St. Paddy’s Day is always a blast, but unlike most bars that go quiet the next day, at the Irish Pub in Atlantic City, a second holiday is just getting started — Bag Day. A purely unique March 18 tradition that requires costuming, booze and fun, this is a not-to-be-missed event. But you better be an early bird, as it gets rolling in the morning and wraps up around dinner time. Here are five reasons to check it out.
If you are not familiar, Bag Day was originally created more than 30 years ago so that the locals who worked at the bars and casinos on St. Patrick’s Day could have a day of their own to party and have fun. The story goes that a customer entered the Irish Pub on the day after St. Patrick’s Day looking for her own version of the party that had ended the day before. She threw a bag over her head and declared it to be “Bag Day.” The tradition has remained — and grown drastically — ever since.
In order to participate in Bag Day, all patrons must be wearing a bag of some sort on their heads. And that is where the fun begins. Over the years, folks have used this as a chance to show off their artistic creativity, adorning bags with everything from sequins and buttons to elaborate paintings. When it comes to bags, nothing is too outrageous on Bag Day, so use your imagination and put those 3rd grade arts and crafts skills to work!
It really doesn’t matter what day of the year it is, the Irish Pub will always be fun. With walls packed with yellowed photos from another era, an old-school jukebox, twinkling lights, aged woods and beer taps loaded up with your favorite Irish brews, it’s nearly impossible not to love this place. Add a bunch of bag-headed revelers and you have a recipe for a damn good time.
The Food and Drink
You might go into Bag Day thinking about your bag and if it is elaborate enough, but at some point you are going to remember to have a drink or two. The beers on tap here are appropriate for the holiday and include Irish favorites like Guinness, Smithwick’s and Killian’s and you can even find Magner’s Irish Cider in bottles. Of course you also have to feed yourself, and we promise you it’s not going to break the bank. It’s often overlooked, but the food at the Irish Pub is one of the cheapest deals in town. Where else can you find items like fish and chips or crab cakes with fries and cole slaw for 10 bucks? How ’bout a $7.50 plate of buffalo wings or a platter of lightly-breaded sea scallops for $11.50? Not bad, eh?
You’ve Earned It
After a full year of canceled celebrations and events that never were, it seems only fair for us to have a little fun. Of course, social distancing and COVID safety precautions will be in full effect, and no, you won’t be able to just cram in shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar like in a normal year, but the party WILL happen, and personally, we can’t think of a more COVID appropriate party than one that requires you wear a bag over your head. Now THAT is a face covering!