People Celebrate "St. Practice Day" Ahead of Irish Holiday

Finnish people call March 16th, the day before St. Patrick's Day, St. Urho's Day, but in Wausau, they call it "St. Practice Day" as many people "practice" their Irish traditions in preparation for the big holiday on Monday. Businesses, like pubs and restaurants are not complaining.

"St. Patrick's Day we see quite an uptick in business, especially this year with it being on a Monday we have the whole weekend that people are coming out," Lucky's Eastside Pub Manager in Wausau, Adam Hall, said.

They and other pubs have seen their pot-o-gold growing as people come in a steady stream starting as early as the morning. Traditional grub like corn beef and cabbage and Shepard's pie are served along side Irish drinks like stout beers, whiskey, and Irish car bombs. Some Sunday goers said they had a difficult time finding bars open to get these weekend-long specials, but they eventually found places like Great Dane Pub and Brewery in Wausau to get their green beer fix.

"I love St. Patrick's Day. Green is our favorite color, so we try and go out and find green beer, but you never need an excuse to drink some beer," said Sarah Becker.

Some people even used dollar coins to get into the holiday spirit.

Along with pubs and beer comes music. Many bands with Celtic flair like local band, We The Heathens, have also seen a boost in showings over the weekend.

"Yeah we played Friday at Limericks, yesterday at Dat Bar in Merrill and today we were going to play a show but there was scheduling conflicts and stuff like that, but otherwise we would have had three shows in a row," We The Heathens violinist and vocalist, Robin McDowell said.

Although they are technically a folk punk band, she said the Celtic sound they sometimes have gets people pumped, and often dancing and singing along.

"Everybody is a little Irish on St. Patty's Day," said Aaron Pischa.

We The Heathens will be playing at the Polack Inn in Wausau on March 22. You can also download their album here.

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