Downtown Richmond was the talk of the town last weekend. With seas of green for blocks on end, the festivities were seemingly endless. Live concerts, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and multiple St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all took place in just four days. Thursday through Sunday was certainly memorable to say the least.
On Thursday, Bonnie Raitt performed songs from her recent album, “Dig in Deep”. “Dig in Deep” marks the 20th album to date from the notorious American icon. Opening for Bonnie were The California Honeydrops. With the help of these artists, the Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center was roaring with excitement. Raitt’s album promotion was a major success, and although it should go without saying, the crowd loved the show. There is no question that concert-goers got the bang for their buck.
On top of Raitt’s concert, the circus came to town! This year is an especially memorable one for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as it is the last year for the elephants to be a part of the show. A bittersweet showing knocked the audience off of their feet as they watched the elephants and their trunks swinging in the wind. Aside from the elephants stealing the spotlight, the “xtreme” theme really took the show to a new level. Trapeze artists, BMX bikes, Bengal tigers, the human cannonball, and Mongolian girls riding double humpbacked camels is what this “xtreme” theme entailed. The Richmond Coliseum was the host of this remarkable circus, which remains one of the most traditional sources of entertainment in our modern time.
However, the excitement of the weekend did not stop there. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Blarney Bash occurred at the same time as another St. Patrick’s Day celebration known as Shamrock the Block. Both were a huge hit with a sizeable turnout. The events featured everything from live music to drink specials to family activities.
Blarney Bash replaced the old “Shockoe Fest,” and made a very festive showing on 17th Street. With Irish Festival tents, great music, opportunities for visitors to show off their Irish dance moves, a bounce house, and a number of edible commodities, this Bash was quite the scene.
Shamrock the Block, however, did not fall short of the Blarney Bash. In fact, the turnout was comparable. With music from Baldy McGregor, a plethora of Irish stews, Krispy Kreme donuts, and green beer, the block-wide celebration was an overwhelming success. On the Boulevard from Leigh to Broad, happy faces, loads of green, and the best of the best folk music was more than prevalent. The best part about both of these events is that there was no entry fee. However, spender discretion was advised, but, as everyone knows, sometimes it is rewarding to splurge! For those who missed out on the weekend festivities, just know that this weekend in Downtown RVA sure was a good one.
-Ian Ragland ’17, Junior News Editor