10 Mar 2011

Fake Irish Drunk Fest Comes to RFK

A ShamrockFest party-goer

Oh God, it’s ShamrockFest time again. Every year we go through this. Hordes of drunks staggering their way back from RFK and trying (and, oh so often failing) to figure out how to use the Metro.

And yes, peeing. Like cats in mating season. All over the neighborhood and themselves. Every year those of us in close proximity to 19th Street batten down the hatches and get ready for the great swarm of green-shirted faux-Irish drunks using our alleys as public toilets.

Honestly, I’m a little annoyed at these folks, but I reserve my real ire at the organizers of this event. After all, you can’t advertise “seemingly endless beer trucks” and not know where all that beer is going to end up. ShamrockFest does a perfectly fine job providing port-a-potties for the attendees, but once they’re outside the gate, they’re on their own.

Let’s be honest. St. Patrick’s Day has about as much to do with celebrating Irish culture as Talk Like a Pirate Day has to do with Somalia’s. Maybe some of you really are going for the music (hey, it’s possible). But I doubt the guy yakking in front of my kids or the young ladies huddling between the car in front of my house with their pants around their ankles are really music purists. This is a booze fest, pure and simple.

Nor am I going to pretend I have some degree of moral superiority here. I enjoy a drink or twelve too. But let’s show a little pride, people. You’re not 19 anymore (well, many of you aren’t). You don’t have to huddle in a parking lot drinking crap beer and pretending it’s a good time. There’s plenty of places around here with good beer on tap, and if you can’t tell the difference, just stay home with a case of Miller Lite. It’s not like you improve your chances of hooking up by stumbling around in a vomit-encrusted shirt with “Screw Me – I’m Irish” on it.

Now, I have no hope the organizers of ShamrockFest are going to suddenly wake up and discover some sort of sense of civic responsibility. Nor will legions of drunk “twenty-one” year olds think, “Hey, better I should piss myself in the Metro than go into that alley and take care of business.” So, my neighbors and I will just suck it up and deal with it. This too shall pass.

After all, the amount of revenue MPD must draw in from writing all those public urination tickets has to do something to close the budget gap, right? Someone should buy those guys a beer; they’ve got a busy Saturday ahead.

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  • Liz

    I hate to interrupt your grump-fest, but the Dropkick Murphys are playing. And they are great.

  • Janet

    My sentiments about St Patrick’s Day festivities in general exactly. If I were Irish, I would not want to be associated with it any more than Italian Americans want to claim Snooki.

  • Matt

    Drinking beer at a festival around a lot of like minded people is to drinking Miller Light at home.
    much as
    Going to a concert is to watching a concert on TV.

    While both involve the same ingredients, they are worlds apart.

    That said, if I had drunk people urinating on my fence, I would pre-emptively shudder myself.

  • Jason Mitchell

    Yea I go to this most years. Some of these bands don’t come to DC very often. As long as the weather is decent it’s a great time. And peeing really isn’t that big of a deal. If anything, I would say the littering is much worse and is what MPD should be ticketing people for.

  • EH

    For what it’s worth, I saw a young-ish woman take a #2 on the E. Capitol St side grounds of Eastern HS in broad daylight a few weeks back. If you want to pick on public urination/defacation, let’s do it. I’m sure there are many other examples of that behavior we can complain about than what’s associated with a once-a-year concert festival.

  • http://yahoo.com HT

    “Get off my lawn.” – shakes fist-

  • Rake

    A better comment would have been:

    There’s plenty of places around here with good beer on tap, and if you can’t tell the difference, just stay home [ in Chantilly, or Glen Burnie] with a case of Miller Lite.

  • JK

    Batten down the hatches! OMG drunk people…. lighten up dude.

  • jmt321

    Word on the street is that Capital Hill interns that show their red badges at the gate get free admission.

  • Alex

    The problem with Shamrock fest isn’t so much the annoying drunks from Glen Burnie and Chantilly…it’s the fact that they have the exact same bands every year! Only the main headliner changes. After that, it’s always Carbon Leaf, a bunch of regional “irish” bands and the rest is filled out by every crappy bar band from nova and Dewey Beach.

  • Mark

    I prefer my RFK with a refreshing cup of 2011 DC United.

  • Steve

    Thanks for reminding me about this. Me and the Mrs. are going to go for sure now. Might be the only “olds” in attendance, but what the hell.

  • marybindc

    YES. This. With an extra side of Janet’s comment.