Area residents looking to get “shamrocked” over St. Patrick’s Day weekend had a chance to do so at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station.
The station hosted its first St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday as a continuation of an older observance of the holiday in the Jamestown area.
According to Lee Harkness, general manager of the train station, the renovated Erie-Lackawanna Train Station building was chosen as the venue in which Jamestown’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day would be held. He said last year’s event was canceled after the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation were merged into one entity, which led to much disappointment among Jamestown residents.
“We’ve had the St. Patrick’s Day thing here (in Jamestown) for many years now, and it was always a well-attended family event,” Harkness said. “Last year, when DJDC merged with JRC, JRC decided not to do this and maybe move in a different direction. So, we had a lot of people that asked about it. And I thought, ‘A lot of times the weather is horrible, even worse than the holiday parade, and we’ve got a lot of room here (at the train station.) So, let’s just do it inside.'”
During the earlier end of the six-hour event, Harkness said he was anticipating between 200 and 300 attendees based on pre-sale tickets. He said this is a slight drop in overall attendance compared with the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that were held at Brooklyn Square in previous years, but that was expected to be the case since this year’s event is being held indoors and space is more limited.
The celebration began at 1 p.m., when gallons of green dye were dumped into the Chadakoin River from the recently refurbished Sprague Street bridge. A handful of spectators lined the river’s edge as the garishly green water slowly coursed its way past the train station, at which time the 96 Highlanders band performed traditional Irish songs on bagpipe to officially commence the event.
A traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage, along with a Guinness Irish stew, was provided to attendees by Miley’s Old Inn – located at 845 E. Second St. Other entertainment included performances by the Irish Dancers of Olean and Stone Row, a high-energy Celtic band from Buffalo.