After the Parade, There’s Still St. Patrick’s Day

O’Driscoll scattered the cards
And out of his dream awoke:
Old men and young men and young girls
Were gone like a drifting smoke;

But he heard high up in the air
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

—from “The Host of the Air” by William Butler Yeats 

The parade’s gone by. The politicians have doffed their top hats and removed their sashes. The high school bands have marched back to class. The muskets have been shouldered, the green beer spilled, the green lines down Chapel Street trodden.

But Saint Patrick’s Day itself, March 17, remains to be experienced.

Many local clubs did their main obeisance to the patron saint of Ireland on March 11, when hundreds of thousands of green-clad celebrants swarmed downtown New Haven. But in some enchanted nooks of New Haven, the pipes and fiddles play on.

The Irish American Community Center, a.k.a. The Gaelic Club (on Venice Place in East Haven, near the Alling Memorial Golf Club) is holding a full day of St. Patrick’s Day events on Saturday, including refreshments. The club offers a “Full Irish Breakfast” from 9-11 a.m., and Irish Coffee and Corned Beef Sandwiches will be served all day. For sports fans, there’s a hurling tournament between Coolderry and the Loughgiel Shamrocks at 10 a.m., and a football match setting the Crossmaglen Rangers against Garrycastle at 11:45 a.m. Entertainment includes the multi-instrumentalist trio Ask Your Father (featuring vocalist Dee Kelly) at 12:30 p.m., The Curlews at 4 p.m. and The Shamrogues at 7:30 p.m.

The Playwright Irish Pub (1232 Whitney Ave., Hamden; 203-287-2401) also celebrates with live music all day long, from Jeff Conlon, Liz McNicholl, The Alehounds (the duo of stellar Irish guitarist and mandolinist Chops McConnie and vocalist/guitarist Sean Conlon), and “Irish Dancers performing throughout the evening.”

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Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven

The Outer Space in Hamden (295 Treadwell St., Hamden; 203-288-6400) has a double bill of traditional Irish music-makers Athenry (namely “Colin and Mark from These Green Eyes with a few of their friends”) from 6-8 p.m., followed by the contemporary rock of Beach Avenue and Broadcast Hearts at 7 p.m. They’re not technically an Irish band, but Beach Avenue has the spirit of U2, plus they made their New Haven debut just last month at Anna Liffey’s Pub.

Anna Liffey’s itself (17 Whitney Ave., New Haven; 203-773-1776) features its house pianist Sean Rainey, plus a live DJ. The bar also sets its TVs to the major European sports matches, including today’s England vs. Ireland rugby contest at 1 p.m.

The ornate Wicked Wolf Tavern (144 Temple St., New Haven; 203-752-0450) has refined the concept of happy hours. Meanwhile, the Bourbon Room (a “Country Rock Bar & Grill”) in the Terminal 110 club complex at Long Wharf suggests you wear green to their regular line-dancing night.

And if that isn’t enough to get you out on Saint Patrick’s Day, what is?

Written by Christopher Arnott. Photographed by Uma Ramiah.

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Christopher Arnott has written about arts and culture in Connecticut for over 25 years. His journalism has won local, regional and national awards, and he has been honored with an Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. He posts daily at his own sites and New Haven Theater Jerk (

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