Celebrate St Patrick's Day without flying all the way to Ireland, for there are plenty of activities taking place around Singapore for the week.
The 17 March date is a Catholic Church tradition that honoured the patron saint of Ireland (St Patrick, of course), who was instrumental in helping to build up the Christian community on the Emerald Isle.
These days, the celebrations have little, if not anything, to do with its religious roots, as people use the day for commercial purposes featuring parades, oyster shucking competitions, feasts and parties. Pubs and bars will come alive with people drinking pints of Guinness, wearing top hats, listening to live music and there might be sightings of "leprechauns".
Here is what is happening around town even before the day, starting this weekend:
Possibly the biggest event is this three-day fiesta of Irish music, dance, culture, food and drink, which will culminate in a massive parade and street party on Sunday 15 March. The parade is free for everyone to join and will start at the Asian Civilisations Museum at 3.30pm (participants will need to assemble near the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles at 2.30pm) and will make its round to Circular Road.
The drink of choice to toast the occasion is none other than Guinness, which will be giving away 20,000 complimentary pints until 17 March. All you need to do to redeem your drink is to download Singtel’s mWallet app, via Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play, before 17 March. Once logged into the app, users will see a prompt to help them click through to complete their redemption and view the list of island-wide outlets where they can pick up their complimentary drink. You will have to be over the age of 18 to redeem this.
The best way to soak up the atmosphere is at the various Irish watering holes across the island, so get on the St Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl (14 March, 7pm, meeting point: UOB Plaza). Hop on the open-top "party bus" and visit three Irish pubs and one club with your drinking mates.
Party at Muddy Murphy’s
Expect to find a promotional Oyster Festival Menu (also available at The Penny Black, 27 Boat Quay) that will feature four savoury oyster dishes. The offer will last from now till Sunday 29 March 2015 at both venues, available 11.30am to 9.15pm.
The 19th Guinness Oyster Opening Championship will have the finest chefs from all over Singapore vying for a spot to compete in the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival’s World Oyster Opening Championships held every year in Ireland. Cheer on the contestants at Muddy Murphy's on Sunday 15 March, 3pm to 6pm.
The Festival Oysters
Hailing from Ireland is a comedian who goes by the name Paddyman, whose musical-style comedic material is best accompanied by the food-and-drink promotions going on at the same time: two pints of Guinness at $25 nett, a bottle of Bulmers cider at $13, a glass of Irish whiskey (Jameson, Kilbeggan, GreenOre) at $10, two shots of Baby Guinness at $20 and an Irish Trash Can cocktail for $18. This is on from 13 to 17 March, 8pm till late.
Address: Muddy Murphy’s @ 111 Somerset Road #01-02 | Admission: Free
A performance by Paddyman
Party at The Penny Black
All the guffaws and the merrymaking is bound to stir the appetite, which is why walk-about portions of the traditional English fish-and-chips will be made available at a won’t-think-twice price of $5 during the parade. Wash down the food with pints of Guinness that will go for $12 throughout the weekend. All house pours will be at Happy Hour prices all night, too.
Date: 13-17 March 2015 | Time: 11.30am till late | Venue: The Penny Black, 27 Boat Quay | Admission: Free
Party at Prince of Wales:
The Little India outlet will be offering Magners original and pear ciders all day and all night for $7.50 from Sunday to Tuesday. There will also be a St Patrick’s edition of a barbecue on Sunday that is a weekly affair. The Boat Quay outlet will be offering Magners cider at $3.80 a glass and takeaway mini fish-and-chips at the same price.
Date: 15-17 March 2015 | Time: 11.30am till late | Venue: Prince of Wales, 101 Dunlop Street or 51 Boat Quay | Admission: Free
Other outlets taking part in St Patrick’s Festival 2015:
- Blue Mist Cafe Bistro – 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
- Timbre @ The Substation – 45 Armenian Street
- Molly Roffey’s @ Esplanade Mall – 8 Raffles Avenue #01-13E
- KPO Cafe Bar – 1 Killiney Road
- Unplugged Singapore – Blk 7, Dempsey Road
- Fabrika @ Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel – 15 Hoe Chiang Road Level 17
- Molly Roffey’s @ Dorsett – 331 New Bridge Road #01-04 Dorsett Residences
- Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar – 70 Collyer Quay #01-03 Customs House
- Hood Bar and Café – 201 Victoria Street #05-07 Bugis+
- Mulligan’s – Blk C Clarke Quay River Valley Road #01-10
- Molly Roffey’s @ Bras Basah – 51 Bras Basah Road #01-02A Manulife Centre
- The New Harbour Café & Bar – 114 Tanjong Pagar Road
- RedDot Brewhouse – 33/34 Boat Quay
- O Comptoir – 79 Circular Road
- Hero’s bar – 69 Circular Road