From Galway to Galbraith and from Dublin to Dubai, going green means getting your party on, on St. Patrick’s Day, for a heady mix of parades, pub crawls, performances and prancing. Undoubtedly the most popular patron saint’s day, when March 17 rolls around you can pretty much guarantee that wherever you are on the planet, a Guinness or two will be raised to all things Irish, with some serious reveling in a bar not far from you.
Owned and run by Irish couple Caitlin and John Dunne, Fidel Murphy’s, Cayman’s oldest Irish bar, prides itself on the quality of its St. Paddy’s Day drinks and entertainment. This year, the fun starts at noon with live music, featuring popular Irish singer and guitarist Darren Brereton who is being flown in specially for the day. He’ll do an acoustic set at 1:30 p.m. and then an electric set from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with local musicians opening each set for him.
Music well taken care of, Fidel’s will have two satellite bars on the day, one serving pints of Guinness and $3 shots of Bushmills, the other serving Heineken and $4 green mojitos plus a $4 special on Baby Guinness shots. Another feature of the pub’s St. Paddy’s Day setup will be an outdoor games arena and an outdoor stage, if the weather holds.
Fidel’s is open for breakfast at 8 a.m. with alcohol service beginning at 9 a.m. The first six punters to visit the pub’s Facebook page on Thursday will win a bottle of Bushmills, and the venue is selling Paddy’s Day shirts, with anyone buying one before St. Paddy’s Day getting a free Heineken on Thursday.
If you like the motto “Go hard or go home,” Whiskey Mist’s three-day St. Patrick’s Day mini-fest, starting Thursday, will be right up your street.
The pub’s live music lineup includes legendary Irish singer Pat Hayes plus the local Irish styled band Altered Mind and Dave Hennessy. Hayes and Hennessy will also perform at the King’s Head in Camana Bay.
Following the success of the pub’s first lip sync battle, it will again be staging an hour-long Irish-themed lip sync competition with great prizes on the night.
Punters who have the stamina to party harder can rock out into the wee small hours to DJ RKM. With tons of drinks specials, including some on Jameson and Magners, St. Paddy’s Day at Whiskey Mist promises to be a huge night.
Cayman’s newest pub, King’s Head in Camana Bay, plans to roll out its first St. Paddy’s Day in style.
The Victorian-themed venue seeks to be a slice of the city in Cayman, and its small and cozy space has a breezy patio boasting a grand view of the waterfront. The bar’s fittings are sourced from old pubs across London, and it has the feel of a boutique museum.
The pub will be open to St. Paddy’s Day punters from 12:30 p.m., and the fun and laughter will carry on until around 7 p.m.
Famed Irish musician Pat Hayes will start the entertainment from around 4:30 p.m. with a 60-minute traditional Irish music session on the pub’s patio with Dave Hennessy.
And if you’ve got the cash to splash on celebrating St. Paddy’s Day a little further afield, here’s a quick roundup of the best parades at which to turn green this year.
Officially recognized as the biggest and the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade after Dublin, New York’s March 17 event celebrates Irish culture and brings people of all nationalities out on the streets for a parade that started in 1760.
Attracting thousands of out-of-state visitors to the streets of the Big Apple for a day of marching bands, heritage, fun and unity, the six-hour parade is such an institution that it is televised nationally. With plenty to see and some Irish bars along the route offering a free shot to revelers, there’s no reason why parade-goers won’t have a merry old time.
Where and when: The six-hour procession (no cars and no floats) starts at 11 a.m. on 44th Street, and makes its way past many tourist attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before finishing up at East 80th Street at around 5 p.m.
Look out for: The One World Trade Center tower will turn green.
Although Birmingham holds the largest St. Paddy’s parade in Britain, London is up there when it comes to hosting a rocking procession on or around the big day. Traditionally held on the nearest Sunday to the saint’s day, this year the parade will be held this weekend. Tricked out from top-to-toe green, revelers can watch the parade wend its way down the 1.5-mile route, which takes in some of the capital’s most iconic attractions.
London’s always been good at staging pomp and pageantry, and the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day parade, organized by the Mayor of London, no less, promises to be no different. Colorful floats, Irish dancing clubs, community organizations, sports clubs and traditional bands will make up the bulk of the marchers. Cheering crowds and happy participants make the parade one of the most hotly anticipated events on the London social calendar.
Bringing together some of the best music and entertainment that Ireland offers, the parade and the free St. Patrick’s Day Festival that follows promise to make a grand, family-friendly day out with an artisan Irish food market, comedy and film festival, ceilidhs (traditional Gaelic social gatherings), music and dance.
When and Where: This year’s parade starts at noon from Piccadilly, wending its way to Trafalgar Square for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which ends at 6 p.m.
Look out for: Nelson’s Column will be emerald on the day.
A little closer to home, for all those in the Caribbean, Montserrat is known regionally as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean with good reason. The tiny volcanic island has a strong Irish heritage and is the only country other than Ireland that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a public holiday.
One of the main reasons that Montserrat commemorates St. Paddy’s Day is that on that date in 1768, the island experienced a slave revolt which was crushed by the slave holders, many of whom were Irish.
Through the weeklong festival (March 14 to 20), Montserratians celebrate their Irish and African roots with a brace of events, including costume parties, a freedom run, pub crawls, parades, cricket matches and jump-up breakfasts. To know how seriously the island takes its Irish heritage, you’ve only to look at Montserrat’s national flag, which features an Irish harp, and know that a green shamrock is stamped on visitors’ passports.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand’s capital city, is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, so you’d better get on a flight tout de suite if you want to get there in time.
Started by the influx of Irish migrants in the 1840s, this year’s hallmark event will feature Irish banners, floats, dancers and bands which symbolize the proud links still maintained between New Zealand and the old country. The parade is followed by the Fleadh (pronounced “Flah”) dance and music festival. The festival will feature Sean Kelly and The Celtic Flyers Band, Irish food and drink, as well as Irish dance troupes.
When and Where: The parade will start on the intersection of Ponsonby Road and Ponsonby Terrace at noon and ends on Crummer Road.
Look out for: The greening of the Sky Tower in Auckland.