St. Patrick's Palooza

Irish holiday + Saturday + NCAA = big time celebration


A confluence of coincidences makes this year's St. Patrick's Day a potential celebration for the ages.

Here's the lineup:

●It's on a Saturday.

●It's on Day 3 of the NCAA tournament, which means wall-to-wall hoops on TV all day and late into the night.

●The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid 70s.

●It's an official unofficial holiday for folks who like their beer cold and plentiful and their corned beef stick-to-your-ribs hot and tasty.

"It almost seems like it's a national holiday," said Ed Beczynski, for whom the day will be anything but a time for rest and relaxation.

As the owner of The Blarney Irish Pub in downtown Toledo he's expecting thousands of revelers to flock to his bar for beer, Jiggs dinners, music, and more beer, which means Saturday will be far from a holiday for him.

"There are other days we can enjoy ourselves," he said of himself and the nearly 60 workers and volunteers who will be at the bar, restaurant, and giant tent at the corner of Monroe and South Huron streets. "The adrenalin will keep us going all day anyway so we're excited."

Mickey Finn, the owner of his namesake pub at 602 Lagrange St. will be equally busy.

"It's going to be warm and on a Saturday and nobody's going to be working; they're going to be drinking all day, so I would expect this is going to be one of the largest [St. Patrick's Days]," he said.

Finn and Beczynski both said they expect to have nearly two dozen kegs of Guinness beer on hand, along with Harp's, Killian's, and Conway's Irish Ale from the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland.

Beczynski said he has ordered 300 pounds of corned beef to supply the endless run on Jiggs dinners and sandwiches that is expected.

He has set aside a few rooms at a downtown hotel for himself and his workers to take breaks during the long day. The Blarney also has a deal with the Park Inn downtown to set aside rooms for revelers who've had too much to drink, and 10 to 20 Black and White cabs will be lined up outside the restaurant all day long to ferry folks home.

Finn said he expects the day to be relatively smooth, given the several thousand people who will visit his bar over the 19 1/2 hours that it's open.

"There's always a little troubleshooting here and there. There's always something that goes wrong but hopefully nothing major," he said.

And, of course the bars will have TVs tuned into the NCAA college basketball tournament.

Here's a rundown of some of the Irish-themed bars that will be open and activities that will be going on. And remember, assign designated drivers, take advantage of cab services, and don't drink and drive.

The Blarney Irish Pub, 601 Monroe St. Open from 7 a.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Music includes Dragon Wagon, 1-4 p.m., Bangers and Thrash, 6-8 p.m., and Skoobie Snaks, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. There is a $5 cover charge and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Toledo/Sylvania Firefighters Fund. Food will be served all day. The festivities start on Friday at 6 p.m. in a large tent along Huron Street and The Bridges will play that night. Information: 419-418-2339 and

Mickey Finn's Pub, 602 Lagrange St. Open from 11 a.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Music includes Paddy Murphy (Pat Lewandowski), Bobby May, and Don Binkley, 4:30-7 p.m., Minglewood Labor Camp, 7:30-9, the Irish Swamp People, 9:30-11:30, and Decent Folk, 10-closing. $10 Jiggs dinners will be served all day. Information: 419-246-3466 and

The Hibernians will have a family-friendly Irish festival at St. Clement Hall, 2990 Tremainsville Rd., from 4 to 10 p.m. The featured Irish band, Green Hills, will perform from 8 to 10 p.m.

Shawn's Irish Tavern, 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd. and 105 South Third St. in Waterville will be open from 10 a.m. Saturday until 2:30 a.m. Sunday and the grand opening of the newest Shawn's Irish Tavern at 7436 Bancroft St. in Sylvania Township will be featured. Music at the Toledo location will feature Chris Shutters during the day and Johnny Rodriquez at night. Music at the Waterville location will feature the Villains. There will be no live band at the Sylvania Township Shawn's. Information: 419-381-1281 for Toledo, 419-441-1081 for Waterville, and 419-724-7981 for Sylvania Township and

Claddagh Irish Pub, 5001 Monroe St., Open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. with music all day from the Steve Mullen Band, 2 p.m., Road Kilt, 5 p.m., and The Bridges, 9 p.m. Information: 419-472-1414 and

Contact Rod Lockwood at or 419-724-6159.