TOLEDO, Ohio — It was a sea of green on the streets of Toledo for St. Paddy's Day as flocks of Irish locals took to restaurants, bars and businesses in the area Friday.
The Toledo Irish American Club and The Toledo Firefighters Pipes and Drums were some of the groups out spreading the cheer.
Gerry Mazur is a drum major in the bagpiper group who said the band formed in 2003 like other fire departments to honor their own, and it's been strong ever since.
Mazur says the bandmates aren't all Irish but have all kinds of backgrounds. They made around nine stops at local spots in northwest Ohio like Shawn's Irish Tavern.
"Sometimes you don't see these people until St. Patrick's Day every year, so it's just nice to go out," Mazur said. "We have a few beverages, we have a designated driver and we just go around playing our tunes and spread the cheer."
It's Blarney's Irish Pub in downtown Toledo that they really call home base. It's a home they share with the Toledo Irish American Club, which is a social club started in 1993. Current President Kelly Zawierucha said the club is almost at 100 members.
"You don't have to be Irish, you just have to love the culture the music, the food and all that," Zawierucha said. "So even though St. Patrick's Day is like the pinnacle weekend for us, we're constantly doing events."
She said the community loves the Irish, music and craft which is why she enjoys inviting others to celebrate the culture too.
The club has a $25 membership fee which includes a t-shirt and gets entry into the club's events throughout the year.