Although the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day on Sept. 17 event did not draw large crowds, many attendees were still representing the spirit of the occasion, arriving dressed in green.
Bruce Mahnke, a co-owner of McGrath's Irish Ale House and Ed’s Tavern, wishes there was more than one St. Patrick's Day.
So he decided to host another.
Halfway to St. Patrick's Day spread a little fun around Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.
“Halfway to St. Paddy's Day is kind of like the training day for St. Patrick's Day," Mahnke said. "It's just another reason to have a good time, to have a party. The Irish are good at that.”
The event included live entertainment, drink specials, food and drink stands, and games and entertainment. Live entertainment was provided by MacSilver’s Irish Pirates Ahoy and Paddy O’Furniture, Sarasota’s Ross Allen on bagpipes, and dancers from different academies including the Finnegan Academy of Irish Dance.
Those who attended said they came to celebrate Irish culture and spend time with others in the community.
Gary and Roberta Kimes said they both enjoyed the event because of having visited Ireland years ago.
“You can walk around with a beer, and I love Irish music,” Roberta Kimes said.
Rosedale’s Carol Helton said that after her family members came to Main Street for the St. Patrick’s Day event six months ago, they wanted to return.
“It’s fun to see people dressed up,” she said.
Sarasota’s Robert Weist and Makayla Emanuele said they both came to play putt-putt at The Fish Hole then decided to stay for the celebrations.