St. Patrick Day invades downtown Grand Rapids

By Stephanie Allen | 3/13/13 8:16pm

Warning: green-wearing people, drinking green beer and listening to Celtic music are invading Grand Rapids this Saturday. No, they aren’t aliens, but they do want to be joined in their festivities.

The 3rd Annual Irish on Ionia festival is returning this year, and is expected to draw a crowd of more than 14,000 people ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

In partnership with several downtown restaurants, including McFadden’s Bar and Saloon, HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and the Grand Rapids Brewing Company, the area on Ionia Ave. between Weston and Oakes streets will be closed off for attendees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 the day of the event for all-day admittance, or $55 for a VIP, Very Irish Person, ticket, which includes a t-shirt, souvenir mug and re-entry without waiting in line.

Street food, Irish dancers, concerts and beer tents, which served up 280 kegs of green beer last year, add to the whole St. Patrick’s Day experience for all green-loving people.

The first 300 people to enter will receive a free Kegs and Eggs breakfast from McFadden’s and a 22-ounce Irish on Ionia mug, which can be filled for the price of a pint beer.

But the festival isn’t just about drinking green beer – it’s about celebrating the little bit of Irish history inside everyone on St. Patrick’s Day.

McFadden’s: Kegs & Eggs breakfast, 7-10 a.m.
Shamrocking party fundraiser, 4-7 p.m., $20
Main Stage:
Peat in the Creel, 10-10:45 a.m.
An Dro, 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Gasta, 1-2:15 p.m.
Arden Academy of Irish Dance performance, 2:30-3 p.m.
Millish, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
The Billies, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
The Crane Wives, 6:45-8 p.m.
The Waxies 8:30-10 p.m.
Beer tent: Green beer and cocktails, all-day
Food: Stoner Taco, all-day

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