Just because we’re on the other side of the world from Ireland doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty going on for St Paddy’s Day over here in Shanghai. This year, March 17th — the date when all of us are a little bit Irish — inconveniently falls on a Monday but fear not, the Emerald Isle’s Shanghai contingent are celebrating early with a bunch of events this weekend.
Ireland Week 2008 has been going since Tuesday with folk dances and music down at Xintiandi but the real highlight of this annual celebration of all things Irish will be the St Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday. Starting at 11am from Rui An Plaza (next to Huang Pi Nan Lu metro station, see map) the parade, which will loop around the block and snake its way down to Xintiandi, will no doubt be a sight worth seeing.
For those of you who view the anniversary of St Paddy’s death as less of a cultural celebration and more of a binge drinking opportunity, there are a few options this weekend if you want to dust off your novelty Guinness hat, plastic shamrock, and other Irish clichés, to paint the town green.
Following the success of last month’s Get in the Van event, O’Malley’s are jumping on the bus bandwagon with their very own mini tour. On Friday night, their Paddy Bus will visit Dan’s Old Farmhouse, Wunderbar, The Bund Brewery, and Windows Scoreboard, providing free booze on board throughout. Aside from drinks deals on the actual day, they’ll also be serving a special St Patrick’s set menu across the weekend and will of course be showing the 6 Nations match against England on Saturday night.
You can also catch the rugby at our city’s most Irish of Irish bars (so we’re told), the Blarney Stone, where an Irish band will be playing throughout the weekend and where you can expect a merry atmosphere for the big day itself.
A couple of places with less obvious Irish connections, Shanghai Studio and Attica, will be holding St Paddy’s celebrations of their own on Saturday night — the former promising a “free green drink” in return for 35RMB on the door, and the latter offering up some classic St Patrick’s traditions such as “Rio Carnival Dancers” and “Tribal Drummers”, although Attica will have a video link up with other St Paddy’s celebrations around the world so you can see how people are getting drunk and throwing up Guinness in other countries too.
Meanwhile on the day itself, the British Bulldog (yes, that’s the British Bulldog… err, let’s just let it slide shall we?) will be giving away free t-shirts for lads and some of those ‘hilarious’ foam Guinness hats for lasses on the 17th. The Bund Brewery on the other hand will give you a free 0.5 litre glass of beer if you’re wearing green. Try to contain your excitement.
O’Malley’s: 42 Taojiang Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu; 桃江路42号，靠近乌鲁木齐路
The Blarney Stone: 5a Dongping Road near Hengshan Road; 东平路5a, 靠近衡山路
Shanghai Studio: Bldg 4, 1950 Huaihai Zhong Lu near Xing Guo Lu; 淮海中路1950弄4号楼，靠近兴国路
Attica: 11F, 15 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Jin Ling Dong Lu; 中山东二路15号，靠近金陵东路
British Bulldog: 1 Wulumuqi Nan Lu, near Hengshan Road; 乌鲁木齐南路1号, 靠近衡山路
Blarney Stone: 5A Dongping Lu, 东平路5A
Bund Brewery: 11 Hankou Lu near Zhongshan Dong Er Lu; 汉口路11号，靠近中山东二路