Inside the Emerald City

A St. Paddy's Day parade organizer shares his suggestions for taking in a Cleveland tradition.
Celtic Sounds

A reveler cannot survive on Guinness and grub alone. Here are five places that’ll have live Irish music March 17. (And yes, The Boys from the County Hell will have a very busy day)

1. Flannery’s Pub; 323 Prospect Ave. E., Cleveland | The Boys from the County Hell, 1 - 8 p.m.

2. The Harp; 4408 Detroit Ave., Cleveland | The Boys from the County Hell, 9:30 p.m.

3. Nighttown; 12383 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights | The New Barleycorn, 5 & 8 p.m.

4. P.J. McIntyre’s Irish Pub; 17119 Lorain Ave., Cleveland | Marys Lane, 1 - 4 p.m.

5. Stamper’s Grill Pub; 21750 Lorain Road, Fairview Park | The Irish Cottage Boys, 3 - 5 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day is half Fourth of July and half Halloween. It kicks off with pageantry and regalia but almost always ends with drinking beer. The pageantry part, of course, is what has made Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade a 143-year tradition. We asked Patrick T. Murphy, the parade committee’s assistant executive director, his advice for making the most of the day. — JV

There’s a reason for the word “Saint”: Both the West Side Irish American Club and the Irish American Club East Side kick off the day with a mass concelebrated by several priests. Murphy is partial to the West Side mass at St. Colman on West 65th Street though St. William in Euclid holds one as well. “It’s a really neat event to see all the kids and the fife units dressed up and march into the church and sit in the front pews. Then it’s a beautiful mass.”
Get an early peek: Visit the parade staging area on Superior Avenue between East 18th and East 24th streets. “They start setting up around noon. If you stay out of the way, you can walk around and see a lot of units before the parade.”
Best spots to watch: Just after 1 p.m., the parade marches down Superior Avenue to Public Square, but Murphy says, “there are two areas where all the bands and units will be performing.” The first is at the Virgil E. Brown Building near East 17th Street, where Time Warner Cable cameras will be set up. The second is in front of the old federal courthouse on Public Square, near the reviewing stand.
Stay on the north side of the street: Those spots aren’t so easy to get. If you miss out, grab a less-crowded spot along Superior Avenue, but remember: “If I had my preference, I’d be on the north side of the street. Because if there’s any sun, there’s where it’s going to be shining.”
Of course, you could always be in the parade: The parade committee is a nonprofit that raises money by selling $10 pins and $25 sponsorships to parade guarantors. “There’s a guarantor section in the parade where anyone who is a guarantor can march. … If you want to be in the parade, that’s the best way to do it.”

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