Curtain Raiser

2 minute read
Michelle Hespe

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Given the extent of the Irish diaspora, you could throw a dart at a map of the world and be sure that wherever it lands, there’ll be a boisterous St. Patrick’s Day celebration come March 17. But short of being in the old country itself, few Paddy’s Day bashes can match those of Sydney for boozy conviviality and brio. The Irish influence in Australia (from antimonarchist rebellions to Ned Kelly) runs deep, and its epicenter is the historic, green-hued Mercantile Hotel, tel: (61-2) 9247 3570. Located in the heart of the Rocks, Sydney’s oldest quarter, the infamous drinking hole has been Australia’s premier Irish pub since it was founded in 1915, and its raucous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations—which begin with a Guinness-fueled, Irish breakfast (pictured here)—are legendary. If your liver isn’t up to that, you might like to catch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that will make its giddy way through Sydney on March 13 (the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day) and culminate in an outdoor concert of Irish music in the city’s Hyde Park. Forget that Celtic twilight: St. Patrick’s Day festivities are just as much fun in the golden, antipodean sunshine. For more information, visit

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