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A wee bit of Irish happenings around Gettysburg

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Every year, St. Paddy’s Day celebrations come to Gettysburg in many forms. Whether you’re into shopping at an Irish themed store, dining or drinking at a traditional Irish pub or learning more about Gettysburg’s Irish history, particularly that of the Irish Brigade, Gettysburg is the place to get your Irish fixing this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Out of town visitors can start out Saturday, March 15, with a complete Irish package that includes a tour, luncheon and traditional Irish music. To commemorate the Irish troops who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, the Inns of the Gettysburg Area (IGA) Bed and Breakfast Association will be offering up just that. Starting with a tour at 10 a.m., you are invited to walk the battlefield along with Licensed Battlefield Guide, Rich Kohr, to retrace the footsteps of Gettysburg’s Irish Brigade. You will walk across the Wheatfield from the Father Corby statue to the Irish Brigade Monument while hearing stories about these brave Union Soldiers and their intense battle experiences. Following the tour, guests will head back to the Historic Fairfield Inn for a hearty Irish lunch consisting of Shepherd’s Pie or Corned Beef and Cabbage. After the meal, stay and enjoy an Irish music concert from such performers as Michael Morrison, Dan Diviney and Chuck Krepley. This is an event arranged specifically for those who stay at IGA member inns and costs $55 per person, all inclusive. For more information, visit www.gettysburgbedandbreakfast.com.

There will be plenty of other Irish folly going on about town as well including other battlefield tours open to the public. Also be sure to check out all your favorite Irish haunts including two of the area’s favorite Irish specialty shops. The Irish Brigade, on Baltimore Street hosts a wide selection of Irish-crafted jewelry, clothing, books, music and diverse souvenirs. Chambersburg’s A Lit’le Irish, Too also has a hearty storage of things Irish including specialty imported food products, fragrances, glassware, flags, candles, clothing, toys, music and much more.

Many Gettysburg area pubs and restaurants are known for their Irish specials, especially those of a distinctly Irish nature. Garryowen Irish Pub, for example, is a renowned Irish pub in the area dubbed “the Go,” by locals. The pub is known for serving up traditional Irish fare (from the owner’s old country recipes) and hearty drink including an ever-growing menu of over 24 Irish whiskies. There is always something going on at Garryowen, from weekly specials in food, fine music and live performances. St. Paddy’s Day weekend entertainment includes Dan & Ali, Garrahan’s Ghost, Across The Pond and a Traditional Irish Seisun—St. Paddy’s Day Extravaganza on March 17. For more details, visit the website at www.garryowenirishpub.net.

O’Rorkes Eatery & Spirits is another Irish favorite in town. Located at 44 Steinwehr Avenue, O'Rorke's has been serving up traditional Irish and American cuisine since 2000. The popular pub gets its name from Union commander and hero Patrick Henry O'Rorke, the 26 year old Colonel of the 140th New York Infantry. O'Rorke was an Irish immigrant who grew up in Rochester, New York and later went on to West Point where he graduated first in his class in 1861. He died during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 at Little Round Top while leading his regiment in battle. For more information, go to www.orourkespubhouse.com.

Be sure to check out all the other area restaurants that may have special St. Patrick’s Day themed specials. Amongst restaurants known for specials include McClellan’s Tavern, Gettysburg Eddies and several others.

Majestic Theater has a special treat planned for Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m. when it presents The Emigrant’s Bridge. From the creators of Gaelforce Dance, The Emigrant’s Bridge is a collaboration of diversity and journey of the Irish identity. The show features female vocalists, expert dancers and musicians, traditional ballads and an overall depiction of Irish culture. Songs will vary from traditional ballads to more popular hits including: “Danny Boy,” “Isle of Innisfree,” May We Never Have to Say Goodbye,” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Dances will vary from step dancing, reels, jigs, Appalachian Polkas and much more. For additional details, visit www.gettysburgmajestic.org.

Many other surrounding locals are also celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. For example, the McSherrystown Knights of Columbus will be celebrating March 15 with their Ancient Order of Hibernians 9th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. A public event, this party includes fun, festival family-friendly folly and good food including a corned beef and cabbage dinner. Traditional Irish music will be performed by a local Irish band. All benefits go towards the AOH’s Hibernian Hunger Project.

Steam Into History is also holding a special train ride event on March 15 at three different times—11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Come and ride the William H. Simpson, York #17 steam engine from New Freedom to Glen Rock for a one hour ride or one that spans two and a half hours to the Hanover Junction. The ride will be accompanied by Irish music, narrators and perhaps even a pot o’gold of an experience. For more information, go to www.steamintohistory.com.

Irishness is abound this weekend. Keep posted on all the St. Patrick’s Day happenings.

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