ORRVILLE — For years, Carolyn Clarke and Tom Lynch spent their St. Patrick's days on the sidewalks on Cleveland, watching their hometown's famous St. Patrick's Day parade.
This year, they're joining forces to bring the party to Wayne County.
The Cleveland-area natives had never met until recently when Clarke, the events manager at The Pines Golf Club, went in search of all things Irish to feature in a St. Patrick's Day party she was planning for the North Millborne Road venue.
She called St. Mary Catholic Church in Wooster and someone there mentioned that downtown Wooster had a new Irish imports store. Clarke called Lynch, who opened the store late last year, and "lo and behold, in conversation we found we knew the same people in Cleveland."
And Lynch bemoaned the fact that work was keeping him from the Cleveland parade.
No matter, Clarke said, he was welcome to join the party at The Pines.
Lynch will be bringing a pop-up store to the site for the event, which will include Celtic music from Upriver, dancing and a choice of a corned beef dinner, corned beef sandwich platter or reuben sandwich platter — all for a $10 presale ticket, $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance at The Pines or at Lynch's, which is located in the southeast quadrant of Public Square in downtown Wooster.
Music will be played from 7-10 p.m., while the buffet will open at 6 p.m. In addition, Clarke said, The Pines restaurant and bar will open at 4 p.m. with a variety of Irish drink specials. Both the restaurant and the banquet hall will offer green beers for $2 and beer, cheese dip. pretzels and Irish nachos at an extra cost.
What's an Irish nacho? According to Clarke, it's shredded corned beef and sauerkraut topped with melted swiss cheese and thousand island dressing atop a nacho.
"And it's really good," she said.
Earlier in the day, Lynch will be busy at his shop, which will play host to a bagpiper for the day and will welcome shoppers interested in all manner of Irish wares. Since the store opened, Lynch said, he has found a good number of locals who, like himself, are proud of their Irish heritage. The number of people "is impressive," he said. "I had no clue. It's been stunning to me and my wife."
But Irish heritage is not a requirement to attend the party. "Even if you're not Irish," Clarke said, "you are on St. Patrick's Day."
Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at email@example.com or 330-287-1655.