A group of friends enjoy some drinks and camaraderie Friday at the St. Paddy’s Street Party on Buffalo Street downtown Warsaw. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
A group of friends enjoy some drinks and camaraderie Friday at the St. Paddy’s Street Party on Buffalo Street downtown Warsaw. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
If the size of an event is an indication of its popularity, then the St. Paddy’s Street Party in downtown Warsaw Friday continues to be a popular one.

Beginning at noon on Buffalo Street between Center and Main streets, about 600 people stopped by the tent by about 6:30 p.m., according to organizer Jason Brown, owner of One Ten Craft Meatery. Featuring food, drinks, music, games and NCAA games on a huge television screen, the sixth annual party was scheduled to continue until 10 p.m.

“It’s been wonderful. It’s been a slow progression, but we’ve had people coming in literally from the get,” Brown said. “We’ve got our four alcohol and non-alcoholic beverage vendors. We’ve got our five food vendors, our two food trucks. We started music at 4 o’clock, that went wonderful.”

The third of four bands - McLain & Co. - started up shortly before 7 p.m. The headlining band was Shiny Shiny Black. Each band played about an hour, with a half hour break in between.

“Some of them have some Irish flair, but they all kind of have their own thing. We really weren’t diving into just the Irish music necessarily. We wanted to showcase some local guys, and so we pulled them from Elkhart, Goshen, South Bend, the Warsaw area. We just wanted to showcase some local guys, but there’s not that many Irish groups,” Brown stated.

Fire pits and patio heaters were out to keep people warm.

“We’re just keeping people warm and trying to keep people happy,” Brown said.

The television screen for the March Madness basketball games was 8 feet by 20 feet.

“I don’t think people understood when I said ‘BIG,’” Brown said.

The Purdue University basketball game against Fairleigh Dickinson University was shown at approximately 6:50 p.m. for all the Boilermaker fans.

Some parents brought their kids out to the family-friendly event.

“We have all the alcohol stuff sectioned off, so that adults and kids can co-mingle, and there’s only a small section where the kids aren’t allowed to go,” Brown said.

On the east side of the area was a game tent featuring jumbo Connect 4, Jenga, bag toss and floor checkers. “Just some things to keep people busy,” he said.

If you were unfortunately unable to make it out Friday to the St. Paddy’s Street Party, there’s always next year.

“I think the biggest thing that I would want people to know is that this party is here to stay. We’re going to do this every year, it’s going to be an annual thing,” Brown said. “So put it on your calendars now for next year. Whatever day the 17th falls on, that’s the day we’re going to throw it, whether it’s a Sunday, whether it’s a Monday, Tuesday, it doesn’t matter. If it’s on the 17th, we’re going to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party for Warsaw.”

The event is always going to be rain or shine. If it’s rain, they’ll tighten up the tent and keep everyone warm and dry, he said. If it’s cold, there will patio heaters and fire pits. If it’s sunny, they’ll open the tent up to allow the sunshine in.

“This is an event that is going to sustain. We’re not going away. Support Warsaw. Support yourself in wanting to develop Warsaw as a whole, and this is something that Warsaw needs. This is great. When you look around, Warsaw loves this. It’s not me, it’s not me wanting it. Warsaw wants this. They want to be here, they want to be out, they want to be festive, they want to wear hats, they want to wear green, they want to come down and support their college team. They want it, so we’re going to give it to them,” Brown stated.

Community partners included Winona IT, 1Eighty Digital, First Federal Bank, Main Street Warsaw, Maple Leaf Farms, Monster Message, OrthoPediatrics, Our House Real Estate, Silveus Insurance Group, Camp Mack, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation and The Lab.

Vendors included Courthouse Coffee on the Square, HopLore Brewing Co., Ledgeview Brewing Co., Mad Anthony’s Lake City Taphouse, Shigs & Pit, One Ten Craft Meatery, Ledgeview Roadster, Mad Batter Baking, Shawnanigans and The Diner.