London Mayor Boris Johnson may not be its greatest fan but there will be plenty of people out and about celebrating St Patrick’s Day (March 17). This year it may as well be called St Patrick’s Weekend with special events spread across Thursday through to Sunday.
The London Eye will be given a green hue courtesy of Tourism Ireland and alongside the usual drinking and dancing, Saturday also sees the final round of the Six Nations competition (including the small matter of the clash between England and Ireland from 5pm, the result of which could crown England as winners).
The biggest event of the weekend will no doubt be Sunday’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival which starts at Horse Guards Parade at around midday and ends at Trafalgar Square which will be replete with music, dance, food and crafts. The day before, Brent’s Irish community will be holding their own march in Willesden Green. It starts at 2pm and goes from the station to the library with singers, dancers and a fun fair.
Those in search of some elbow exercise can pull up a pew at most establishments around London. Here’s a few laying on something extra.
- Get your laughing gear around ”the biggest Guinness served anywhere” (1 litre) at Parsons Green’s Octoberfest pub where there will also be prizes for the best leprechaun outfits and a live brass band.
- Hennessey’s Bar in Aldgate will be starting the festivities on Friday with a traditional menu including Irish stew served until 4pm and live music from the Craic Heads in the evening. On the next day, elated or despondent fans can enjoy music from Macey South and Irish karaoke until 2am.
- Getting a (peaceful) march on almost everywhere else, on Thursday Holborn’s Bunch Of Grapes and Farringdon’s The Hoop And Grapes will be getting their jig on with live Irish music while Wimbledon’s The Colliers Tup will be saving its knees-up for Saturday.
Meanwhile, Camden’s Roundhouse will be having a two-part all-dayer on Saturday starting at 2pm. In the afternoon, there will be a chance to hear some of the best of the current crop of Irish singer-songwriters as well as storytelling and the chance to paint your own Blarney stone. The evening sees Camille O’Sullivan taking to the stage channelling the works of Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, David Bowie (amongst others) alongside the YouTubetastic Up & Over It before a late night ceilidh.
And there’s more. Themed entertainment alternatives include Irish comedian Sean Hughes at 99 Leicester Square and close harmonies at The Good Ship from Four Femmes On The Thames who have a thing or two to say about London Mayor Boris Johnson. Which is where we came in.