Massive St. Pat’s celebration on Beaver Island

By Benjamin J. Gohs, Editor
It’s been called the world’s best St. Patrick’s Day party and it’s only a brief flight from Charlevoix.

The Shamrock Pub will once again host its annual games and entertainment, and Donnegal Danny’s Pub will also be hosting Celtic music and Stoney Acres restaurant will be featuring traditional Irish dishes in honor of Ireland’s patron saint.

“The games take place downtown and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve West. “My favorite is the fish toss, but we also have a tug-of-war between the Hayseeders and the Fishmongers – this is reflective of the time when there were only two ways to make a living on the island. Then there’s a shopping cart race with a specialized Beaver Island shopping cart, and it is a hoot.”
West said those looking to book a hotel room for the night or weekend can all him for availability as they tend to fill quickly this time of year.

“Even if accommodations are unavailable, you can still fly on and fly off the island the same day as we are served by two air services,” West said.

For those concerned about the fish’s well-being, West said not to worry.

“I want it to be known that the fish is euthanized by our veterinarian and frozen solid,” West said. “The fish toss is a hoot because you can’t wear any gloves or anything and you have to hold onto this sucker that’s cold and slimy, and after he hits the pavement a few times he gets even slipperier.”

West said the islanders are always happy to see fresh faces at this time of the year.

“St. Patrick’s Day is really the kick-off to the tourism season and by then we’ve been with ourselves all winter and we’re getting tired of looking at each other,” West joked. “We welcome visitors here and they will find themselves treated to a really fun, good time.”

Marilyn Racine, who owns Donnegal Danny’s and Stony Acres with her husband Liam, said there will be traditional Irish music from 5 – 8:30 p.m. And then at 9 p.m. There will be a rock-n-roll band playing until 1 a.m.

“We have an authentic Irish pub that serves O’Hara’s Stout from Ireland,” Marilyn said. “Our restaurant will be featuring stout cake – a dense chocolate cake made with stout off the tap, and it’s amazing. We will also have homemade corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew plus our full menu.”

Marilyn said they offer free pick-up and drop-off service from her businesses to the airport by calling (231) 448-2560.

“We’re one mile out of downtown, but it’s worth that one mile trip,” she said.

According to Kathy Maudrie, of the Shamrock pub, the games are supposed to start at 1 p.m. And last until around 7 p.m.

In addition to the aforementioned events, Maudrie said there will be a limerick contest, a trivia contest to determine kings and queens, a minnow race and an outhouse race in addition to live entertainment.

“Anybody can participate,” said Maudrie, who has been helping put on the games for nearly 30 years.

A band called “Rigormortis” will play at approximately 8 p.m.

Maudrie said anyone who likes to laugh and party and mingle will enjoy St. Patrick’s Day on Beaver Island.

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