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Monday, July 15, 2024
Dancers, fiddlers, pub crawlers come out for St. Patrick’s Day
Vito Gelose, left, and his friend TJ drink shots Jameson back to back with their pints. Evan Loree
The music is hoppin' and the diners are bobbin' at the Olde Angel Inn. Evan Loree
Lee Rowland and fellow bartender Ira Petrenko having a blast behind the bar. Evan Loree
Isabella Baraniuk has been dancing for about five years, said her mother Lindsay. Evan Loree
Irish Harp owner, Jovi Joki, mingles with her diners as Fiddlin' Around provides live music. Evan Loree
Hostesses Bianca Vanyo, left, and Julianna Damiano keep track of the wait list. Evan Loree
From left, Dave Gomez, Natalie Walker ,Lark Walker and Dave Di Marco playing at the Irish harp. Evan Loree
Daphne Hodder and boyfriend Jack Terryberry visiting the Olde Angel Inn from Chippawa. Evan Loree
Dancers at De Menezes Reilly Irish dance studio from left to right, Lauren Nesbitt, Ava Schliezh, Sarah Greco, Gavin Robitaille, Caitlin Mercer and Isabella Baraniuk. Evan Loree

St. Patrick’s Day started early at the Irish Harp this year.

A troupe of young dancers from De Menezes Reilly Irish Dance Studio came out to show off their high kicks and quick feet for a pub packed with about 30 people.

Serving staff milled about with fresh poured Guinness as bartender Lee Rowland kept the taps open.

Meanwhile, families and friends grabbed the tables closest to the stage so they could watch their kids show off their best moves. 

Georgina Scordas-Morland, joined by her husband, watched daughter Sofia bounce around like a pro after three weeks of practice. 

Their daughter had been wanting to try Irish dancing ever since watching “Riverdance” on Netflix.

“She started teaching herself how to do it. Copying the moves on the television,” Scordas-Morland said with a laugh.

Lindsay Baraniuk, another dance mom, watched her daughter Isabella from farther back in the pub.

She said her daughter has the energy of a firecracker. 

Isabella has been dancing for about five years and plays competitive soccer on the side, said Baraniuk. Her daughter seemed to take to Irish dancing naturally, she added.

Later, when Fiddlin’ Around was on stage, the pub was even busier. 

A line of 12 to 20 people stood outside waiting for a table while hostesses Bianca Vanyo and Julianna Damiano worked to control the flow of people to their seats.

They agree with Rowland. St. Patrick’s Day is a fun one. 

While taking a break from their set, Fiddlin’ Around singer Natalie Walker said she and her husband, also in the band, have been playing Irish music for about eight years.

She said there’s more demand for them on St. Patrick’s Day but they usually just do one show.

“One year I took three gigs. And he was ready to kill me,” Walker said, referring to her husband Dave Di Marco.

Outside, pub owner Jovi Joki was taking a quick break from meet-and-greets.

She said there is something about the “camaraderie” of St. Patrick’s Day that is special.

And it was nice to see people “relaxing” and letting go of the “stress of the day.”

Shauna Dickson, daughter of Paul and Maureen Dickson, the owners of Irish Design, said she feels like she has one foot in Canada and one in Ireland.

“So many people from all corners of the globe seem to celebrate it (St. Patrick’s Day),” she said. “I just think that’s so beautiful.”

Dickson said they usually host Irish dancers on March 17 but they cancelled because of the rain. She said the rain was “appropriate Irish weather.”

Meanwhile, the Olde Angel Inn was bustling to the sounds of Two Leaf Clovers. 

The three-piece band was breaking out some good ol’ Irish folk while revellers crowded the bar. 

Jack Terryberry was visiting with 20 other people from Chippawa.

He said they had to get a bus to get everyone out.

He and his partner, Daphne Hodder, were all smiles, though you couldn’t see Terryberry’s through his thick green beard.

His favourite part of St. Patrick’s? He glanced down at a half-filled pint that he was drinking through a straw.

“The social aspect of it all,” he said.

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