Get into the Irish spirit this weekend

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Story, photos and video by Kyle Sharp

The beer selection at Riley's Olde Towne Pub

Feeling the luck of the Irish this March 17?
St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s annual day for drinking and debauchery, takes off this Saturday and Durham is no exception for the green beer and four leaf clover fun. So dig out your emerald clothing and get ready to hit downtown Oshawa.
If you have a diverse musical palette, you may want to hit up the Thirsty Monk for feast of musical talent. 13 local bands and musicians of different backgrounds and styles will take the stage at the Oshawa pub, switching in 45-minute intervals. This isn’t the first time the pub has tried this concept, Antoine Albis, owner of the Thirsty Monk, says it’s a popular idea.
“We did it last year and the audience seemed to love it,” said Albis. “It’s great because we have music going all night but every 45-minutes the atmosphere completely changes.”
Murphy’s Pub and Grill is also ringing in the festive occasion through song with several performances by local musicians with a cool, acoustic feel. Performers include Doug Kennedy, Jonathan Sloan, Kira Bernado and Johnstone & Turner however, the local haunt isn’t just about ear candy as they will have plenty of, what else, alcohol.
“We are having some crazy drink specials,” said bartender Michaela Phillips. “You can expect a lot of green beer, I have a big stock of green food colouring coming up.”
Riley's will be serving a variety of festive drinks including green beer

Not to be outdone, Riley’s Olde Towne Pub has a trio of performers bringing the live entertainment. From a rock musician and a pianist starting at nine, as well as DJ Storm tearing up Junction (the nightclub attached to the pub). While, their drink menu hasn’t yet been set, front house manager Tammy Giasson says they’ll likely come up with some appropriate cocktails like grasshoppers or tree frogs.
“This is definitely the place to come in Durham Region,” said Giasson. “The place will be packed, they’ll be a line up to get in tomorrow, maybe by 4 O’clock, maybe earlier and everyone will be here. This is the place to party on St. Patrick’s Day.”
While St. Patty’s Day is a highly anticipated celebration amongst college students and the party going crowd, it didn’t start out as a day for headaches and hangovers. The day, which actually is a holiday in Ireland, is meant to commemorate Irish patron, Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland however, since the 18th century it’s become more of a celebration of Irish culture, which lead to the encouragement of intoxication and heavy partying. Canada is one of the biggest supporters of the tradition, so much so it’s been lobbied several times to become a recognized holiday.
Thinking of hitting the town this St. Patty’s Day? Here’s what’s going down at some local hot spots.

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