Whether Irish or not, students have long anticipated tomorrow”s St. Patrick”s Day festivities, and the bars are ready for them. The holiday, although not a huge celebration in Ireland, has become an excuse for a full day of drinking on college campuses.

Paul Wong
Sean McGrath plays the Irish bouzouki at Conor O”Neill”s pub on Main Street yesterday. McGrath, an Irish native, will perform there with his band today and tomorrow.<br><br>ABBY ROSENBAUM/Daily

The green beer will start flowing at many bars in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Local Irish pub Conor O”Neill”s, a popular bar for students on most weekends, is expecting even larger crowds for the Irish holiday.

“There will be a long line but bring your hats and gloves and wait because it”s a great ole Irish bar,” said bar manager Mary Zon Esbeck. “It is very hectic, very fun, but only the strong survive.”

Conor O”Neill”s is opening with breakfast at 7 a.m. and lunch and appetizers beginning at 11. There is a $5 cover charge because of the costs incurred in trying to create a traditional Irish environment.

“I flew a band over from Ireland. There will be traditional Irish dancing, and bagpipes,” said Esbeck.

The bar”s reputation for Irish fun is well-known among students.

“I am going to Conor O”Neill”s to dance the Irish jig with a guy wearing only a skirt and nothing underneath,” said Becky Ward, an LSA sophomore.

The Wooden Nickel in Ypsilanti is also opening at 7 a.m. tomorrow. In special preparation for the especially large crowds, “there is a tent attached, five DJs and green beer,” said bar manager Eric Dristy.

“Last year we let in 2,500 people from opening at 7 a.m. till closing at 2 a.m.,” Dristy said.

Curt Muelle, a Business graduate student, remembers celebrating St. Patrick”s Day as an undergrad.

“We used to go to Sullivan”s, where Good Time Charley”s is now. We would line up early. Since St. Patrick”s Day was always during the week, if you were looking for students skipping class, they would be there,” Muelle said.

Not only are the bars preparing special activities but fraternities are as well. Dan Thompson, a former Theta Chi fraternity member, plans to return for its St. Patty”s Day party.

“When it turns midnight I am going to Theta Chi, who is trying to have a midnight-to-midnight party and then at 6 a.m. we are going to have green eggs and ham,” said Thompson.

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