Kell’s St. Patricks Irish Festival

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! This year I celebrated the holiday a few days early at Kell’s annual St. Patrick’s Irish Festival in downtown Portland. Each year Kell’s sets up an enormous white tent in the parking lot behind the main bar complete with a dance floor, stage, beer stands and a kitchen that cooks up traditional Irish food.

While my friends and I were searching for a table, we spotted a man wearing a white knit sweater that read “BUTTE IRISH” across the back. Being from Montana, we know exactly what St. Patrick’s Day means in the Irish-rooted community of Butte – complete and utter craziness. Each year Butte closes down their streets and welcomes hundreds of visitors, including a number of college students on Spring Break, to their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Needless to say, we were compelled to approach this man to get a picture of his great sweater and see if he was a true Butte American. It turns out the man wasn’t from Butte but his entire family grew up there, his sweater was made in Ireland, and he’s had the opportunity to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Butte….that was enough for us!

After we snapped some pictures, we were lucky enough to find a table near the stage in time to watch Kells Pipers make their way through the crowd and onto the stage. I love the sweet and haunting sounds of the bagpipes. As a child, I always looked forward to listening to the Canadian bagpipers who would play at the Memorial Day parade each year in my hometown of Plentywood, MT.

After listening to the bagpipers and enjoying a delicious corned beef reuben, we watched the amazing Maher Dancers of the Portland Irish Dance Academy. If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I would definitely recommend checking out Kell’s St. Patrick’s Irish Festival. There is a Kells located in Portland, Seattle, and San Fransisco. Oh and remember to wear green!

Posted by: Denise Angvick on Denise’s Dish