She has been spending the Irish holiday at the Charlottetown pub for about the last 25 years, saying it’s her favourite day of the year.
“It’s the one day a year that I really look forward too, and that I really enjoy getting out for.”
Barrett, who recently turned 50, has been going to the Olde Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day since she was in her early 20’s after a friend invited her to join a group going out to celebrate.
“When we were younger, it was a big social thing – you’d go out, dance, drink, meet people and just have a really fun night out.”
Despite being older, Barrett still goes out on March 17 with the same group she started going with and said it’s a great way to keep in touch over the years.
“Everyone has busy lives now between their work and families. But we all make sure we book off work that day each year, so we’re able to get together for St. Paddy’s Day.”
Stephen Hann also enjoys the social aspect of St. Paddy’s Day.
The 40-year old Charlottetown man has been going to the Olde Dublin to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day for roughly the past 10 years and he also says it’s a great way to catch up with people.
“It’s a fun social time. I have friends that go, some of which I haven’t seen in a while, but they always go to the Dublin for St. Paddy’s Day. So it’s great to have a chance to see them.’
Hann usually spends all day at the Olde Dublin, coming in the morning for their charity breakfast and staying for the live entertainment, drinks and company.
Many traditions come with St. Paddy’s Day, a few notable ones include wearing green clothing, eating traditional Irish dishes, drinking Irish beers and listening to classic Irish folk music.
Hann said a big part of St. Paddy’s Day for him is these traditions, and enjoys how everyone at the Olde Dublin embraces them.
“The pub really encourages everyone to take part in these Irish traditions, and it’s great because it makes everyone on St. Paddy’s Day feel a little Irish.”
Jeff Smith, manager at the Olde Dublin, said this is exactly what the pub tries to do every year.
FIVE FACTS ABOUT ST. PATRICK'S DAY
1- St. Patrick’s Day is an annual Irish holiday celebrated on March 17 to honour the death of the Irish missionary Saint Patrick, who was most famous for bringing Christianity into Ireland.
2 - Today's St Patrick's Day celebrations have been greatly influenced by those that developed among the Irish diaspora, especially in North America. Until the late 20th century, St Patrick's Day was often a bigger celebration among the diaspora than it was in Ireland
3 - Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe (Irish traditional music sessions), and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.
4 - On St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and green clothing or accessories (the "wearing of the green"). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaf plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish
WHERE TO GO TO PARTY
- Olde Dublin Pub, Charlottetown: Opens at 8 a.m. with a charity breakfast for the Children’s Wish Foundation. Live entertainment going on throughout the day till closing time at 2 a.m. Special Irish dishes and drinks available all day as well.
- Old Triangle, Charlottetown: 9-11 a.m. charity breakfast with proceeds going towards Danny Connolly and his family – a local man who was recently diagnosed with ALS. Live music starting at 9 a.m. on both floors and ends at 2 a.m. Serving Irish dishes and drinks all day. No cover.
- Upstreet Craft Brewing, Charlottetown: Le Carrefour is presenting Irlandais d’un Jour with Acadian and Irish music 7-10 p.m.
- The Whiskey Pub, Stratford. Live music running from 2- 5 p.m., as well as a beer pong tournament starting at 3 p.m. with registration at 11 a.m.
- Lot 45 Pub and Eatery, Souris: Serving Irish dishes and drinks all day. Live entertainment from 8- 11 p.m.
- Main Street Pub, Montague: Open from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Variety of folk, and traditional Irish musicians playing all day. Serving Irish dishes and drinks as well.
- Tailgate Bar and Grill, Montague: St. Patty’s Day party, live music and DJ, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Boxcar Pub, Emerald: St. Patrick’s Day party and live music, 6 p.m. – midnight. Free admission.
- O’Shea’s Pub and Eatery, Kinkora: Irish yoga, specials all day, while live music begins at 9 p.m.
- Borden-Carleton Legion: St. Patrick’s Day party with Celtic and Maritime music, best leprechaun costume contest and games, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
- Local Lounge, Summerside: Live jam session followed by trivia and a karaoke contest, beginning at 3 p.m.
“We’re an Irish pub, so this is one of the most important days of the year for us. So of course we want everyone to go along with the traditions, and embrace being Irish for the day. It’s what makes the day so fun and it’s great.”
Hann said he plans to continue going to the Olde Dublin for many more St. Patrick’s Days.
“It’s a highlight of the year for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep going for a long time.”
For Barrett, her and her group also plan on keeping the tradition going.
“We see other groups with 60-70 year olds every year. So as long as we’re all healthy and able to go, we’re going to keep going for as long as we can.”