St. Paddy’s Day at Smitty McGee’s: A 22-Year Tradition

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If you see a group of green-haired folks wearing green t-shirts sitting in beach chairs in West Fenwick Ireland… or Island… on Saturday morning, don’t be surprised. Last year, people camped out in front of Smitty McGee’s Raw Bar & Restaurant and a line of jolly people wrapped around the building before 11 am. This Saint Paddy’s Day (the way traditional Irish folks refer to the holiday) Smitty McGee’s is planning for a similar turn out.

Smitty McGee’s is the ultimate Irish Pub. Come March 17th, Saint Patrick’s shenanigans are upped even more. Smitty’s owner, Dawn McGee, will be celebrating her birthday on the holiday. Dawn will be buzzing around the bar and restaurant all day participating in a shared St. Paddy’s day-birthday bonanza. Working beside Dawn will be 9 bartenders and at least 6 servers wearing their best St. Patrick’s Day outfits.
 
“We’ve had 22 years of Saint Paddy’s Day celebrations and every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said Karen Fritz, Smitty McGee’s General Manager. “This year is going to be even better than last. It’s like a double-whammy – a parade and a party.”
 
The party will get started with pints of green beer. All domestic drafts will be a lovely shade of green and only cost $1.75 all day. All regular bar beers, mixed drinks, and shooters will be available, also.
 
From Ireland to the United States, it’s become a tradition to eat corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick’s Day. The cooks at Smitty’s make the spicy masterpiece from scratch. The slow-cooked delicacy takes a couple of days to prepare. Spices are added to the cabbage and the corned beef is seasoned before being boiled for a few hours.
 
A Smitty’s manager says, “Yes, the corned beef and cabbage is shamrockin’ good!” The tasty special only appears on the menu once a year, so corned beef lovers are encouraged to order some quickly while it lasts. The Irish specialty costs just $5.99 on Saturday and pairs well with green beer.
One Smitty’s manager paints all of the windows while another decorates the inside with shiny shamrocks and glittery clovers. A section of the bar will be cleared of furniture so guests can shake their shamrocks, under the shamrocks. 
 
“Our walls will be bending, people will be dancing, and we will be packed. It’s our busiest day of the year; busier than Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Halloween. Nothing’s quite like St. Paddy’s,” said Fritz.
 
Party attendees can dance to rhythms provided by DJ WAX from noon to 8 pm, followed by Funk-O-Licious from 8 pm to close. A surprise performance by the Ocean City Bag Pipe Band will happen sometime on Saturday evening. The bagpipe band will travel up the coast after the OC parade and always chooses to end their voyage at Smitty’s.They’ll perform inside the bar area for roughly one hour.
Look for the Smitty’s crew in the Ocean City parade near the bagpipers. They’ll be cruising through town in a fleet of vehicles donning four-leaf-clovers; a monster truck, a big Hummer, a little Hummer, and a Jeep. The parade starts at noon near 59th Street and continues south to 45th Street.
 
Not only will Smitty McGee’s have great drink and food specials, they will also be doing a ton of giveaways throughout the day. Saint Patrick’s Day inspired necklaces, beads, hats, tiaras, and more. Special St. Paddy’s Day t-shirt will be on sale, too.
 
Route 54, the entire Smitty’s parking lot, and the streets of the homes across the street will be covered in vehicles belonging to those inside of Smitty McGee’s on Saturday. Just like people waiting to get into the bar, taxi cabs will line to streets just waiting for tipsy celebrators to flag them for a ride home.  For 22 years, the Irish bar has been the place to be on Saint Patrick’s Day. Dawn, Karen, and the Smitty’s staff are planning for this year’s Saint Paddy’s (and birthday) celebration to top all others.