Do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Hawaii?
The question should be … Why wouldn’t we? We live in a place that’s practically green the whole year ‘round, our own tropical version of an Emerald Isle.
The state’s biggest St. Paddy’s Day celebration is always at Murphy’s Bar & Grill in downtown Honolulu. Every March 17, thousands of residents and visitors descend upon downtown's so-called “Irish corner”—on the corner of Merchant Street and Nuuanu Avenue—for a full evening of serious revelry.
The streets surrounding Murphy’s are closed to traffic, making way for food and drink booths, live music stages and much pinching if you’re one of the unfortunate souls not sporting some kind of green.
Owner Don Murphy has been hosting the party for just over two decades, growing it from a bustling celebration within Murphy’s walls to the massive block party you see in the photo above.
Murphy’s being an Irish pub and all, there’s, of course, always enough corned beef and cabbage and Guinness ale to feed half of Cork. But we recommend supplementing the traditional fare with a trip to the fresh oyster bar, a Gaelic steak or some Guinness-braised short ribs, and Murph’s simply amazing steamed clams.
While Murphy's will be open at 11 a.m. for lunch at the restaurant, and there will be booths across the street from noon to 3 p.m. with a children's fair, food, beverages, t-shirts, and other souvenirs, the party really starts at 5 p.m. on March 17. You’ll find the specifics here.
Erin go bragh!
Photo courtesy of Murphy's Bar & Grill