Milford goes Irish: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to include Irish Concert, annual Pub Crawl

The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Downtown Milford, Inc. is preparing a St. Patrick’s Day party like they’ve never had before.

The ninth annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl is in the works for Saturday, March 16, but the celebrating won’t start there.

This year, the organization has teamed up with the Jesus Love Temple, Irish Rose and other partners to present their first Irish Music and Dance Concert in Milford Friday, March 15, to jumpstart the festivities.

The special Irish themed event from 7 to 10 p.m. will feature the Willie Lynch Band, McAleer School of Irish Dance and the volunteer-run Dover Police and Fire Pipes and Drums group.

According to DMI Executive Director Murrie Zlotziver, Mr. Lynch is a native of Ireland where he played in rock bands before he moved to the United States.

“The magic of the band is that every gig is a great time for all ages,” Mr. Lynch said.

“It’s a family-friendly event; we wanted to bring that aspect to the Pub Crawl weekend,” DMI Board President and Pub Crawl Co-Chair Sara Pletcher said.

Tickets are general admission at $15 and available in advance at the DMI Office located at 207 S. Walnut St., Irish Rose at 42 N. Walnut St., online at https://squ.re/2dequav or at the door the night of the event. Children 12 years old and younger can attend the Irish Music and Dance Concert for free.

The annual pub crawl will offer a second day of St. Patrick’s Day fun for Milford as downtown merchants, volunteers and visitors prepare for a night on the town.

“It’s great to see so many people come out and enjoying Downtown Milford,” Ms. Pletcher said. “The Pub Crawl is a great way for DMI to kick off the year, get people downtown, and showcase many of our merchants and craft breweries, distilleries and wineries. We have some new merchants and vendors participating this year, so it will give people an opportunity to go somewhere new and taste something new.”

At least 10 downtown merchants plan to participate in the event by hosting wine and/or beer vendors or offering a designated driver spot with snacks and Pepsi products for those with wristbands who want to come out and enjoy the evening without libations.

The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

“The major part of DMI’s four-point approach is economic development and bringing people to downtown, seeing something they didn’t see before,” Ms. Pletcher said.

To attend the pub crawl in Milford, bibs can be purchased ahead of time at $15 for bibs numbered one through 100. Bibs numbered over 100 are $20 ahead of the event. All remaining bibs will be sold for $25 the night of the event from inside the ice cream shop along the Riverwalk.

Volunteers help the event run smoothly and can buy discounted, higher numbered bibs for $15 each.

“We are striving to have two volunteers at each host stop so that they can sell the bibs, answer questions and make sure that everybody who is participating has bibs, so we can run a safe event. We hope to have volunteers to ride the bus loops, too,” Ms. Pletcher said.

Even more exciting, she added, is that volunteers can fill a two-hour slot and still enjoy the festivities.

“We have 43 volunteer spots and five of them filled at the moment, so we definitely need more volunteers. They can volunteer for the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. shift or 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Which means there’s time to go to the Pub Crawl, too,” she added.

To volunteer, visit http://signup.com/go/ywyqzst to sign up.  For more information on either event, contact DMI at 839-1180 or visit the event website: https://downtownmilford.org/events/irish-weekend-in-milford/.

Ms. Pletcher and other DMI leaders said they hope the event remains one of the largest fundraisers for the organization. “The money raised through our generous Pub Crawl sponsors, hosts, and vendors also helps us fund DMI’s economic development activities in support of downtown,” she said.  “The Pub Crawl brings many to Downtown Milford each year, with the opportunity to see the town’s beautiful and historic merchant district. Even if they don’t shop the night of the Crawl, people get a great sense of the community and hopefully will come back and visit again.”

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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