Irish Month has a Scottish flair

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!

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And some of us are prepared to go that extra mile in the wearing of the green.

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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.

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This character was given the nickname "Elton Don."

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Ah, but all good parties must come to an end -- especially after the beer starts to run out.

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But a splendid time was had by all!