Pensacola, Florida
Monday May 28th 2018


Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, Right?

By Hana Frenette

St. Patrick’s Day usually offers up a plethora of shenanigans for all those who choose to participate. And sometimes even those who don’t. A sea of green beer and shirts can be seen from streets away, the excuse to pinch someone is finally justified and endless Irish music spills out from every bar door while some rowdy band plays.

St. Patrick’s Day is actually a holy day, first and foremost. The Catholic holiday celebrates St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland and is an official day of feast. There are usually dozens of events going on around town and on Pensacola Beach. Narrowing them down is hard, so we’re going to list them all for you, starting with a good ol’ fashioned Sunday Mass at Paddy O’Leary’s.

“Here on St. Patrick’s Day, we always start out with a mass in the morning at the bar,” Seamas Hunt, co-owner or Paddy O’Leary’s said. “That’s what happens in Ireland. It’s a holy day, not a holiday.”

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, so Hunt and his partner Gary Humphrey are expecting a larger crowd than normal for the morning mass.

“This year we moved the mass outside, because we are expecting that a lot of people will come, and this will just be their Sunday service,” Hunt said. The mass will take place at 9:30 a.m. and should last about 30-40 minutes. It will be conducted by Monsignor Luke Hunt.

“Monsignor Luke Hunt is my uncle and the reason I moved here,” Hunt said. “I came to visit and never wanted to leave.”

Immediately following the mass, people start in on the drinking of green beer and eating. Paddy’s will offer traditional corn beef and cabbage, made by Hunt’s own original family recipe from Ireland. Fish and chips will also be available.

The rest of the day includes a packed lineup of Irish dancers, several bands, and a reenactment of Tim Finnegan’s Wake.

“In the old song, Tim Finnegan falls off a ladder and dies, and they have a wake for him and then a fight breaks out between his wife and his mistress, a bucket of whiskey is spilled,” Hunt said. “We even have a procession with a real coffin and everything that goes right out into the parking lot.”

A St. Patrick look-a-like will also be carousing the day’s events, and making appearances here and there.

“We had a guy from New Orleans named John Glas that used to play St. Patrick and he just retired [he is now retired Bishop Glas],” Hunt said. “We let him pick the replacement.”

The replacement is Josh Neese and he will undoubtedly be good at both engaging and antagonizing the crowds throughout the day.

“We’ve been planning all this since about Christmas—getting all the permits, booking the bands, building the fences and putting up extra lights,” Hunt said. “This is the fifth year we’ve had an event of this size, and it was always very busy and crazy, but it was never as organized.”

Let the festivities begin.

Pensacola Beach Events
March 16

Pensacola Beach Visitor Center
2-5 p.m. Irish Scavenger Hunt. Stop by and get your list of clues. Pot O’ Gold giveaway at 5 p.m. on the porch.

735 Pensacola Beach Blvd.

Pensacola Beach Events
March 17

Paddy O’Leary’s
9:30 a.m. Mass with Msgr. Luke Hunt
11:30 a.m. An Broc Irish Dancers
11:30 a.m. Tom Burman and Duel Christian (inside stage)
12 p.m. Ultra Violet
4 p.m. Sam McGee’s 1000th Irish Carbomb
4:30 p.m. Re-enactment of Tim Finnegan’s Wake
5 p.m. Lektric Mullets
9:15 p.m. Petty Cash, who will play until close

49 Via De Luna 916-9808

Bamboo Willies Stone Crab Festival
12 p.m. Jig & Stiff Necked Fools
5 p.m. Green Bikini Contest. Ladies must be 18 years old to enter. Over 500 dollars in prizes.
7 p.m. Hotel Oscar

400 Quietwater Beach Road, Unit 14

Crabs We Got Em’
$6.00 Voodoo Juice specials. Live music by Pensacola Steel and Britt Searcy

6 Casino Beach Boardwalk

$5 1983 Margaritas all day

400 Quietwater Beach Road

The Grand Marlin
House-cured corn beef hash brunch

400 Pensacola Beach Blvd.

$3.00 Well drinks and $2.00 shots of whiskey

400 Quietwater Beach Road

Paradise Bar & Grill
3 p.m. St. Paddy’s day party with the Steep Water Band

21 Via De Luna

4-8pm St. Paddy’s Day Party with Mike Jencks Band

731 Pensacola Beach Blvd.

Go Irish on the Island Pub Crawl
This year’s pub crawl kicks off at 10 a.m. at Sidelines. Here’s the complete list of bars:
10 a.m. Sidelines
10:30 a.m. Hampton – Gilligan’s Bar
11 a.m. Hilton – Latitudes
11:30 a.m. Holiday Inn – Riptides Tiki Bar
12 p.m. Paddy O’Leary’s
12:30 p.m. Paradise Bar & Grill
1:30 p.m. Crab’s We Got ‘Em
2 p.m. The Dock
2:30 p.m. Flounder’s
3 p.m. Surf Burger
3:30 p.m. Sabine Sandbar
4 p.m. Hemingway’s
4:30 p.m. Bamboo Willie’s/Hooters
6 p.m. Sandshaker

“Go Irish on the Island” t-shirts will be for sale at all pub crawl participating businesses on the beach, as well as at the visitor’s center. They are $12, with all proceeds going to Covenant Hospice, The crawl ends at the Sandshaker, where the post-crawl party starts around 7 p.m.

New this year is the Leprechaun Transit, which runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $5. For more information, contact the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce at 932-1500 or visit

Pensacola Events
March 16

The Magnolia
The party at this East Pensacola Heights hotspot kicks off at 2 p.m. with lots of food and drink specials and St. Patrick’s Day themed desserts—like car bomb cake and Jameson creme brûlée.

2907 E. Cervantes St.

Seville Quarter
Drink specials throughout the weekend, an Irish Jig contest, sexiest red head contest, as well as plenty of green beer and Irish whiskey.

130 E. Government St.

Pensacola Events
March 17

O’Riley’s Irish Pub
Irish car bomb specials, green beer specials, and fish and chips served all weekend. Music by Bag of Donuts Saturday Night and Sick as Steve on Sunday. Followed by green Jell-O wrestling. There will also be several additional bars added to the parking lot to serve drink specials. $2 green Rolling Rock drafts.

3728 Creighton Road

Seville Quarter
Irish-inspired Brunch and all you can drink Bloody Molly and Champagne. Anyone wearing a Dancing Leprechaun Outfit or a Kilt on St. Patty’s Weekend will receive complimentary admission.

130 E. Government St.

The Elbow Room
All of the infamous red lights inside the Elbow Room will be changed to green on Sunday.
$1 green Schlitz will be made readily available.

2213 W. Cervantes St.

McGuire’s Irish Pub
Green beer and performances from Richard McDuff, as well as a Kiss the Moose Contest.

600 E. Gregory St.

Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom
Half-priced drafts all night, as well as green beer specials and shot specials.

10 S. Palafox

Check out our other Green Issue stories.