Green Kegs & Music Take Over Ionia

Posted at 6:59 PM, Mar 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-16 22:48:33-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– The green beer was flowing from hundreds of kegs bright and early Saturday morning as party goers embraced their love of  all things St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Grand Rapids.

Decked out in green and bundled up, the cold snowy weather didn’t appear to slow the party down.  Thousands of people packed the streets and bars for the 2013 Irish on Ionia street party.

The event is hosted by BarFly Ventures, which owns McFadden’s Irish Saloon. The 2013 event sold out of pre-sale tickets in record time.

Numbers for the party were expected to hit 14,000, according to organizers.

The festival, which stretches down Ionia Avenue from Weston to Oakes,  kicked off with a ‘free Kegs and Eggs’  buffet for the first 300 people in line.

Musical acts included everything from traditional Celtic bands  to rock.

“These events take about eight months of planning and you are starting early and trying to add something new to make it interesting and to make it better, so yeah we’ve increased the size of the stage and increased the entertainment, explained  Shane Philipsen with BarFly Ventures.