St. Patrick’s Day revelers started early

Every hour on the hour, Megan MacFarlane dropped a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey into a plastic cup filled halfway with Guinness.

“Today, we open and close the bar,” MacFarlane, a 21-year-old UF anthropology senior said as she and her five friends clanked their cups.

They were among the St. Patrick’s Day early-risers who hit pubs and bars for the flowing taps of Guinness and a cornucopia of Irish shots — and some Shepherd’s pie, but always between green beers.

They got to Mother’s Pub & Grill for the 7 a.m. opening to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

By 7:30 a.m., about 20 people were already at the pub — the majority of whom were, or at least claimed to be, of Irish descent.

“Today, everyone should take advantage of being a little Irish,” MacFarlane said.

The reason beer is extra popular on St. Patrick’s Day is because it falls during Lent, said Shauna Dixon, owner of Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub.

“In Ireland, it’s very common to give up alcohol for Lent,” she said. “St. Patrick’s Day is the one day during that time when we can drink.”

But St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t a day for culture in Jason Russler’s eyes. It was a day for drinking.

Russler, a 22-year-old water resources and engineering graduate student, went to bed at 9 p.m. the night before to prepare for a day of guzzling green beer.

As the morning progressed, waitresses brought out more and more trays of sloshing kelly green concoctions.

Each time a new round arrived at Thomas Iacometta’s table, the 22-year-old advertising senior and a group of seven men chanted, “Everybody, everybody get f—-d up,” in a rhythm that was nonexistent by 9 a.m.

Mother’s Security Manager Sean Wright walked around the bar, making sure rowdy patrons didn’t stand on tables.

“For some reason, people tend to get a little more stupid on St. Patrick’s Day,” Wright said. “It’s like it’s everyone’s 21st birthday.”

The pub served 100 car bombs by 9 a.m, said bartender Patrick Schaller, and about 1,000 during the course of the day. It also went through 15 kegs of beer.

MacFarlane was trading car bombs for water by 9:30 a.m. to pace herself.

“I have a blanket, pillow and a Gatorade in my car out front,” she said. “That way I can take a mid-day nap and get right back out here.”

Source: Adrianna Paidas, alligator.org

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