How to be Irish Philly style

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First Posted: 3/10/2015

PHILADELPHIA — New York City may be famous for their St. Patrick’s Day Parade but Philadelphia has its own celebrations that can’t be missed. The main event is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 15, starting at noon. The parade route runs along JFK and Kelly Drives, including a performing area at Eakin’s Oval near the Art Museum. More than 200 groups will be marching and performing. A Philadelphia tradition since 1771, the parade is a must see event.

Before the parade, at 9:15 a.m., a Commemorative Parade Mass at Saint Patrick’s Church (20th and Locust) will take place. The mass will be led by Archbishop Charles Chaput. In the mood for more Irish music and dancing after the parade? WHYY, Philadelphia’s local PBS channel, is hosting a sober St. Patrick’s Day Party from 4 to 7 p.m. at 150 North 6th Street. This alcohol free, kid-friendly party features trade musicians, the Emerald Isle Academy dancers and award winning Irish fiddlers.

For those interested in imbibing, there is a multitude of bar crawls and parties around the holiday. The Erin Express, a 30- year-old bar crawl tradition, will take place on Saturday, March 14. Twenty Philadelphia bars participate including Cavanaugh’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on South 39th Street to Bonner’s Irish Pub on South 23rd. Free buses run about every 15 minutes from noon to 6 p.m., hitting all the locations.

Also turning 30 this year is the Leprechaun Run, a 5 mile run, 2 mile walk on March 14. The race begins at 9 a.m. on MLK Drive near the Art Museum rain or shine. The event raises money for Special Olympics Philadelphia, with a goal of $30,000 for its 30th anniversary.

Fado Irish Pub at 1500 Locust Street is the place to be for the next two weeks. This is their 14th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and the bar is hosting several events leading up to the 17th. If you’re fan of European sports, doors open early on March 15 for English Premier League football and 6 Nations Rugby. Brunch is also available. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, Fado is hosting a Tour of Ireland Irish Whiskey Tasting and Dinner. The $50 ticket includes 5 courses of food accompanied by Irish Whiskey.

For the literary crowd, the Rosenbach Museum and Library just off of Rittenhouse Square is featuring a special exhibit on Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, focusing on his relationship with Philadelphia. Wilde presented several lectures in the Philadelphia region in 1882. The exhibit includes materials from Wilde’s collections as well as unpublished pieces on display for the first time. “Everything is Going on Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia” runs through April 26.

An annual commemoration begins at 11 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Memorial at 100 S. Front Street. The monument represents the great potato famine of Ireland. This year there will be a Mass as well as Irish music and dancing to honor those of Irish ancestry in Philadelphia.