You'd think that one of the last places that you'd find a big St. Patrick's Day celebration would be in Hawaii, but that's simply not the case.
The islands of Hawaii have a long history of prominent citizens of Irish birth or Irish descent. Many of the first arrived on the numerous British sailing ships which arrived in the islands in the years following the first arrival by Captain James Cook in 1778.
One of the most prominent was James Campbell who was born in Londonderry and who, following his arrival in Hawaii in 1849, married a Maui chiefess and who became of the largest landowners in the islands. Today, the James Campbell Company which succeeded the 107-year old estate of James Campbell in 2007, remains one of the largest real estate investment management and property development companies in Hawaii.
On the island of Oahu there are some great ways to celebrate the Irish traditions of Hawaii and the Irish in you as a visitor.
Here are a few that will take place over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
The St. Patrick's Day celebration at Royal Hawaiian Center will take place on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in the Center's Royal Grove, located between Buildings B and C, along Kalakaua Avenue.
Free and open to the public, the celebration will feature Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawai‘i which will perform the traditional art of piping and drumming, featuring the talents of 18 pipers, four drummers, an Irish dance team and a student troupe. The band joined together with members of the Black Watch (42nd Royal Highland Regiment) during the regiment's training visit to Hawaii in 1993. Since then, they have been performing in symbolic tartan kilts - the military uniform worn by members of the Black Watch.
With its central location, Royal Hawaiian Center is an easy walk for anyone staying in Waikiki. For others, a special $5 parking validation will be available at the Center's Lei ‘Ohu Guest Services.
The 46th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, sponsored by the Friends of St. Patrick, Hawaii will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 from noon to approximately 1:30 p.m. The parade takes place on Kalakaua Avenue, the main street through Waikiki.
The parade will proceed from Fort DeRussy to Kapiolani Park. This year's parade is expected to have 800 marchers, 50 vehicles, 2 floats and 5 bands.
Following the parade, the traditional post-parade party will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Kelly O'Neils which is located at 311 Lewers Street in Waikiki. In addition to the food and drink, there will be a sale of St. Patrick's Day memorabilia to help raise funds for the Friends of St. Patrick.
There's plenty of food and drink and the club will be selling St Patrick's Day paraphernalia to raise funds for the Friends of St. Patrick which awards more than $12,000 in annual scholarships.
Located at 2 Merchant Street in Honolulu, Murphy's Bar and Grill has historically played host to the island's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration. In fact, it has gotten so large over the years that it has become a full-blown block party which the brewers of Guinness have called "the single biggest St. Patrick's Day party any one bar throws in the United States."
If you were a fan of the ABC TV series LOST, you're sure to recognize this important LOST filming location.
This year will be Murphy's 26th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration. Everything starts at noon on Sunday, March 17, 2013 with great food and drink. As has become their tradition, for every pound of corned beef sold, $2.00 is donated to the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation.
The big part of the day begins at sunset when Murphy's closes down Merchant Street from Nu'uanu Avenue to Bethel Street; Nu'uanu Avenue from King Street to the Nimitz Highway; and Marin Lane from Smith Street to Nu'uanu Avenue. Then they bring out the kegs of beer, other spirits and traditional Irish food, and the block party begins. Entertainment will be provided by the local Irish band Doolin' Rakes and the local rock band Pirhanna Brothers.