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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Posted: March 1, 2016

St. Patrick’s Day Guide 2017: Celebrate the Irish in Maine

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

st patrick cover image for guideCelebrate Ireland, Irish food, Irish drink, and Irish-Americans this St. Patrick’s Day. Raise a pint and have a green old time of it. There’s plenty of Irish music and revelry at Irish pubs around southern Maine, as well as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Plunge, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Shamrock Shuffle bar crawl and scavenger hunt,  and plenty more going on over the weekend and on St. Patrick’s Day Thursday.


Shamrock Shuffle Pub Crawl and Photo Scavenger Hunt

Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 11.  Multiple locations, downtown Portland,$15 before March 8,  $20 after, 21-plus.
Get a jump start on your St. Paddy’s fun by going on an emerald-lined pub crawl to more than seven Portland locales. The event is also a photo scavenger hunt so bring your camera or make sure your phone is good and charged. For the sixth consecutive year, Port Sports Social Club presents an eight hour party that involves a whole bunch of bars, you in costume if you’re so inclined and  an unlimited amount of pre-St. Patrick’s day fun.

Press Herald file photo

Portland St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Noon. Sunday, March 12. Commercial Street, from the Fish Pier to the Ferry Terminal, Portland.
Deck yourself out in everything green that you own and head to Portland’s waterfront for the Irish American Club’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade. This year’s parade features the Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band, Dunlop Highland Band,Kora Shriners Highlanders and members of the Stillson School of Irish Dance. Other participants include The Maine Irish Heritage Center, Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Maine Police Emerald Society, Maine Gaelic Sports Association, The Portland Hurling Club, Girl Scouts of America, Burns Ceili Group, local union representatives and public safety representatives from local police and fire departments. It culminates with a rally at Bell Buoy Park followed by a reception at the Maine Irish Heritage Center at 34 Gray St. with a cash bar, food for sale, music and dancing.

Press Herald file photo

St. Patrick’s Day Plunge

5:30 a.m. Friday,  March 17| East End Beach, Portland (after party at Ri Ra) | Raise donations |
Plunge for good! All donations will benefit the Children’s Burn Foundation. Afterwards, all participating plungers can head to Ri Ra for a free breakfast buffet and a charity auction. And beer! That water might be cold, but bodies are quickly warmed with Guinness.


8 p.m. Friday, March 17. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $15 in advance, $20 day of.
Gather one and all for an evening of traditional Irish music with Nicole Rabata on flute, Ellery Klein on fiddle and Bethany Waickman on guitar. Listen to the music of Fodhla at

2016 St. Patrick's Day Guide

Seanachie Nights presents “Tales and Songs of Old Ireland” Courtesy photo

Tales and Songs of Old Ireland

7 p.m. Monday, March 21, Bull Feeney’s, 375 Fore St., Portland. $9 suggested donation.
The Seanachie Nights series of spoken word and musical performances invites you to an evening of Irish wit, humor and tunes. You’ll hear tales, ballads and songs from Ireland courtesy of Lynne Cullen, Janet Lynch, Kurt Kish and special guests in “Tales and Songs of Old Ireland.”

Irish Music Concert

7 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Harlow Gallery, 160 Water St., Hallowell. Free.
Irish – and every other kind of eyes – will be smiling on St. Patty’s night with a concert of Irish music by locals Adam Soosman, Karen Mosher, William Fahy, Bryce Bragdon and others. You’ll hear plenty of tin whistle, flute, mandolin, recorder and fiddle played on both traditional Irish tunes and pieces from other European and American cultures.

Customers make their way into Brian Boru just after 6 am in 2013. We like your enthusiasm, folks. Press Herald file photo

St. Patrick’s Day at Brian Boru

Starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, March 17.  Brian Boru Public House, 57 Center St.,  Portland. No cover.
Irish breakfast, festivities and live music and entertainment all day from Rum Riot, Maine Guns & Hoses Bagpipers,  Stillson Stepdancers, The Pubcrawlers, Jason Spooner Band  and Vinyl Tap.

Irish Breakfast at Bull Feeney’s

Starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, March 17. Bull Feeney’s, Portland. No cover.
There will be live music and revelry upstairs and downstairs throughout the day at Bull Feeney’s. Irish breakfast starts at 6 a.m. and the music line-up ranges from classic and folk rock to bagpipes, pipe and drum corps and Irish sing-a-longs. Bonus: Staff in kilts.

Press Herald file photo

St. Patrick’s Day at Ri Ra

Starting at 6 am, Thursday, March 17.  | Ri Ra Irish Pub, 72 Commercial St., Portland | no cover |
Doors open at 6 a.m., and while participants in the St. Patrick’s Day Plunge will be rewarded with a free buffet breakfast, non plungers can still order an Irish meal the old fashioned way. There will be live music all day and plenty of Irish pub food. $50 gets you the Irish breakfast, a Guinness glass, early VIP entry and a donation towards the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation. The music starts  at 9:30 a.m. with The Maine Public Safety Band and continuing with Ben Kilcollins, The Napper Tandies and more.

St. Patrick’s Day at Kerrymen Pub

Opens at 11 a.m. on  Thursday, March 17.  Kerrymen Pub, 512 Main St.,Saco. No cover.
The live entertainment at Kerrymen Pub starts at 2 p.m. with Easy Money Band and The Hurricanes will be hitting the stage at 8 p.m. The beer and good cheer will be flowing  all the while.

Celebrate the Irish

11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. , Thursday, March. South Portland Community Center, 21 Nelson Road, South Portland, $12.
If you’re at least 50-years-old, this party’s for you! Celebrate celebration a performance by the Stillson School of Dance from Gorham who will be bringing their A game with costumes, lively dance and music. Your Irish (and non-Irish) belly will also be smiling because lunch includes corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, rolls, pastry & beverages.

St. Patrick's Day Guide

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Irish Flag Raising over Portland

8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 17. Maine Irish Heritage Center, Gray Street, Portland, free.
Meet on the front steps of the Maine Irish Heritage Center and walk through the old Irish neighborhood to raise the Irish flag. Then you’ll reconvene at the center for coffee, tea and Irish soda bread from 9 a.m. to Noon.

St. Patrick's Day Guide

Maken and Spain Courtesy photo

Maken and Spain

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19. Maine Irish Heritage Center, Gray Street, Portland, $20.
Keep your Irish eyes smiling with music from one of New England’s premiere Irish bands. Makem and Spain is Liam Spain on bouzouki and vocals, Mickey Spain on guitar and vocals and Rory Makem on banjo and vocals.

Irish American Club Annual St. Patrick’s Dinner

5 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Maine Irish Heritage Center, Gray Street, Portland, $25.
This year’s event features a traditional corned beef dinner prepared by SoPo catering with live music and dance performances by the Stillson School of Irish Dance.

St. Patrick's Day Guide

The Squid Jiggers Courtesy photo

The Squid Jiggers

7 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St.,Portland, $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

Get ready for a rollicking night of musical merriment from The Squid Jiggers. Troy Bennett (guitar, bodhran, harmonica and vocals) and Dave Rowe (bass, guitar, whistles and vocals) are both native Mainers but they’re all about sea chanteys and songs from across the ocean. Expect some lively sing-alongs on a night when everyone is Irish.

St. Patrick's Day Guide

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day quite like a corned beef sandwich Shutterstock image

St. Patrick’s Celebration Concert & Corned Beef Hash Sandwich Buffet Supper

4 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Christ Church, 6 Dane St., Kennebunk, $16 suggested donation for music and concert, $12 for students and seniors, $12 for just concert or supper, $8 students and seniors.
The music begins at 4 p.m. led by Christ Church Music Director, “Maestro” Warren King who along with a crew of musicians and singers will perform a program of nostalgic Irish music. When the music ends the eating begins with a buffet supper of build-your-own corned beef sandwiches along with sauerkraut, coleslaw and homemade potato salad with beverages and themed desserts. Reservations are recommended.

St. Patty’s Day Massacre

9 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland, $20, 21-plus.

DJ Boots Entertainment and 6ix5ive6ix Records invites you to a night of crazy green cheer featuring Bostonian Slaine of La Coka Nostra with Jaysaun and DJ Deadeye. There will also be a special guest performance from Northern Lights nation & Wisdom.

St.Patrick’s Day Dance

8 p.m. Saturday, March 19. American Legion Tardiff-Belanger Post 39, Madison, $7. Call 696-5848
Dance the night away to the music of Midnight Rose who will be serving up plenty of classic rock. You may even win a door prize. Reservations are required so hop on the phone, thrown on your green duds and have an emerald evening.

St. Patrick's Day Guide

Celtic-rock band Enter the Haggis Courtesy photo

Enter the Haggis

9 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland, $20 in advance, $25 day of show, $40 preferred seating, 18-plus.
Don’t miss one of the most popular Celtic-rock bands of the past twenty years. Enter the Haggis may be from Toronto but since they’re show is on St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish for the night. Opening the show is local act The Pubcrawlers who will be bringing their Celtic-punk sound to the show so expect one heck of a rollicking night.

St. Patrick’s Day Song & Dance

7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15. River Tree Arts, 35 Western Ave., Kennebunk, $5 suggested donation.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an evening of song and dance that showcases the talent of River Tree Arts faculty and students. Festivities includes Irish step dancing and traditional Irish songs from yesterday and today.

St. Patrick’s Day Supper

4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Standish Congregational Church, Oak Hill Road, Standish, $10, $5 for children under 12. FMI send an email to Michele
For a traditional Irish meal bring your appetite and head to Standish. The St. Patrick’s Day Supper menu features corned beef cabbage, potatoes, carrots,rolls, choice of beverage and bread pudding for dessert. Yum!

‘A Little Bit of Heaven’

7 p.m. Thursday, March 17. Nasson Little Theatre, 457 Main St., Sanford, $10 at the door.
Sanford Maine Stage Theatre presents an all Irish review that includes singing some of the beloved songs from the “ole sod.” You’ll enjoy snacks and drinks as you sit back and hear about Ireland in song, poem, her people and the beautiful green of her land. You’ll also hear about Ireland’s struggles to be free and of the 1916 Irish rebellion.

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