Monday, March 25, 2013
Mark Sellers explains how Irish on Ionia grew into Michigan's largest St. Patrick's Day party
Thanks to Lincoln for passing this along.
In three years, Irish on Ionia has grown from an ambitious St. Patrick’s Day festival to Michigan’s largest spring holiday hooley.
As many as 14,000 partiers are expected downtown Saturday, March 16, for what’s become a signature St. Patrick’s Day event that has grown exponentially in short order.
In 2011, Irish on Ionia drew 3,000 people, said Mark Sellers, co-owner of BarFly Ventures, a company which operates HopCat, Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and McFadden’s Restaurant-Saloon — all in the city’s Heartside neighborhood.
The initial idea was to capitalize on the lines out the door at McFadden’s each St. Patrick’s Day.
“It was a huge success but we didn’t really know what we were doing," Sellers said.