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Watering holes to go green on traditional date for celebration

READY TO SERVE: Karolina Wysocki practises her serving of Irish brews at Concord's Dub Linn Gate pub in preparation for St. Patrick's Day celebrations on Monday. Photo by Philip Alves/Vaughan Today

Rivers of green beer will flow from countless taps in bars and pubs across the city Monday, as barkeeps and thirsty patrons alike enjoy the luck of the Irish doled out in pint-sized portions.

Despite a split among Catholics over what day to celebrate — it has to do with a rare scheduling conflict with Holy Week — Vaughan’s Irish pub authority, Dub Linn Gate at 50 Interchange Way, is sticking with March 17 for its St. Patrick’s Day party.

“It’s pretty big, not just for people that are Irish, but people that are Irish at heart,” said Sonia Berry, the pub’s assistant manager. “It is the busiest day of the year for us.”

It’s much the same at Thornhill’s Tickled Toad at 330 Steeles Ave. West, where the green beer and Guinness are expected to flow freely.

“On St. Patrick’s Day, everybody likes to come out and party,” said Jason Toms, one of the bar’s managers.

March 17 marks the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death; he is believed to have died sometime between 460 and 490 CE. This year, however, St. Patrick’s Day falls during Holy Week, the most solemn time of the year for Catholics, says Neil MacCarthy, communications director for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Because of the conflict, St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated on a different day, as is the case this year in Ireland. Irish bishops rescheduled the party for March 15.

The Archdiocese of Toronto, which includes Vaughan, won’t be following Ireland’s lead.

“We haven’t put out any official proclamation from the Archdiocese of Toronto, but I can tell you we are having our St. Patrick’s Day mass down at (St. Michael’s) cathedral on Friday,” MacCarthy said.

“It’s a day that’s important for the Irish roots in our city, and so we certainly are taking the appropriate means to celebrate it, but just a little bit earlier this year,” he added.

Vaughan Today
Online: March 16, 2008 [link]