The Hilltop Inn Celebrates St. Patrick's Day
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- People gathered together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Hilltop Inn from the early afternoon until sundown. Hundreds of people could be seen drinking and singing during the Irish celebration.
Local Irish singer Pat Kane and Mike Sullivan, Hilltop Inn's owner, wanted to put on a special event for the community. The restaurant has not had a real St. Patrick’s Day celebration in three years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This weather has just been so nice but just to see one another...first time in three years,” Sullivan said. “They have been aching to do this and... finally...we get St. Patrick's Day the way we like it.”
Sullivan's business was booming. Due to the warm weather, people stuck around inside and out throughout the day. Many customers stayed to listen to Sullivan’s lifelong friend, Pat Kane. He played four shows throughout the afternoon.
“Pat is really... just like a brother to me,” he said. “He has celebrated every St. Patrick's Day here...with the exception of Covid, obviously.”
Kane has dual citizenship in Ireland and the United States. He has been singing, dancing and playing various instruments since the early years of his childhood.
He has been playing at the Hilltop Inn for nearly 30 years after creating a close bond with Sullivan. He said he loves to play specific songs for families that visit the restaurant to make them feel special.
“I really don't have a favorite song to play,” he said. “The favorite song I have to play is when I play something that means something to other people and that they get the feeling of it.”
Sullivan said he could not be happier about the day's turnout. St. Patrick's Day is a special day for the community and the tradition comes from the heart, he said.
"It's friends, it's fellowship, it's the support of the community,” he said. “These people mean the world to us...we've been here 89 years and it's our family that's been doing this and these people that have supported our family for so long.”
Sullivan said the Irish festivities won't stop at his restaurant until he sees April Fool's Day on the calendar.