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Old Brogue Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

Crowds line up early for annual celebration.

Patrons of The Old Brogue in Great Falls fill the front porch during their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday.

Patrons of The Old Brogue in Great Falls fill the front porch during their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— On Saturday morning, the electronic clock that hangs on the wall of The Old Brogue in Great Falls read "0 Days, 0 Hours, 0 Minutes and 0 seconds" for the first time in 366 days. The clock spends most of the year counting down to St. Patrick’s Day, and it hadn’t read zero for long before people started showing up.

"I try to get here as early as possible, because this is one of my favorite parties of the year, and it always seems to fill up quick," said John August of Great Falls. "You know for sure everyone’s going to be wearing green and ready to have a good time."

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From left, Deborah Hall, Kelly Laurienti, Dana Bowman and Amy Papanu celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at The Old Brogue on March 17, 2012.

Old Brogue owner Mike Kearney said that more than 300 cars were there first thing in the morning for the weekly Cars and Coffee Event, and the crowd only grew from there.

Visitors were treated to music throughout the day, as well as a selection of traditional Irish fare.

"The bangers and mash are one of my favorites anyway, and they’re pretty authentic here," said Sean DeWitt of Vienna. "I lived in Ireland for a few years after college, and this is the closest I’ve come to getting that same taste with the sausage, mashed potatoes and mushy peas."

Dana Bowman of Great Falls and several friends came complete with green buckled hats with bright red pigtails attached.

"This is one of our annual traditions every year," she said. "And it’s one I think we’ll keep up for a while."