As always in Southern Delaware, there’s an abundance of celebrations – or “reasons to celebrate” for most of us.
Despite the statistic that less than 15% of Delawareans claim Irish heritage, that won’t stop them from “wearin’ the green” on and around March 17th, the Feast of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. And why not join in the frolicking while celebrating Ireland’s most legendary patriarch?
There’s plenty to feast on and imbibe (responsibly of course). Enjoy Irish culinary classics such as shepherd’s pie or corned beef and cabbage. Irish cuisine is alive and well here in the Culinary Coast. Sharing a meal and a pint is a quintessential Irish tradition. Then, there are the pubs one can’t miss on St. Paddy’s Day. Music and laughter fill the air, step dancers get the crowd going, and before you know it, everyone is Irish, at least temporarily.
Kick off the weeklong celebration with Rehoboth Beach’s Shamrock Shuffle at the Gordon’s Pond area of Cape Henlopen State Park. This unique race includes a choice of a 10-mile, 5K or (new this year) the option of a two-person relay race. Early celebrations after hoofing it will likely end up in our local pubs.
While traditional Irish pubs are not as prevalent in southern Delaware as they are in Philly, the pubs around here have plenty of authentic traditions to share beyond the cuisine. If you want a perfectly-poured Guinness, go to an Irish pub such as Irish Eyes where barkeepers are trained on mastering technique for just the right amount of foam on top. (Some Irish etiquette? Never slurp the foam from the top of the pint: it’s actually protecting rom 10 to 4. brew beneath and is considered “amateur.”).
Southern Delaware has its fair share of Irish pubs, so move over for a while, Boston. Traditional ballads and celebratory music are admired the world over. So is Irish dancing. Why not stop by the Lewes Library to be entertained this year by dancers from the McAleer-Paulson School of Dancing at 6 pm on March 16th? Or cheer them on in one of the area St. Patrick’s Day parades.
The town of Milton holds its 11th annual Parade March and Festival on the 12th, featuring floats, Irish step dancers, and other displays from local community groups. It starts at the Town Center, and is followed by celebrations that include a beer garden, live blues and rock music by Frantic Music and activities for the whole family at Irish Eyes. Other celebrations take place outside the Milton Theatre, “quayside” (a nod to Milton’s shipbuilding history).
Proceeds from the parade and its activities will be contributed to the Milton Food Pantry.
Be on the lookout for street closures: the traditional Lucky Leprechaun 5K race precedes the parade.
Georgetown also gets into the Irish spirit with a block party on The Circle on Saturday the 18th. Revelation Craft Brew Company will present crafts and craft beer, live music, dance competitions, plenty of food and kids’ activities.
If live performances and other evening outings are your way of celebrating the Green, look no further than the Crooked Hammock and Irish Eyes in Lewes, Rehoboth’s Arena, Fenwick Island’s House of Sauce and Dewey’s perennial favorite, the Rusty Rudder. Check the local listings closer to the date.
Spring is finally announcing itself. What better way to symbolically welcome warmer days and our friends from the Emerald Island by wearing your green on March 17th (and 18th). As one of countless Irish Blessing reminds us, “May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields.” Slainte!