Having arrived at our beautiful North Attleboro base just south of Boston, 3 full days were spent painting, re-wiring and preparing the Shebeen for its first official outing – the Newport St. Patrick’s Day parade in Rhode Island on Saturday the 12th of March (they always hold their parade on a Saturday either side of March 17th).
We arrived at our set-up point at 10am on a beautiful East coast morning. The intrigue from the passers-by and our fellow parade participants was great to see, universally giving us positive feedback. It gave us the opportunity to tell our unique story to a lot of very confused locals wondering what a mobile Irish bar actually was, and how it came to be in Rhode Island! The best explanation for anyone is to experience it for themselves, and we’ll never tire of that gasping reaction people give once they step through the Shebeen’s front door for a peek inside!
As our Irish luck would have it, the Boston Police Force Pipes & Drums Gaelic column were directly in front of us during the parade! They really were a great bunch, and we were happy to offer our pick-up truck as a resting place for their instruments, while they each took a toilet break all through the parade! Once the parade was over, we were thrilled to welcome them back to the Shebeen for a quick session and a lift back to their cars…we were surely the most secure “vehicle” driving through Rhode Island that day! Interestingly, we were also joined by a group of Patriots.
Bringing our little pub on wheels to 33 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry has been quite the adventure, and it appears we’ve captured the imagination of locals and the media, with coverage in Forbes, Boston Magazine, a lovely report from TV Network NECN, IrishCentral.com, and Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine among others. We even heard that we were featured on Joe.ie back home this week too!
We are now in talks about a media blitz in New York and we plan to do a photo shoot outside the Gillette stadium, the home ground to the New England Patriots who have a massive following back home in Ireland.
We’re delighted to also report that we are already seeing the real benefits of the trip and the media coverage, with a number of wedding and party bookings for our Shebeens, both here in Massachusetts and at home in Ireland.
That’s all for this week from a man and his pub! – John
A full gallery of images is on our Facebook page HERE.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Our next blog features the big South Boston parade, a visit to the wonderful Canton GAA club at the Irish Cultural Centre, and an unexpected snow storm!