May the road rise to meet you; may the wind always be at your back. And may even the least Irish among us find a spark of green within their beings and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this Wednesday, March 17, and all throughout the week leading up to the big day.
ä In Bangor, the University of Maine Folklife Center will host its first-ever Downeast Irish Review, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13. Join the Maine-based Celtic harp duo Castlebay, the Irish folk band Ballykelti, storyteller Van Reid and the Shamrock Dancers for a night of all things Irish. Admission is $20, which helps fund the Maine Folklife Center’s efforts to preserve Maine traditions. Tickets are available at BookMarc’s and the Grasshopper Shop in downtown Bangor.
ä The downtown Bangor bar and restaurant Paddy Murphy’s will again honor its four-year-standing tradition of opening at 6 a.m. March 17. Paddy Murphy’s will host local Celtic punk band The Bar Stuards in the morning, then a full day of music and Guinness lasting until the wee hours of Thursday. For information on the schedule of events, call 945-6800.
ä On Sunday, March 14, the Old Town United Methodist Church at 744 Stillwater Ave. will host a boiled dinner, 12:30-5:30 p.m. There will be music and games, and potatoes, cabbage, ham and onions will be on the menu. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children or $15 for a family of four or more.
ä Down Ellsworth way, the acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Robbie O’Connell will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at The Grand. O’Connell joined the Clancy Brothers in 1977, after years of performing in folk clubs in England and Ireland. Now a New England resident, O’Connell writes songs that are often humorous and always filled with melody and meaning. Tickets are $18, $20 at the door. For information, visit www.grandonline.org.
ä The Unity College Center for the Performing Arts will host two concerts of Celtic music. The up-and-coming Irish band Cara will play at 7:30 tonight. Composed of five musicians, Cara plays a variety of instruments and old and new songs. Tickets are $10. At 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 15, the Boys of the Lough will take the stage. Renowned for their traditional take on Irish music, the Boys have performed for more than 40 years all over the world. They were some of the original ambassadors for Irish music to the world. Admission is $20, and for information, visit www.unityme.org.