Not everyone in Utah can travel to Ireland to enjoy the live music performed inside Jim O’ the Mills world-famous pub, so the Utah Hibernian Society is bringing the Celtic music to Salt Lake City.
Seven Irish musicians who regularly play in the tavern near Thurles, Salt Lake City’s sister city in County Tipperary, will travel to Utah to participate in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Utahns can hear the young women play traditional tin whistles, mandolins and flutes Saturday, during the Siamsa (sheem-sa) party after the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Sunday, at a special concert at St. Joseph the Worker Church in West Jordan. (See accompanying schedule.)
Local musicians also will have the opportunity to play with the visitors during a series of jam sessions the week of March 17.
This is the third trip that the Irish musicians have made to Utah. Jim Ryan, owner of the Jim O’ the Mills and friend of several Hibernian Society members, brought the performers here in 2007. Other Irish musicians from the area returned — without Ryan — in 2012.
Of course, bringing a little bit of Ireland to Utah is what the St. Patrick’s Day activities are all about, said Richard O’Connor, Hibernian Society president.
The main event is the parade, which kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. The route stays the same as in past years, starting on 400 West near West High School and winding its way through The Gateway mall. The weather is expected to cooperate, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high 50s.
This year’s parade, with the theme “Gift of the Gaels … A Legacy of Legend and Myth,” will feature 130 entries ranging from traditional floats and marching bands to the outrageous — think Storm Troopers in kilts and ghouls from the Fear Factory, said O’Connor.
About 20,000 people are expected to attend, making it Utah’s third largest parade, behind Days of ’47 and Pride.
“We’re not the biggest,” said O’Connor, “but we’re the best.”
New to the parade route is the TRAX line on 400 West that goes to and from the Salt Lake City International Airport. The trains won’t stop — even for leprechauns and banshees — so everyone from participants to paradegoers will need to pause occasionally to let the trains pass, O’Connor said.
After the parade, the celebration continues at the Siamsa inside The Gateway’s Grand Hall. Irish food and beverages as well as folk dancing and music continue until 4 p.m. The party has grown exponentially over the past few years, O’Connor said. Several years ago it outgrew the Hellenic Cultural Center on 300 West and was moved to the Grand Hall.
“And we’ve almost outgrown that,” he said.
During the festivities, don’t be surprised if the Hibernian Society passes the proverbial green hat. During the past few weeks, the group has been asking for donations to help cover a new police and security user fee imposed by Salt Lake City. The society needs to collect about $4,000 to cover the fee.
Art Raymond, a spokesman for Mayor Ralph Becker, said budget challenges and the growing number of events that require police and fire help forced the City Council to implement a user fee to recover its costs.
Despite the financial setback, the St. Patrick’s Day efforts are well worth the society’s time, O’Connor said.
“It’s a good time for all,” he said. “There’s a smile on everybody’s face.”
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
P The Hibernian Society of Utah has planned several events to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Parade • Saturday, 10 a.m. Begins at the north end of The Gateway mall in downtown Salt Lake City.
Siamsa • Saturday from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Gateway Grand Hall. Includes Irish food, drinks, music and folk dancing.
Mass in honor of St. Patrick • Sunday, 5 p.m., St. Joseph the Worker, 7405 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan. A corned beef and cabbage dinner, followed by singing and music in the parish hall.
Details • irishinutah.org
Share your photos • Tag your photos on Instagram with #stpatsslc and we’ll compile them in a photo gallery at www.sltrib.com. The Tribune will also have extensive photos and videos of the event.
5 more St. Patrick’s Day events
Beer brunch • Faustina, Epic Brewing co-host four-course brunch with brewmaster Kevin Crompton.
When • Saturday, noon to 2 p.m.
Where • Faustina, 454 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-746-4441 or faustinaslc.com/
Cost • Brunch, $25; wine pairings are an additional $20 per person
Irish Shebeen • Speakeasy-style event with Irish food, cocktails and live music by Bad Colleen.
When • Saturday, 6 p.m.
Where • Hearth on 25th, 195 Historic 25th St., Ogden; 801-399-0088
Cost • Menu items $4-$26; reservations required
Saints & Sinners Ball • Cocktails, dinner, an auction and dancing to live music.
When • Saturday, 6 p.m.
Where • St. Regis Deer Valley, 2300 Deer Valley Dr., Park City
Tickets • $175; 435-655-3114 or ecclescenter.org; benefits Park City Institute Student Outreach
Champagne jazz brunch • All-you-can-eat New Orleans brunch with live jazz by the John Flanders Quartet. A portion of proceeds will benefit Camp Kesem, for youth whose parents have cancer.
When • Sunday, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Where • Pierpont Place, 163 Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City
Cost • $50; 801-414-1428 or bigeasychampagnebrunch.com/contact-us.html; reservations required
Salt Lake Culinary Center • Learn to prepare a traditional Irish meal that includes colcannon, beef hand-pies, Irish coffee cupcakes and soda bread. Reservations required.
When • Monday, 6 to 9 p.m.
Where • Salt Lake Culinary Center, 2233 S. 300 East, South Salt Lake; 801-464-0113
Cost • $79