THE streets of Changkat Bukit Bintang was a hive of activities as party goers indulged in the Guinness St Patrick’s Festival 2011 last Thursday.
More than 3,000 tourists, regulars and visitors turned up at the fifth year celebrations by Guinness in conjunction with the global Irish festival held at trademark cities like New York, Boston and Toronto.
The street was alive with music, dance and games as a sea of revellers dressed in green hyped up the party with street artists who made their rounds with the guests.
The crowd lined the streets dressed in the traditional black and green outfits complete with quirky party accessories like green wigs, oversized glasses and the signature St Patrick’s hat as they watched a grand parade along the street.
Led by the big bikes, the parade was a colourful and noisy affair as the roaring bikes mingled with the sounds of the drums by the drum line performers who rejoiced in the cheers by the crowd.
Dressed in funny costumes depicting animes, clowns and magicians, the street artists took the opportunity to wow the crowds with their antics and rhythmic beats.
Later in the night, the crowd’s favourite Irish dance troupes added to the celebratory mood as they circled the crowd drawing eager spectators into feet thumping dance routines.
Spotted in the crowd were friends Clemens Reinhardt, 20, from Germany and Irishmen Ciaran Carmichael and John McBride, 29, who were all dressed to impress with Irish jerseys, wigs, stark green paper ties and grass kilts.
Reinhardt who has been in KL for the past one month said he was having loads of fun at the party despite the lack of Irish music.
“I haven’t really heard any Irish songs but it has been really awesome. I have enjoyed KL so much it is one of my favourite Asian countries,” he added.
Carmichael who was spotting a green hanger on his jersey said they decided to liven up their dorm and brought all their friends down to Changkat for the celebrations.
According to him, back home the festival was a cultural experience enjoyed by the entire family with drinks all day long.
McBride said the entire village in Ireland would go out and celebrate the national holiday and some would even take the next day off just to ensure they could drink all night long.
“We scared the party shop in Chinatown when we demanded for an all-green costume.
“We wanted to make sure everything about us was green,” said McBride who attracted a lot of curious tourists.
The Guinness Anchor Berhad marketing director Yap Swee Leng said the St Patrick’s celebrations will be observed for the entire month.
“Instead of just celebrating it for a day, we at Guinness are bringing St Patrick’s fun by expanding it to 36 parties nationwide,” said Yap.
The Merry Goes Round in March celebration will be held at watering holes around the country including Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Baru, Malacca, Ipoh, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu, Miri and Kuching.
Over 2,000 Guinness pubs and entertainment outlets nationwide are also giving away exclusive specially designed Street Pints for every four pints of Guinness draught or a bucket of Foreign Extra Stout purchased.
For the latest on the St Patrick’s festival, check out their Facebook account at www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia.
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