St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t have been more perfect at Bailey’s Center, where more than 400 residents and their guests came out to celebrate the Bailey’s Center Merchants’ Association’s Third Annual IrishFest.
The event was held on Thursday, March 17, when the Irish national holiday was cheerfully greeted with traditional Irish food and drink, including green beer, Irish dancing, even some jovial sideline dancing by the Center’s little guests, live music and much more.
And, of course, what IrishFest event wouldn’t be complete without Billy Kirkland, aka "Billy the Leprechaun," of Billy’s Bikes & Rentals zooming around the Center with a pot full of festive goodies and candy?
The BCMA would also like to extend a warm thank you to Ric Base, president of the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce and Bridgit Stone-Budd, Director of Marketing for the Chamber who showed off their stellar emceeing skills on stage. Bridgit and Ric welcomed all the performers, and gave away lots of prizes from the BCMA merchants to guests who correctly answered some Irish trivia questions.
Onstage, performances included BIG ARTS Community Chorus, Kellyn Celtic Arts Irish Dance Academy and live music by The Hat Boys and the BCMA’s very own Jeff Calder from K O R Island Provisions, now performing regularly at George & Wendy’s Corner Grill, who also provided green beer. Food and drink was provided by Bailey’s General Store and Irish cream lattes by Coffee Bar @ Bailey’s. And for the little ones, Miss Silvia provided some very impressive face painting designs at no charge.
“We would like to thank everyone who had made Irishfest yet another special event, said Ken Kasten, BCMA president. “We love having so many guests at our events and we look forward to having them here for all of our festivities.”
The 15 merchants who are members of the BCMA are Bailey’s General Store, Bailey’s True Value Hardware, Coffee Bar @ Bailey’s, George & Wendy’s Corner Grill, Hillgate Communications, Island Cinema, Island Cleaners, Lily & Co. Jewelers, K O R Island Provisions, Nick’s Frozen Yogurt, Sanibel Barber Shop, Sanibel Shell Automotive, Select Vacation Properties, The Grog Shop and The Video Scene.
Billy Kirkland, aka 'Billy the Leprechaun,' handed out green beads and other goodies to attendees.