Time for the wearin’ o’ the green

Ring in St. Patrick’s Day with the best K-Town has to offer

St. Patrick’s Day 2006 Preview

When St. Patrick set foot in Ireland in the fifth century, he had no idea that March 17 would turn into one of the most raucous, debaucherous and beloved holidays of all time. Despite a predominantly Scottish ancestry (ok, with just a smidge of County Derry), I’ve spent my whole life looking forward to St. Paddy’s each year.

To ten-year-old me, it meant green—indisputably the greatest colour—great music, great company, and a day where having red hair was cool. To 21-year-old me, it means all of that … and beer. Thus, I offer you a schedule of sorts to guarantee an appropriately wild, Kingston-style St. Patrick’s Day.

10 a.m. Top o’ the mornin’ to you! Rise and shine to prepare for one hell of a St. Patrick’s Day! Or perhaps you’re stumbling into or out of a dreaded Friday morning class as you read this. Anyway, you should probably shower and get decked out now—it may be your last chance to do so for the next 24 hours. And let’s be honest: 24 hours from now, you may not possess the ability to operate a faucet.

Wear the greenest of green that you own, and bonus points for creative headwear (shamrock crowns, tam o’ shanters [NOT your Queen’s one!] and bowler hats are all good). Olive eye shadow, green jewellery, the works: be as festive as humanly possible. They don’t call it “The Wearin’ o’ the Green” for nothing, after all. Also, be sure to play the appropriate music to get you in the proper mood. [See “A St. Patrick’s Day Playlist” Inset.]

11 a.m. Head over to Philthy McNasty’s for their hearty St. Patrick’s Day Guinness Breakfast. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can get a full Irish breakfast of bangers and mash, plus a pint of Guinness—all for a mere $10. Additional Guinness may be required—after all, you can’t have just one.

1 p.m. Keep your buzz going by moving down Princess St. to The Brass for a pint of green beer and a pint of Murphy’s. FYI: According to a Brass bartender, today marks Murphy’s debut at The Brass. An excellent excuse for paying them a visit, don’t you think? After a couple of Murphy’s, stand up on your chair and recite this famous passage by Irish writer Flann O’Brien: “When money’s tight and hard to get / And your horse has also ran, / When all you have is a heap of debt / A pint of plain is your only man!” Pretty great, eh?

3 p.m. As far as Kingston Irish pubs go, the Tir Nan Og usually sits at the top of the list. This year—like every year—there’ll be the heated tent outside on Market St., which can hold 250 people. And believe me, it’ll be stuffed to the gills—in fact, if you don’t get to the ’Nog early, then you may as well not bother. Despite the fact that “Tir Nan Og,” in Irish folklore, is the land of the young, pub-goers of all ages will flock for free-flowing stouts and plenty of live Irish music: The Wells will be onstage until 4 p.m., County Down from 4-8 p.m., and The Dole Tinkers will tinker from 9 p.m. to close. 6 p.m. Literally ring in St. Patrick’s Day by giving someone a call in Ireland … for free! In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, Speak Telecom Inc.’s 10-10-940 is offering a special promotion today that lets you call anyone in Ireland, completely free of charge.

“We wanted to find a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and thought that this would be an excellent way to do it,” said Mike Cunningham, president of Speak Telecom. “It’s a great way to thank the Irish community for their continued business and support.” To put in a call to the Emerald Isle, just dial 10-10-940 + 011 + 353 + the Irish phone number from a Bell Canada local phone. Just don’t forget about the five-hour time difference. I plan on calling my buddy Alan in Galway.

7 p.m. This might be a good time for a wee break. Watching an Irish-themed movie like The Quiet Man, Boondock Saints or Michael Collins might be a good idea. At least it’s an excuse to lie on a couch for a brief pass-out.

10 p.m. Head over to The Toucan and Kirkpatrick’s for an authentic Irish pub experience. As Kingston’s oldest Irish bar, the Toucan will also be teeming with patrons, who’ll likely be double-fisting Smithwick’s and Guinness with unabashed zeal.

With the dim lighting, intimate atmosphere and rampant revelry, it’s definitely a place to be. If you time it right, you may not even have to wait in line too long, but I make no promises. In any case, this is almost certainly where you’ll find yours truly enjoying a well-poured black ’n’ tan.

12 a.m. If you’re still able to walk, meander back towards campus for a visit to Alfie’s. Fridays at Alfie’s have been hopping all year, and St. Patrick’s Day is unlikely to be any exception. But crowds may have thinned out considerably by midnight, and no one can beat those $5 doubles. Anything with a little Jameson’s will do just fine.

2 a.m. Last call across Kingston! Throw back one final shot and do a jig. Or a reel, if you’re feeling up to it. Check out www.nonvi.com/sm/dance_list if you feel like doing some prep work for this moment. I’ll be impressed if you don’t trip yourself by this point in the evening, though. Oíche mhaith! Codladh sámh! (Good night! Sleep well!) Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone. I hope that it’s all you dreamed of and more, and that a serious hangover doesn’t leave you too sore. May the road rise to meet you, etc., etc. And come say hello if you see a certain shamrock-crowned redhead clad in head-to-toe kelly green.

In the words of Boondock Saints’s Murphy MacManus, “It’s St. Paddy’s Day, everyone’s Irish tonight. Why don’t you just pull up a stool and have a drink with us?” Sláinte!


1) Anything by Van Morrison, whether it’s particularly Irish or not. “Bulbs,” “Full Force Gale,” “Marie’s Wedding” and “The Way Young Lovers Do” all seem appropriate.

2) “Cadence to Arms,” “The Rocky Road to Dublin,” or “The Spicy McHaggis Jig” by The Dropkick Murphys.

3) “Drunken Lazy Bastard” by Kingston’s own The Mahones.

4) “The Seven Drunken Nights” by The Dubliners.

5) “John Kelly’s Slide / Merrily Kiss The Quaker / Denis Murphy’s Slide” by The Chieftains.

6) “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly.

7) “Danny Boy” by Harry Connick, Jr.—but the jazzier version from the movie Memphis Belle. The traditional one, off of Connick’s Come By Me, is lovely, but admittedly pretty sombre.

8) “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” by The Pogues.

9) “The Night Pat Murphy Died” by Great Big Sea.

10) “Home by Bearna” by Cathie Ryan.

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