, seven beer and food tents, a Jameson ice luge, Jameson & Ginger flip cup games, a photo booth, official merchandise, games, a painter, juggling acts, break dancers, a leprechaun, and more. General admission is free to the public. VIP tickets also are available.
The entertainment lineup is as follows:
• Noon to 4 p.m. — Whiskey Dregs, a Celtic sound band with traditional Irish songs with rock, punk, and pop styles
• 4 to 8 p.m. — Boxcar Hollow, a popular local band with Americana, bluegrass, and Folk influences
• 8 to 10 p.m. — Pitbull Toddler, a local rock and blues band and Creative Loafing’s Reader’s Choice for “Best Cover Band”
The block party also will feature stilt walkers and traditional river dancing at 3 and 5 p.m.; and bagpiping by Glenglass Piping from 4 to 10 p.m.
VIP tickets will be available for $80 in advance and $100 at the door. The VIP tickets include unlimited drink and eats package, exclusive VIP drink line, an official event T-shirt, and more.
For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.dtspblockparty.com.
The seventh annual St. Patrick’s Day Bash will take place Sunday, March 17, in Mulligans Irish Pub at Wentworth Golf Club, 2990 Wentworth Way, Tarpon Springs.
The event will feature Irish music, food and drink specials, kids’ activities, and fun for all. It is family- and pet-friendly in an indoor and outdoor setting overlooking the greens. Membership is not required to attend.
The green beer will flow all day Saturday and Sunday along with Irish food and drink specials. An Irish buffet will feature corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. There will be a beer garden, bounce house and face-painting. Entertainment will include music and dancing. The performance lineup features Kimi Tortuga from noon to 2 p.m., Scott Fallon from 2 to 5 p.m., and Nightly Brew from 6 to 9 p.m.
Prizes will be given for best costumes and those having the most fun. A $5 cover starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
For information, call 727-942-4760, ext. 28, or visit www.wentworthgolfclub.org.
Cowboy Mouth will take the stage as part of PaddyFest set for Saturday, March 16, at Irish 31, 1611 W. Swann Ave., Tampa.
Doors will open at noon. The band performs at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and range from $15 to $25 the day of the show. Visit goo.gl/CSvu3T.
Now approaching their third decade together, the New Orleans-based rockers continue to cement their reputation as celebratory, electrifying road warriors. They’ve played more than 3,000 shows to over 10 million fans, mixing the party-friendly punch of their hometown — a city known for good times and even better music — with a raw rock and roll foundation. From the opening guitar riff of the band’s signature hit “Jenny Says” to the furious percussion supplied by the group’s drummer and larger-than-life front man, Fred LeBlanc, Cowboy Mouth shows remain legendary.
“A Cowboy Mouth concert is like a Southern gospel revival without the religion,” said LeBlanc, who helped form the band in 1990. Nearly 30 years later, Cowboy Mouth continue to do their best work onstage, supplying their nightly congregation of rock and roll sinners and holy rollers— from the 100,000 people who watched the band open for Aerosmith at Jazz Fest 2018, to the densely packed audiences that have filled the band’s club and theater shows for decades — with a reminder that rock and roll music doesn’t just swagger, sweat, and stomp. It saves.