Shamrocks and Shenanigans Ensued at Balmoral Resort Florida
by James Coulter
Balmoral Resort Florida in Haines City may have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a few days late. Still, their belated celebration drew in a large crowd for traditional Irish food, music, and dance.
On Saturday afternoon, the Clubhouse Bar & Grill hosted its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration, Shamrocks & Shenanigans. Attendees flocked to the pool and eatery dressed in their greenest attire. Some dressed in shamrock green suits. Others dyed their beards green.
Participants could enjoy authentic Irish culture with a menu of traditional Irish food, including bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and green beer. They could also listen and watch live entertainment provided by Irish performers, including dance troupes, a three-person band, and even the Bryne Family from Disney Springs. From jigs to step dancing, performers as young as three-years-old performed traditional Irish dances to traditional Irish music.
Despite the overcast and cooler weather that afternoon, the event drew in an enthusiastic crowd more than willing to celebrate the Luck of the Irish even a few days after St. Patrick’s Day, explained Garret Kenny, owner of Feltrim Sports and Balmoral Resort.
“We are a little bit disappointed with the weather…but we had good support,” he said. “A lot of people came out with their green shirts. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day was two days ago, but it is the middle of the week, and it is not always possible for people to come out and entertain themselves. That is why we chose today as Saturday.”
As someone originally from Dublin, Garret wanted to bring authentic Irish culture to Central Florida through his resort’s inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration. After a year of the COVID-19 crisis, he wanted to draw more people to his resort for a much-needed reprieve. He was especially surprised by the turnout, with many attendees being of Irish descent.
“There is a large Irish contingency in the area that doesn’t always get recognized every day, ” Garrett said. “Even myself, I am from Dublin, Ireland. I have been working here for 21 years this year, and I didn’t realize the number of Irish people within 25 minutes from Haines City.”
Aisling Kane from Celebration was one of the many Irish locals. She helped oversee some of the Irish performers at the event, with many of them being as young as three-years-old.
“We are all Irish, so we are here to celebrate our Irish heritage and have fun,” she said. “It is absolutely brilliant. There are so many people here already, and it is only five in the afternoon, so we hope to see even more tonight, and the atmosphere is electric, really good.”
She especially loved being able to share her Irish heritage with others and celebrate the holiday with many attendees. Ashlinghad visited Balmoral Resort before. She loves the facilities there, and she is amazed at the amenities provided at the resort.
“This event is absolutley brilliant,” she said. “It is so great to have such an amazing resort so close to everything. It is great to introduce Irish music and dance to everyone who comes here.”
On Sat. Apr. 17, from 3 to 9 p.m., Balmoral Resort Florida will be hosting its inaugural Battle of the Bands. Hosted at its FeltrimSports Village, the musical event will allow up to ten local bands to perform for the chance to win first place through either people’s or judges’ choice. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.feltrimresorts.com/balmoral-resort