Area businesses help residents, guests celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Various St. Patrick’s Day festivals took place in Cape Coral throughout the day and night Wednesday to help get residents in the spirit of the Irish holiday.
Cape Coral Elks Lodge member David Heade said this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Fest was the first one the club has hosted.
He said every year for the past 20 years that he has lived in Cape Coral, he has tried to seek out places that played Irish music and continuously came up empty handed, so he figured he would host his own event with a vast assortment of Irish music at the Elks Lodge.
“I think it will be a big success,” he said about the first festival, which had already attracted a couple hundred people shortly after the doors opened Wednesday afternoon.
The fest featured an array of Irish beers on tap, Irish music throughout the evening, dancers, a bounce house for children and various games for adults.
They also served corn beef and cabbage dinners, sandwiches, shepherd’s pie and a number of deserts.
Heade said all the profits from the festival will go towards various local charities.
“I think it’s great, David did a really good job,” Elks member Tommy Geis said.
He said the festival is a great way to get a lot of people together and hopefully attract new members for the club. He said he was excited to see such a fantastic turnout.
“I’m looking forward to the entertainment,” he said. “It’s an entertaining type of day.”
Elks member Gloria Holiday said the festival was great and the corn beef and cabbage was good.
“The entertainment is very good,” she said. “I will probably come again next year if they have it.”
Buddy Byrne, an Elks member who joined the festivities Wednesday, said “it’s an Irish celebration for the members, family and friends.”
Leapin’ Lizard Owner Mary Ann Evans said the restaurant’s yearly St. Patrick’s Day Fest is its biggest event of the year, which attracted approximately 6,000 people last year.
This year’s fest featured Irish music, an Irish bag piper, the bands Ground Zero and A200, entertainer Chuck Peterson, Irish beers and whiskey and an assortment of Irish foods.
“It’s the big Irish holiday of the year, and we have great food and great fun and it’s the go to party place in Southwest Florida,” Evans said. “We rock n roll until 2 in the morning.”
Cape Coral resident Michele Letany said she noticed that Leapin’ Lizard had a St. Patrick’s Day get-together going on, so she decided to stop in and check it out.
“I’m not even Irish, but I love to have a good time,” she said. “I just got off of work and this is where I’m starting my partying.”
Letany said its nice that individuals can celebrate their heritage, especially when the fest brings people together and allows them to have a good time in these economic times.
Monkey Bar Chef and part owner Nico Botert and partner Claudia Garcia said the 4th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival kicked off at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
The festival featured a good mixture of dance music and popular music, with some Irish music played by a live band, Botert said.
Corn beef and cabbage was also served in light of the Irish holiday.
Botert said the festival’s attendance has improved a little bit every year.
Many other local restaurants and bars also held special St. Patrick’s Day activities Wednesday.