by Ian McNulty
Lenten vows of temperance will be sorely tested this weekend as the rev-up to St. Patrick's Day gets a particularly early start at Finn McCool's Irish Pub.
On Saturday, the women's Irish cultural organization Daughters of Lir will hold a fundraiser at the Mid-City pub, which includes their annual Lovely Legs Competition. Male contestants are invited to bring their own theme music on CD which will be played as they strut their stuff and have their legs judged by the crowd. Winners get the honor of bearing the Daughters of Lir banner before the group during the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 14. The party starts at 9 p.m.
The next day, Sunday, March 1, Finn McCool's hosts a hooley, or traditional Irish dance party. A ceili band will play fiddle, bodhran drum and tin whistle, and traditional Irish step dancers led by local instructor Joni Muggivan will perform. Muggivan ,a local prodigy of Irish dance, has been performing around the region for most of her life and has studios in Metairie, Baton Rouge and Mandeville. The hooley is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the pub will serve Irish potato stew.
Finn McCool's proprietor Stephen Patterson says Sunday's party should serve as a traditional prelude for many pub regulars planning to head downtown for a night of Celtic punk courtesy of the Flogging Molly show at House of Blues later on.