Patrons party up for St. Patrick's Day

Fionn MacCool's pulls out all stops for celebrating all things Irish

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fionn MacCool's in The Jacksonville Landing has been planning its St. Patrick's Day celebration for months, booking a lineup of Irish bands, preparing a special Irish menu and, of course, gathering the booze.

Some patrons started their St. Paddy's Day early at the pub, enjoying breakfast at 9 a.m.

“Who can turn down a good Irish breakfast?” Dona Crelia said. “I took my cholesterol medicine already." 

The menu Thursday included blood pudding, rashers, bangers and soda bread, washing it all down with Irish coffee.

“Every day is St. Paddy's Day for me, preparing for it is just crazy,” general manager Paul Glaser said. “It's the quantities we have to prep for. Chef's been working a lot of hours getting things ready for today."

Hundreds of people sported their green Thursday, and some of the men even wore skirts.

Jackie Revels has been to Ireland twice and said she loves celebrating its culture and beauty.

“You drink and they bring the whole family, even kids, and they sing all night long and they party," Revels said.

Others are gathered at the bar to watch some sports.

"Right now we're catching up on the first round of March Madness,” Gregory Harris said. “It's getting intense."

Fionn MacCool's also had green beer, about 40 kegs of Guinness and about 10 cases of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith reminded St. Patrick's Day revelers of the importance of a designated driver.

"If you're with a group of people, make sure that everyone has a safe way to get back home -- designated driver or cab services or bus routes or even having some place to sleep overnight where you're not going to be on the road,” Smith said.

Smith said it's possible to have a fun and safe St. Paddy's Day by getting plans in order before heading out to the pub.