FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While the weather wasn’t the greatest, people across the Summit City came out Friday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Local Irish pubs like JK O’Donnell’s, O’Sullivan’s Italian-Irish Pub and Deer Park Irish Pub had plenty of beer on tap as people made their way to them.
Over at JK O’Donnell’s, people were lined up outside before it opened. Sean McCarthy, general manager of the pub, said they spent an entire year planning its St. Patrick’s Day festivities which include live music and an outdoor tent for people to hang out and drink.
“We’re definitely busy today compared to how we were last year,” McCarthy said.
He likes that JK O’Donnell’s provides customers with a more authentic experience of an Irish pub and that they go all out for the holiday.
The pub is not offering green beer for this year’s celebration, which is a popular drink for St. Patrick’s Day. He said their most popular dishes for the holiday are fish and chips, corned beef and shepherd’s pie.
“We’ve been preparing our corned beef for the last two weeks,” he said.
Having Guinness on tap was a major priority for them as well. McCarthy said the pub’s Guinness representative has been in contact with them and has kept in good touch with them to help prepare.
Sitting at the bar, Randy Retherford was waiting for his lunch. He enjoys their fish and chips and most of all, enjoys a glass of Guinness.
“I’m Irish myself, so I love that this day is honoring my heritage,” Retherford said. “I enjoy the overall festivities of the day.”
O’Sullivan’s was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for the 44th time in its history. The pub is open on the holiday until 3 a.m. with many returning customers who have been going to the pub for years.
Frank Casagrande, co-owner of O’Sullivan’s, said they get many third generation customers coming in, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.
Casagrande said they have many loyal customers come to his pub and has a famous saying “never let the struggles of life interfere with pleasure.”
Some of the new features of his pub includes a remodeled patio that has a new roof and has heaters for when its cold.
The pub’s homemade pizza is a popular dish, even on St. Patrick’s Day.
“We keep our prices at a reasonable number because we want people to keep coming back,” Casagrande said. “Our beer prices are pretty reasonable as well.”
Over at Deer Park, owner Tom Henry had wood fire pits and electric heaters set up around his pub and the tents where people get to hang out at.
He said he is using Irish peat moss, which is soil used as fertilizer that can be used for fire pits. He got the peat moss from Ireland.
He has a tent set up for live music later in the day and a large TV screen to show the NCAA basketball tournaments going on.
Some the events going on at Deer Park include the keg toss, which he set up a field for, and for the first time, Irish road bowling, where players take a metal ball the size of a tennis ball down a road and throw it to the finish line the least amount of times in order to win.
Last and foremost, Deer Park will also hold its famous parade, which Henry said is the shortest parade in the world.
“We’ve tried to get Guinness World Records to publish about it,” he added.
Henry will be on a parade float and the parade includes bagpipe players. He said the parade had a small amount of people in the beginning but has grown into about 500-600 people walking in the parade.
Deer Park also has food trucks in attendance for its celebration.
Becky Fisher, who was at Deer Park with family, said she enjoys the tradition that comes with St. Patrick’s Day and how iconic of a place Deer Park has been in the city.
“I really like that they have food trucks, it gives people more food options to choose from,” Fisher said.
As reported by WANE 15