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Lodi becomes Irish for a day

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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013 9:09 pm

Lodi might be known for its German, Italian and Hispanic heritage, but on Sunday, Lodi became an Irish town.

School Street was a sea of green as people celebrated everything Irish. If they weren’t wearing green shirts, they sported green beads around their neck.

Not only did local taverns serve green beer, restaurants had the traditional corned beef and cabbage, and some Mexican restaurants became Irish for a day, serving corned beef tacos.

In Galt, the community continued its tradition of painting a green striped line in the middle of Fourth Street between C and D streets. In the 1970s, the city of Galt changed its name to the city of St. Patrick every March 17. The tradition disbanded after about a decade until it was resurrected in 2005.

Occasionally during the past decade, a ceremony was held at Fourth and C streets before painting the center line green. There wasn’t a civic ceremony in this year, but long-time Galt resident Grace Malson spotted the green line on Fourth Street Sunday morning and posted a photograph on her Facebook page.

In Lodi, Jamie Hendricks, of Lodi, and Sara Johnson, of Stockton, were as green as can be, walked throughout Downtown Lodi during Sunday’s “pub crawl,” where several participating taverns offered green beer and Jello shots at a discount price.

While not all beer was green, some imbibed on some dark-brown Guinness beer.

“Guinness is more Irish than green beer,” Jessie Saner, of Lodi said, seemingly enjoying every sip.

Sean Guthrie, co-owner of Ollie’s Pub, actually sported a green goatee while downing a cold one Sunday.

Everyone seemed to be in a festive mood on Sunday, whether they were consuming Irish beer or something a little different — a green root beer float.

Customers who wanted to be Irish for a day but not consume alcohol had the option of drinking an Irish style of root beer. Peter Knight, owner of the going to A&W restaurant on East Lodi Avenue, set up his ice cream machine so he could add green ice cream on top of the root beer.

So if people enjoyed their root beer or beer without the “root,” Sunday brought out the Irish in everyone.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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