Northern Michigan is rooted in Irish heritage. Just look at some of the county names: Antrim, Emmet, Wexford, Roscommon and Crawford all have Irish roots to them.
So this time of the year, our region is loaded with events that pay tribute to the people who settled this region in the late 1800’s. Here is an overview of events happening throughout Northern Michigan:
THE ROBERT EMMET SOCIETY ANNUAL HOOLIE:
Based in Petoskey, the Robert Emmet Society was formed in the early ’90‘s to pay tribute to its namesake, the famed Irish poet. Each spring they award a scholarship to an outstanding North Central Michigan College student for a semester of study in Galway, Ireland. The scholarship includes tuition, roundtrip airfare, and all housing expenses.
Robert Emmet, who is also the namesake of Emmet County, Michigan, “had a brief, but courageous life and his enduring legacy as a champion of freedom and democracy is what we honor within the organization,” said George Colburn, Society spokesperson.
The primary fundraiser for the scholarship fund is the Annual Hoolie that will take place Friday, March 16. The evening starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes to 10 p.m. in The Rose Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. The Hoolie will feature a full-fledged Irish Band from Chicago (Chicago Reel) plus local favorites The Hooligans. It also includes a dinner menu featuring Irish specials.
Tickets are $10 and the Perry is offering a special room rate of $59. For more information, contact the Robert Emmet Society at 231-535- 2440. For room reservations, contact Stafford’s Perry Hotel at 231-347-4000.
For further information on the Emmet Society Scholarship valued at approximately $10,000, contact the President’s Office at NCMC, or the Robert Emmet Society via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to P.O. Box 2027, Petoskey, MI 49770.
IRISH QUINTET SLIDE:
Irish music is a must and one of the top touring acts of traditional Irish music with a modern flair to it is Slide. They have become a Northern Michigan favorite making periodic appearances in the area this time of the year.
Slide will perform Wednesday March 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Sleder’s Family Tavern in Traverse City. Slide comes direct from Ireland to Traverse City and the quintet features Daire Bracken on fiddle,guitar; Aogan Lynch on concertina, whistle; Mick Rowland on bouzouki,mandolin; Stephen Doherty on flute, keyboard, and bodhran; and Dave Curley on vocals and percussion. For ticket info contact Sleder’s Family Tavern, or Beth at 947-9213. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
HIGHEST OF HOLYDAYS—SAINT PATRICK’S DAY (PARADE DAY)
Since its inception 33 years ago, the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ Annual Traverse City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has grown into quite the family affair. The parade is typically the first Saturday prior to St. Patrick’s Day but this year it will actually happen on St. Patrick’s Day.
“We felt that when you have an opportunity to actually celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day it really made sense. Plus the Pub Crawl organizers are having their event on Friday,” said Michael Shirley, Hibernian and Master of Ceremonies for the day.
“This is such a great family day and is open to anyone. The parade goes through downtown Traverse City and all are welcome to join us and walk the parade route.”
The pre-parade festivities start at noon at the North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City. Shirley strongly encourages people to arrive around 11 a.m. as it fills up quickly.
“We will sing Irish songs, announce the Irish Queen, the Irish Lord Mayor, Irish Prince and Princess along with the Grand Marshall and the Hibernian of the Year,” said Shirley.
Parade Marshall Mike Nolan will start lining up parade participants at approximately 1 p.m., and the parade begins at 1:30 at the corner of Hall and Front Streets. From there it heads to State Street, to Front Street and back to North Peak.
Post parade entertainment will start around 2:30 pm with “Song of the Lakes” in the basement of North Peak (Kilkennys Irish Public House) followed by the Wild Sullys later that night.
If you would like to be in the Parade contact the Ancient Order of Hibernians 231-709-6500.
LEAPIN’ LEPRECHAUN 5K
This 5k run or walk is hosted by the National Cherry Festival and is in its second year. The event starts at 9 a.m. in the Warehouse District of Downtown Traverse City.
All participants will receive a commemorative event shirt and for runners, medals will be awarded for top finishers. There will also be a prize for “Best Irish Costume” along with a complimentary beverage (beer for those 21 years of age and older) after the event.
Awards will take place in the “beverage tent” (in the parking lot of the Warehouse District) where all sorts of Irish beverages will be offered, including “perfectly poured Guinness Stout.”
Advanced registration is encouraged and more details may be found at www.cherryfestival.org.
PUB CRAWL AND MORE!
The annual Traverse City Pub Crawl is on Friday March 16. It will start at Minerva’s at the Park Place Hotel at noon and wind through several pubs in Traverse City.
There are several other events taking place throughout the region and the Ancient Order of Hibernians have become a clearing house for information.
“We have been contacted from people all over the country who plan to come to Northern Michigan that weekend as well as people who live here looking for Irish-themed events,” said Todd McCall, President of the TC Ancient Order of Hibernians. “As a public service we have decided to post all Irish related events on our website.”
For more information on how to get your “Irish” on this St. Patrick’s Day, go to tcaoh. com or call 231-709-6500.