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Bites: Kiss me Blarney stones! 

If the last name didn’t give it away, I’m Irish. Like, really Irish.

And I’m proud to belong to a race of people who can survive on food so bland, even the potatoes got bored with growing.

So when the opportunity arises to celebrate such strong heritage here in America, I don’t hesitate.

That’s why I was thrilled to the kilt to learn that the first-ever Blarney by the Beach Irish celebration is coming to Avila on June 9.

Now, some folks take issue with the Irish heritage being lumped in with a bunch of drunken college kids looking for an excuse to celebrate their 1/16th Irish genes and the chance to wear all their green attire, but I take a different view of such festivities.

You see, kids, as someone who has been to the Motherland, I can tell you that that the Irish really aren’t super heavy drinkers. Well, they are—except they don’t make a scene about it. That’s what makes being an Irish-American so unique and interesting. I mean, America is the country that brought you Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, a place where Santa Claus gets beat up at the Super Bowl Half Time Show. It’s also the country that brought you The Jersey Shore and other loud reality television shows.

Let’s face it: We’re a loud and proud people. So why not learn a little family history while embracing the present by getting rip-roaring drunk by the beach?

I’m kidding. Those were not fine examples of American culture, but come on, folks, we can still have a great time and enjoy the company of other people who happen to like Irish people and booze, right?

The Blarney at the Beach Irish Festival looks like an absolute blast, and—all kidding aside—a classy affair, too, which is something I’m in desperate need of.

Tickets for general admission cost $25, and there are McCarthy’s VIP tickets available for $50 that get you exclusive access to the VIP lounge, VIP parking, and Irish food samples.

The event is 21 and older only, and there will be plenty of Tullamore Dew, Guinness, Harp Lager, Smithwick’s, and other drinks with which to wet your whistle.

Young Dubliners will be providing the Irish tunes for the event, and Rooney’s will be providing the Irish grub.

There’s free bike valet parking and a free shuttle service as well. The Blarney will go from 1 to 6 p.m.

Best of all? The whole thing is a benefit for the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center. Now what can get better than that?

Tickets are available, along with other info, at

Calendar Editor Maeva Considine thinks salt is a spice. Send her your food news and Irish jokes to

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