Harford ready to party for St. Patty's Day

Coakley's Pub and Restaurant in Havre de Grace is geared up and ready for Sunday's St. Patrick's Day celebration. "It's our biggest day of the year, being an Irish pub," owner Maggie Coakley says. (PHOTO BY MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF / March 13, 2013)

Officially the feast of Saint Patrick of Ireland but unofficially one of the biggest drinking days of the year, St. Patrick's Day promises to paint Harford County green as revelers come out to celebrate the entire weekend.

Bars around the Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace areas said they have been gearing up for their largest event of the year. The holiday is technically only one day, March 17, this Sunday, but most establishments that put on big St. Patty's Day blasts are stretching the celebration over Saturday and Sunday.

The saloon keepers also are hoping people will not be scared away by a forecast of rain and bad weather for the weekend.

"It's our biggest day of the year, being an Irish pub," Margie Coakley, owner of Coakley's Pub in Havre de Grace, said about St. Patrick's Day.

"Last year was the biggest one we ever had, being on a Saturday," Coakley said. "This Sunday will be just as fun."

The pub plans to stay festive and wear the green Friday through Sunday, with dinner specials Friday night like corned beef, shepherd's pie, Irish bangers and mash, homemade Guinness stew, green beer, Irish car bombs and Irish soda bread.

A bagpiper will also be performing at noon on Sunday.

For the fourth time, the bar will offer a "green eggs and kegs" Sunday morning breakfast, she said.

A DJ will keep the atmosphere lively, as will giveaways of T-shirts and other items.

"I think both days are going to be busy," Coakley said, adding the food is already being prepared.

Expanded patio

"We started cooking right now," she said Wednesday.

In Aberdeen, the Greene Turtle asked the liquor board for permission to expand its patio area farther out to have DJs and a few bands inside.

Jonathan Gettle, representing the restaurant, said this is the fourth year the Greene Turtle has made such a move.

St. Patrick's Day celebrations there will include five bouncers and two off-duty police officers, he said.

The weekend will include two bands - Bottoms Up and MisEuphoria – beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

As for the weather, "hopefully it will be nice," he said. "We will have a good time either way."

"It's always a busy weekend, one of the busiest of the whole year," he noted.

In Bel Air, meanwhile, bars like Looney's are gearing up for a huge event as well.

"This is our biggest day. We plan this all year," Adriane Kleinman of Looney's said Wednesday. "We are putting a lot of time and effort into it."