Everyone’s Irish, Even in Wisconsin

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill

This past weekend my husband and I took a St. Patty’s getaway. Yes, on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish. And here in the Midwest, where we’re relishing an unseasonably warm spring, even the least celebratory of Wisconsinites was outdoors with great cheer.

First stop was Erin, Wis., an unincorporated community of 3790 people. Located in the foothills of the Holy Hill National Shrine, Erin honors its Irish roots in a big way. Every year, rain or shine, and no matter what day of the week St. Patrick’s falls, it celebrates with a full-blown parade.

Erin, Wisconsin St. Patrick's Day Parade

Like all parades, Erin’s St. Patrick’s parade is a fun way to promote small businesses. And, of course, every good Wisconsin parade must have horses.

Erin, Wisconsin St. Patrick's Day Parade

And tractors.

Antique truck at Erin, Wisconsin St. Patrick's Day Parade

And cool, old trucks.

Bagpipers at Erin, Wisconsin St. Patrick's Day Parade

And last, but not least, especially for a St. Patrick’s parade, there must be bagpipers.

St. Patrick's Day parade at Erin, WIsconsin, Washington Co.

Irish fashion is fun and intriguing.

St. Patrick's Day parade at Erin, WIsconsin, Washington Co.

I love this woman’s cape with its beautiful Celtic designs.

Erin Emmanuel Cemetery

The parade went right past Erin Emmanuel, a small cemetery where my husband’s Lohr ancestors are buried (no, not exactly Irish). The gate was locked but I was able to take pictures from the road.

Gravestones are such beautiful works of art, aren’t they?

52 Stafford Irish Inn, Plymouth, WI

After the parade, we headed on up to 52 Stafford, a historical Irish inn in Plymouth, Wis. We’ve stayed here before and have always been pleased with the beautiful building, the delicious food, and great service. Once again, we had a great time.

52 Stafford Irish Inn, Plymouth, WI

On Saturday, the bar was packed with people watching March Madness basketball games and enjoying Black and Tans or a Jamison (I’m a little softer and settled for a yummy Bailey’s on the rocks:-). Victory for both Wisconsin teams made for a happy crowd!

52 Stafford Irish Inn, Plymouth, WI

The 52 Stafford promotes itself as Wisconsin’s prettiest pub. With these beautiful stain glass windows and cherry millwork, they have a rightful claim.

52 Stafford Irish Inn, Plymouth, WI

On Saturday night, the hotel’s restaurant served Irish stew and corned beef with cabbage. It must have been good because this parlor-pub area was filled, as well as the restaurant’s dining room. A live Irish band topped off the festive atmosphere.

According to 52 Stafford’s information sheet, the 19-room hotel was built in 1892 and has been in continuous use for more than a century. The O’Dwanny family purchased it in 1978, and in 1987, they restored the building to its original appearance. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.

So, to you the O’Dwanny family, we say go raibh maith agaibh (thank you) for preserving this beautiful building. It’s stunning! And thank you, 52 Stafford and the Town of Erin, for a very fun St. Patty’s weekend!

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