St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until next Saturday, but the Ottawa Irish Festival is already warming up.
The festivities began Thursday with a proclamation by Mayor Jim Watson and an “Irish wake” for Larry Bradley, parade marshal for last year’s St. Patrick’s Parade, at the Heart and Crown. Bradley is actually just fine, says Irish Society spokesman Bryan Daly, though he admits the annual joke has led to some misunderstandings.
“I think we’re gonna have to come up with new wording next year on this,” Daly said, “because there was another gentleman there where the family was getting an unbelievable amount of calls offering their condolences.”
This weekend’s main event is Saturday’s parade from city hall to Lansdowne Park for the Grand Irish Party.
“The Grand Irish Party is a very exciting part of it at the end because it’s a nice mix of people from the city of Ottawa and Gatineau and the Valley,” Daly said. “People all come in and listen to what we would say is not the traditional Irish music of Ireland, (but) more Ottawa Valley sound and touches.”
For more information, visit irishsocietyncr.com.