By Daniel Lane
Crowds came from near and far Saturday and Sunday to Murrieta’s Town Square Park to “Get Shamrocked.”
The two-day festival, organized by the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce and The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, brought top Irish and Celtic live entertainment, as well as beer, wine, food and activities.
“For a first-year event, we had a phenomenal turnout and the bands were extremely happy with everything that went on,” said Patrick Ellis, Murrieta Chamber CEO/president. “Everyone seemed really happy and the weather was great."
Saturday, day one of the event, was geared toward guests 21 and older. Along with ice-cold beer and other alcoholic drinks, there was live music played by The Tossers, Young Dubliners and a local band, Brick Top Blaggers.
“The police and security had no issues whatsoever,” Ellis told Patch Sunday afternoon. “We had absolutely no incidents.”
Kids and their families enjoyed Sunday, day two of the event. The Family Fun Day was geared toward all ages, with activities such as face painting, jump houses, clowns and other family and kid-friendly attractions.
They also enjoyed music by The Fenians, Ireland’s biggest folk group, Dublin City Ramblers, and San Diego-based Lexington Field and Sligo Rags.
Nobody went hungry as vendors served up everything from traditional Irish to American fare.
A favorite among many festival-goers was “old time” shortcake from Lil' Miss Short Cakes, made with recipes handed down through generations.
“It’s local and we like to stay in our community,” said Holle Davis, co-owner of the mobile cupcakery. “We like to stay local and what better way to do that than to come celebrate with the Irish.”
It appeared expectations for the event were met if not exceeded as guests mingled on the grass, clapping along with festive music and entertainment numbers.
The festival was something Ellis said he and Paul Little, owner of The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, began dreaming up several months ago.
“So we talked more and more and this is what came out of it," Ellis said.
Holding the event in September allowed them to book bands that closer to St. Patrick’s Day would have already been booked. The event was also planned on a weekend that did not interfere with any other major ones in southwest Riverside County, he said.
When Ellis was asked if this would become an annual event he said, “That is the hope, yes!”
Daniel Lane is a freelance writer/photographer for Patch and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.