I couldn’t wait to get home this past weekend, and neither could my friends. We couldn’t wait to get home so much that we left late Thursday night after all of our classes, just to be sure the eight-hour car ride back wouldn’t drag us down and take it’s toll on us for Friday. We’ve heard stories about this weekend and knew we needed to be on our A-game in order to keep up through Monday. We’ve been waiting for years to finally be able to experience Irish Weekend fully, and now that we’re all 21, we just couldn’t wait.
I woke up Friday morning to three missed calls from my friend. She told me to get my act together and get ready because I was meeting her down at the festival by two o’clock at the latest. This was fine because I was ready to get started—and so it began.
One of the best advantages to having the Irish Festival take place a few blocks away from my house is that I don’t have to drive there. Parking is miserable—so miserable that there were hardly any spots all the way up to eight blocks away on my street on 9th Ave. So I left my house and walked to my friend’s, meeting up with her on the way and making our way to the festival.
I do remember the Irish Festival when I was younger. There really is something for people of all ages, not just the drinking and debauchery coming from the bars when the sun goes down. I remembered that when I approached the scene and saw the tents set up in the middle of the streets for blocks, carrying green t-shirts and Irish memorabilia and hand-made arts and crafts. The restaurants and food places were mobbed. People dressed in green were walking everywhere and parading the streets in their entireties. This was the Irish Festival I remembered. Except it was better.
Instead of walking around like we’d usually do, we went straight to the bar. Westy’s was our first stop, and it was already mobbed. Instead of taking a seat at the bar, we stood and drank our beers, while watching the game they had on TV and standing shoulder to shoulder with the people next to us. This was my first taste of the Irish Fest, and I liked it already. Five beers in and five hours later, we decided it was time to head home for a little powernap and rejuvenation in order to come back that night.
Around 9’clock, my brother, Brandon, knocked on my bedroom door. “It’s t-shirt time,” he said, quoting the TV show, “Jersey Shore.”
This, naturally, put me in the mood to party, so I got ready and went downstairs to join Bran and my other brother and the rest of the crew walking down with us to continue the drinking.
When my brothers found out that I’ve been 21 for an entire summer and have never had a Tully Nut from the Number 1 Tavern, or that I’ve never even been to the Number 1 Tavern, they knew instantly that would be our first stop.
It was all a blur after that drink. What they say about it is true—all you need is one. But even after being forced to chug the Tully Nut in the matter of five minutes, I certainly couldn’t stop then.
Drinks at the Number 1 turned into shots at Keenan’s. We waited in line for 20 minutes to be let into the outside bar because the bar was at maximum capacity, but the wait was worth it. The outside bar was mobbed. I’ve never seen so many people in Wildwood before, and I seemed to know a lot of them. Keenan’s turned into the place to be, so we decided to stay majority of the night.
About three whiskey shots in, I thought this was going to be our last stop. I was mistaken. Little by little the crowd started dwindling. I knew it was around 2:30 AM, so I figured people went home. But what I didn’t know was that they went to close the bar at Echos. Thankfully, my brothers, being a little older and in their late 20’s, wanted to go home. I pleaded no contest to this, as long as we stopped at got something to eat.
I don’t remember much about the rest of the night, except that we decided to have pizza. I woke up around noon Saturday to my slice sitting untouched on the table next to the couch, where I passed out at around 3:30 AM. I smelled the coffee coming from the kitchen and instantly wanted to throw up, looking up to see my brother standing over me with his own cup.
“Rest up,” he said looking down and smiling. “Round two tonight.”