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Maher's Pub to feature dancers, music, wolfhounds and much more

It is going to be a grand weekend for the Irish, starting today in Lake Oswego.

Maher’s Pub will be turning this town into a bastion of Irishness with its fourth annual St. Patrick’s Day. The best person to ask about all of the wonderful things planned is Gabrielle Maher.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Maher said. “People are loving it. They don’t have to go to downtown Portland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They can go to a great festival right in this community. The festival gets bigger and bigger every year.”

The Irish dancers start kicking up their heels today at 5 p.m. in the big tent set up on the grounds of Maher’s Pub at 352 B Ave. Performing will be the Clack Bagpipers and the Jacob Merlin and Sara Billings Band. That will set the tone for the next three days until the festival closes on Sunday at 9 p.m.

Patrons of the festival might get lucky and win a raffle for a vacation to Ireland sponsored by Jenny Irish Tours. It is a value of $6,000. The raffle winner must be present for the drawing on Friday at 7:50 p.m.

Kids’ day starts on Saturday at noon, with many fun family activities. Special guests will be some Irish wolfhounds.

Sunday will get off to a tasty start with a traditional Irish breakfast from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Reservations are highly recommended for this popular feast. An authentic Irish breakfast includes bacon rashers, sausage, eggs, tomatoes, baked beans, white or black pudding, potatoes, Irish tea and soda bread.

Music will be a big focus of the fest, and Maher is excited about the quality of Irish music performers coming to Lake Oswego. The lineup of talent includes Eddie Parente and Thom Dudley, Bill Mullen, Will Bradley, the Lo Babas Band, Andrew Paul Woodworth, the Lost Highway Men and the Brothers Dunne. An Irish session, in which musicians will gather and jam to their hearts’ content, will be held on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event will feature Feckin Beers brewed by Mark Maher, Maher’s very own brewmaster. “People are loving it,” Gabrielle Maher said.

They love it so much that the Mahers have opened the new Feckin Brewery in Oregon City.

There is much community support for the festival. Sponsors include Our Lady of the Lake, Play Boutique and Step It Up.

This year’s event includes a fundraiser for the Lake Oswego Fire Department. Maher’s has supplied firefighters with a book of tickets for the Irish tour drawing, and they will receive 100 percent of sales to purchase equipment for the department.

“This is a great way for people in Lake Oswego to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Maher said. “They didn’t have to go out and look for a celebration. We stepped in.”

For complete information about the St. Patrick’s Day festival, visit maherspub.com or call 503-305-8087.by: VERN UYETAKE - Mark Maher, brewmaster for Maher's Pub, gets in some beer pouring practice by pouring a Guinness for the St. Patrick's Day Festival that starts Thursday evening in Lake Oswego.

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