Bath lauds St. Patrick's Day with week of events

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BATH — Don we now our green apparel … it’s time to celebrate Bath Blarney Days.

The City of Ships is kicking off its fourth such St. Patrick’s Day celebration, reveling in all things Irish from March 11 to 17.

It all starts appropriately with an Irish singalong at Byrnes’ Irish Pub, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 11. A pig roast will take place at Beale Street Barbecue from noon to 9 p.m., and the Bath Antiques Show will be held at the Bath Middle School.

Byrnes’ Irish Pub will conduct an Irish “sessiun” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, March 12, and there will be Irish trivia the evening of Tuesday, March 13.

Downtown retailers will hold a “March Madness” sale on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, featuring “green tag” items, demos and discounts.

A free Irish cultural evening will take place at City Hall Auditorium on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., showcasing Irish poetry, art and music. Irish-American poets Marita O’Neill, Helene McGlauflin, Michael Machlin and Helene McGlauflin will read from their works, and Celtic music by Sharon Pyne and friends will add to the mix. Michael Connelly will talk about the history of the
Irish in Maine and show slides of Irish castles.

The Maeve Gilchrist Trio will perform at the Chocolate Church Arts Center on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day itself, on Saturday, March 17, offers a variety of events starting with a family “fun run” at 9 a.m., followed at 9:30 a.m. by a 5K “Shamrock Sprint.” The Morse Sports Boosters is sponsoring the race, which benefits Fields for Our Future. Entry forms can be obtained at the Bath Recreation Department or via visitbath.com.

After the race, the city’s fourth annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will rock the downtown, running through Middle, Centre and Front streets and wrapping up with an Irish blessing at the City Park gazebo.

A Tug o’ War will follow at Bath City Hall at 1 p.m., and an Irish soda bread contest will run nearby at Now You’re Cooking. Entries must be submitted by 1 p.m. for the 1:30 p.m. judging.

The day’s festivities conclude with a “Blarney Ball” at the Winter Street Center from 7 to 10 p.m. There will be dancing, music from the Big Chips Trio, light refreshments and desserts, door prizes and a cash bar. Tickets are $15 a person and benefit Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc.

Meanwhile, the “Pot o’ Gold Passport Challenge” began March 1 and offers a chance to win a pot full of items from downtown businesses. People can play by obtaining a passport from the Main Street Bath office, 15 Commercial St., or at participating businesses.

The passport is stamped by visiting all of those businesses and must be returned to a ballot box in the Bath City Hall lobby by March 18. A winner will be drawn the next day.

Log onto visitbath.com for a complete list of activities.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.