Dancing, bagpipes, beer draw crowds to Kell’s for St. Patrick’s Day in Portland

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:21 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The 28th St. Patrick’s Day celebration brought big crowds to Kell’s Irish Pub in Portland on Friday night.

From bagpipes and kilts to tap dancing, the bar was all things Irish. Exactly what Amir, an attendee, was hoping for.

“I wanted to see some Irish dancing and drinking tunes for St. Patty’s Day.” With a green beer in hand, Amir described the atmosphere as, “like, if you combined a dancing shamrock and a bunch of beer.”

“So,” added Emma, who was dressed from head to toe in green, “you actually get a sense of authenticity as opposed to where you go somewhere else and it’s like, ‘you’ve got green, you’re good to go girl.’”

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Some donations from the event went toward Providence’s Center for Medically Fragile Children. Over the years, they’ve accrued a quarter of a million dollars.

Aside from drinking for a cause, people say it’s a celebration, and at the core is “community.”

“It’s more of a group tradition than it is, like, you go out to have a drink with the buddies,” Emma said.

From across the room, Jen agreed.

“Cause it’s all likeminded people,” Jen said. “We’re all here having a good time. We want to have fun, and there’s plenty of fun to be had.”

Attending the event with a few friends, Stephanie offered her thoughts.

“I haven’t been able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a few years because of COVID and this is my first time out at Kell’s,” Stephanie said. “It’s my first time out for St. Patrick’s Day in Portland and we’re having a great time. We don’t want it to end. It’s been awesome.”

Alongside Stephanie was her friend Danny, who said “there’s no expectations other than have a good time.”

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In a 6,400-square-foot tent with Guinness and Irish whiskey in hand, many had a common thing to voice.

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day,” Amir shouted.

Although a fun time, Portland Police reminds and cautions people to not drink and drive.

The event will pick back up Saturday at noon and run through 1 a.m. Sunday.