'St. Practice Day' pre-parties prepare Ann Arbor for early St. Pat's revelry on Sunday
Lisa Carolin | For AnnArbor.com
University of Michigan students clad in everything from Leprechaun hats to green spandex pants, and everything green in between could be spotted along Hill Street near Washtenaw for much of the day Saturday.
The reason: Some University of Michigan fraternities were celebrating St. Patrick's Day a day early by offering party hats and other partying accessories earlier in the day than usual.
According to the Ann Arbor Police Department, there were a lot of parties going on Saturday - dubbed "St. Practice Day" - but nothing too significant.
"It was light compared to a football Saturday," said Sgt. Travis Strang from the AAPD. "We had some noise complaints and some cases where people drank too much, but no one is in custody.
"We're really focused on tomorrow."
That's because on St. Patrick's Day, Strang says six local bars will be opening at 7 a.m. The green beer is already flowing Saturday at area some bars, including the Village Pub on Washtenaw, Banfield's Bar & Grill on Packard, and at Conor O'Neills on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.
Business was booming this afternoon at the Village Pub and busy as well at Banfield's.
"Today is St. Practice Day," said Caroline Kaganov, general manager of Conor O'Neills. "The place is hopping. We have Irish dancers and bagpipers, Irish music all day, and drink specials every hour."
As one of the bars opening at 7 a.m. Saturday, Conor O'Neills will be offering an Irish breakfast that includes Irish bacon and sausages, black and white pudding, and Irish brown bread (a.k.a. "The Donegal Fry.")
Aubree's in Ypsilanti's Depot Town starts selling its green beer at midnight Saturday and is also offering corned beef and cabbage. At Haab's Restaurant on Michigan Avenue, there will be a St. Patrick's Day dinner Sunday - along with green beer.