March 18, 2013
* photo by Noa Siegrist
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bar Stroll
The 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day bar stroll took
place recently and for the second straight year, Kathy & I got to
participate together. This year we were joined in the shenanigans by our
friends Noa and Lee. For the past few years, I have taken photos for the
founder and organizer of the event, our friend Rick who has been there since
the beginning when the stroll was actually a race, known then as the St.
Patrick’s Day Suds Run.
Jill & Graf
The competitive nature and increasingly number of ill
participants who could not handle running over a mile and downing beers at a
series of a dozen or more stops precipitated a move to a more leisurely and
popular bar stroll a few years in and it has been one of the largest events of
the spring in Key West ever since. A few of the old original suds Run crew are
still around, including our friend Buco, who won some of those earliest races
and as recognition is given entry # 0001 every year.
Traditionally held on the Saturday that is closest to St. Patrick’s
day itself, the event was held this on the day prior . We gathered at the starting
location along with perhaps a thousand other revelers, both official
participants and those who simply tag along, often pulling wagons, kegs and
small homemade bars along with them on the route.
Robyn & Bethany
Michael & Lee
The weather was perfect and the crowd, which was a diverse
mixture of locals, spring breakers, old-timers and young kids almost all
wearing green, either the t-shirts from the event or some other manner of
festive St. Paddy’s gear. At noon sharp the beer started flowing at the
Southernmost Beach Café as Rick gave the official starting command. We had an additional two large groups of friends that
we sort of took turns hanging out with in a very disorganized meandering as we
headed down Duval Street, stopping at every official stop for our free beer
plus a number of unofficial stops that were not actually part of the organized
Marco & Tess
With-in a few stops the mass of participants was strung out
along the length of Duval Street, a green-hued parade of happy people enjoying
the day. Stops included the Tiki Bar at the Southernmost Hotel pool, , McConnell’s
Irish Pub, Aqua, Charlie Mac’s, Jack’s Seafood at the La Concha, Kelly’s, The
Bull, Rick’s and the Schooner Wharf Bar.
Kathy & I made additional stops at the likes of the Green
Parrot as well and we stopped with our friends in front of the Court House for
their annual St. Patrick’s Day pyramid photo, which is always fun. In fact the
entire day was fun, a lot of fun. I’m sure that I had a few too many, but Kathy
was there to keep me on the straight and narrow.
One of the traditions of the stroll is for pairs to perform
wheelbarrow walks across Duval Street in front of Rick’s & Sloppy Joe’s.
The police actually stand there and stop traffic for the generally drunken
strollers to perform this feat, which often has hilarious spills and thrills as
drunken wheelbarrowers often face plant into the asphalt.
We did not see that happen this year, but
sadly heard that it happened to a friend of ours who bruised her face up pretty
good. Ouch. Well time heals and maybe next year she will be content to just watch