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Of all the St. Patrick's Day fêtes thrown in this city, Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub's is undoubtedly the biggest. Touted as "home of the

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Survival Guide to Kells 29th Annual St. Patrick's Irish Festival

stp2012banner.jpg
Of all the St. Patrick's Day fêtes thrown in this city, Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub's is undoubtedly the biggest. Touted as "home of the largest St. Patrick's Irish Festival in the Northwest," the bar hosts a weeklong celebration that reaches its peak on March 17 when it joins forces with neighboring bar Post to provide 500-plus patrons with t-shirts, live traditional Irish music on four different stages, and even a massive outdoor tent. (Cover: $20 with t-shirt).

The revelry runs from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. -- for those of you who struggle with math, that's 17 hours. Is it possible for a diehard St. Patrick's Day partier to survive open to close? "I really hope not," Kells owner Patrick McAleese says. "I don't want see that guy!" His words of advice to those attending this Saturday: "Don't wear your favorite shoes."

From three years of personal experience, this reporter knows exactly what to expect at Kells on March 17. Here are some tips you must remember to get through the day/ night.

  • Bring cash Kells has a bar tab minimum of $100 on St. Patrick's Day. The establishment houses an ATM as well, but the line is akin to that of Splash Mountain at Disneyland. You could skip it and open a tab for you and your friends, but the chances of getting drunk people -- especially those who are flaky to begin with -- to pay you back later are slim.
  • Dress comfortably There will be plenty of girls in sexy St. Patrick's themed get-ups. But there will also be plenty of opportunities for whatever it is you're wearing to be ruined. Take it from the woman who had a 200-plus pound man literally fall on top of her and spent the rest of the night rocking ripped tights -- this is not the time to dress to impress.
  • Eat something It sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people think they can survive on beer and beer alone. But if you want to engage in a marathon -- running or drinking -- your body require sustenance. So take a timeout when need be and order a sausage roll and fries -- sorry, chips.
  • Nap and rally Convince your friend with the biggest SUV to drive on Saturday night. If you need to take a break midday, you can crawl into the back and stretch out for a couple hours. Bring a blanket and pillow along, too.

  • Turn off your cell phone If you down six Irish Car Bombs by 2 p.m., chances are your fingers are start itching to text. St. Patrick's Day is not the time to confess your love or hatred for someone. Just don't do it. You'll be thankful in the morning.
  • Carry your medical insurance card Shit happens! If you get into a bar brawl, fall asleep in the street, or get forced into an ambulance for your drunken antics, you don't want to go broke because of it. It's a lot easier than filing a claim later -- trust me.
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