The City of Ottawa has declared January to be Scottish Month, but surely the month of March belongs to the Irish. St. Patrick's Day is still a week away, but already the stores and pubs across town are filled with Irish themes. And when Beau's Brewery decides to host a St. Patrick's party on March 10 rather than the 17th, well who are we to refuse an invitation to enjoy a good time? Especially when a group of former hockey parents haven't seen one another in a while.
We're all dressed up and ready to go!
And some of us are prepared to go that extra mile in the wearing of the green.
The party was held in the Aberdeen Pavilion, where the Scottish Society of Ottawa hosts its annual Hogmanay party on New Year's Eve. The St. Patrick festivities began at 2 p.m. when the annual parade up Bank Street wound up outside at Lansdowne Park. But 8 p.m. the party was still ramping up.
The music had been going on all day. By the time we arrived, the headliners had taken the stage.
The Real McKenzies are a celtic punk band from Vancouver. They've been using a combination of bagpipes, two guitars and a rhythm section to rock audiences since 1992.
The lead singer, Paul McKenzie, added a distinctive Scottish tone to an Irish party with his raucous renditions of love poems by Rabbie Burns.
Scottish kilts at an Irish party. A singer snarling out Rabbie's love songs to waiIing pipes and guitars. Weird hats, hair-dos, and eye-wear. It all made for a surreal atmosphere. Here at one table, a woman took on challengers in arm wrestling.
Elsewhere, people played pinball.
We certainly got into the spirit of things.
This character was given the nickname "Elton Don."
Ah, but all good parties must come to an end -- especially after the beer starts to run out.
But a splendid time was had by all!