Issue 34, Volume 85
March 13, 2013
With St. Patrick’s Day rapidly approaching and more green tinged events throughout the city than you could count on a hand full of clovers, The Lance’s Jon Liedtke pulled on a kilt, a novelty green hat and danced a wee jig on his way to find St. Pat’s history and this year’s best bets for a knees-up in Windsor.
While St. Patrick’s Day originally commemorated St. Patrick bringing Christianity to
Ireland and teaching the Holy Trinity to residents, today it is a primarily a commemoration of all things Irish and drinking due to the lifting of the restrictions of Lent.
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a public holiday across all of Canada (it might as well be this year landing on a Sunday and considering that the vast majority take the day off anyway), it’s in Newfoundland and Labrador due to the Irish roots of the area.
With four major outdoor events shamrocking the streets of Windsor, you can expect to see city residents taking part in the western notions of St. Patrick’s Day; namely drinking and wearing green, but mostly drinking.
“Right now the (University of Windsor Students’ Alliance) isn’t planning anything for
St. Patrick’s Day because we don’t have the space to do it, but there are many opportunities for students to partake in festivities around the City of Windsor so I don’t think that there will be a lack of that,” commented UWSA president Kimberly Orr.
The UWSA partnered with Phog Lounge, Lefty’s and Pride Windsor-Essex to host a downtown lot party at the comer of Victoria Avenue and Wyandotte Street West.
“We’re endorsing [the event] and telling our students it’s a fun, safe place to go and spend their St. Patrick’s Day. They have awesome drink specials, live music and we’re hoping that a lot of our students will go down,” commented Josh Paglione, UWSA director of student life.
While the UWSA had thought about hosting an event on campus, they came to realize that with the pub closed, the university lacked adequate space for such a festivity and opted to endorse the downtown event because some of the benefits are going to Windsor Pride.
“The UWSA likes to be philanthropic and so we wanted some of the cover to go to a good cause,” said Paglione.
Phog co-owner Tom Lucier is putting on the event in conjunction with Lefty’s, the Windsor-Essex Pride Fest and Windsor Pride Community. “We’ve done Phog Fest in the lot I’m excited just to have another event like this. We have the lot, we have the capability and it’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a while.”
Lucier isn’t concerned about competition from other events as he expects patrons to “bounce around” from one to another and eventually “pick the most unique experience.”
“It’s kind of a no brainer, and it’s a new space for people, right in the centre of downtown, a block-and-a-half stone’s throw away from Ouellette Avenue and it’s going to be pretty deluxe,” said Lucier, who explained that the event wasn’t music focused but rather a “full on community building exercise where business owners know what other businesses are doing by being partners in a project … I think the biggest benefit of collaboration is that you have an awareness level that is unparalleled.”
The Kilt and Fiddle, Venue Rock Parlor and Maroon Brother’s have partnered to present the third annual Sham Rock St. Patty’s Day Tent Party located at the former downtown bus depot.
“We’re doing this because of the past success and the fact that the University of Windsor hasn’t offically taken over that parking lot yet. We asked the city if it was okay to go one more time, they told us yes, so here we go again,” explained Doug Maroon, owner of Maroons Brothers who explained the three-day event isn’t sponsored by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, but is rather “an extension of my liquor licence … instead of a patio with 50 seats, I’ve got a patio now with 900.”
Like Lucier, Maroon isn’t concerned about competition and believes that there are enough events happening throughout the city to cater to everybody’s tastes.
“I think [competition] helps downtown. Downtown needs to be vibrant and alive and the only way that you can do that is for the hospitality sector to get together and put events [to] give people a reason to come down here and have a good time,” explained Maroon.
“I think we need more events in Windsor, all over the city,” commented DWBIA chair Larry Horwitz. “St. Patrick’s Day is a day where you get people of different ages coming together and it’s good for downtown because it mixes up the ages [and] it’s a daytime event as well as a nighttime event. People are usually well mannered and well behaved on St. Patrick’s Day, and I think it’s really good for the city,” said Horwitz.
Other outdoor events in the city this St. Patrick’s Day include an outdoor tent at the Kildare House and The Irish Quarter in Olde Sandwich Towne which features a full street closure from Rock Bottom Bar and Grill to The Dominion House. With the ability to bring your beer from each licensed establishment to the next, a la New
Orleans, the Sandwich Towne event is sure to be fun for those seeking to enjoy the outdoors while also travelling bar to bar.
Have fun, stay safe and Erin go Brag!
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Associate News Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.