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Purple Friday kicks off wild Ravens weekend in Harford

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It's going to be a very purple weekend for bars all over Harford County.

Watering holes around Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace are gearing up for plenty of Ravens fans pouring in to celebrate what they hope will be a decisive win against the New England Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship in Foxboro, Mass.

Although the Ravens game is Sunday, many businesses are "pre-gaming" with Purple Friday specials planned in a number of bars.

In Bel Air, the town's popular bars are preparing for plenty of fans to be packing the downtown area, with drink specials and discounted lunch or dinner items.

Looney's is co-sponsoring a pep rally at Armory Park Friday, along with the Bel Air Downtown Alliance. Last Friday, the rally was held at Looney's because it was raining.

The pub also will have a game-day menu all day on Sunday and a Ravens drink special for a week if the team wins.

Since the last Ravens win against the Broncos, the bar has offered $2 National Bohemian cans and $2 purple shots (bar side only) until this Saturday at 2 a.m.

"We are expecting a great crowd," Looney's general manager Adriane Kleinman said about the weekend's festivities.

Last Saturday night, "people were camping out around noon for the 4:30 game," she said.

The Dark Horse Saloon in Bel Air will feature a heated tent on its deck for Sunday's game.

On Purple Friday, Dark Horse employees will be dressed up and happy hour will be extended until 7 p.m., bar manager Derek Mauldin said.

The bar is offering a $2 Ravens beer for a limited time (Mauldin noted they had half a keg left), a house-made purple Ravens slushie and a game-day menu as well.

He urged everyone to get to Dark Horse early on Sunday because the tent is likely to fill up.

"We are in the AFC championship and we are expecting a big turnout," Mauldin said.

Last week, "on 'purple Saturday,' you couldn't move. It was a sea of purple," he added.

MaGerk's Pub will offer a $4 "Purple Pride" mixed drink as well as other drink specials, event coordinator Jennifer Topper said.

There will also be $2 touchdown shooters and an all-you-can-eat wing buffet for Sunday's game.

"The further the Ravens get, the more packed we become," she said. "Every Friday for us is Purple Friday. The staff is always encouraged to dress up and support our team."

Bill Bateman's Bistro, on Route 40 in Havre de Grace, is having a special Purple Friday event that coincides with Susquehanna's Hose Company celebration before its annual Duck Dunk on Saturday.

"We are going to turn that kind of into a purple pep rally," Bateman's owner Christian Giansante said of the Duck Dunk event.

Fans can stop by for a silent auction that features plenty of Ravens memorabilia and will run until 11 p.m. Friday.

Giansante said the evening will include a DJ and drink specials, such as $2.25 Miller Lites and $3.50 Blue Moons.

The DJ will be giving away prizes to the best-dressed attendees as well.

On game day Sunday, the restaurant will have half-priced burgers and $2.50 20-ounce Bud Lights.

Bateman's has Purple Fridays throughout the football season normally.

Friday's party will run from 5 to 11 p.m. Residents who bring in a flier on Bill Bateman's website will get 15 percent of their bill donated to the Susquehanna Hose Company.

"It should be a good crowd," Giansante said about this weekend. "It's fun, it's purple and you are helping a local cause."

At The Greene Turtle in Aberdeen, manager Lance Lader said weekends are always big for football fans.

The bar will mostly feature drink specials, like the "Purple Bomb" – Red Bull and grape vodka – for $5 and a Ravens shooter, also for $5.

He expects plenty of purple-clad people both Friday and on Sunday.

"Last Sunday, we were completely full, not a stool open," Lader said, adding the bar will be renting some stools for this weekend.

Coakley's Pub, in downtown Havre de Grace, will celebrate the game by cooking pit beef and Italian sausage in front of the restaurant, along with its typical Purple Friday.

Owner Dwayne Coakley said Ravens fans can celebrate with drink specials and purple shooters, which will turn into free "touchdown shooters" for every Ravens touchdown.

Although he does not know how many people will be out this weekend, the Ravens season has been good to Coakley's so far, Coakley said.

"The last couple of weeks, we have been packed to the brim," Coakley said. "It's wonderful. We hope it keeps going on."

If the Ravens inch closer to the Super Bowl, "we will dress it up a little bit," he said about the pub's atmosphere.

MacGregor's in Havre de Grace recently expanded and got a new deck, where general manager Alex Lee said the usual Purple Friday will be celebrated, along with drink specials for the game Sunday.

The bar will feature "pub grub" for the Patriots game, along with two-for-one draft specials and a purple Ravens shooter.

"People show up here in their purple attire as well," he noted about the customers.

Happy hour there will run from noon to 7 p.m., with a buffet included from 4 to 7 p.m.

"It definitely fills up in the bar," Lee said about Ravens games.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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