A sea of green had gathered by early afternoon at Hennessy's Irish Bar as locals and visitors alike celebrated St Patrick's Day.

Hennessy's operations manager Sue Burnett said four tables of revellers were waiting for breakfast when the pub opened at 8am. Large groups were also booked in for last night, but she was also expecting a lot of walk-ins.

"I love the dressing up and it's great to see people get their Irish on."

She said it was an "iconic day" for the bar and in the past they had couples who met at Hennessy's on St Patrick's Day and went on to get married. They still lived in Rotorua and came back on March 17 each year, she said. It was the final St Patrick's Day for the current Hennessy's before the building is demolished and the bar rebuilt later this year.

Advertisement
Fred Archbold celebrated his 84th birthday yesterday.
Fred Archbold celebrated his 84th birthday yesterday.

People had already noticed changes in the bar, such as how a lot of their pictures had already been taken down, she said.

"It's great to have Rotorua embracing its only Irish bar and having people celebrating."

She said later in the day they were expecting a lot of travellers.

A group of Cantabria Rest Home residents were among those out in green celebrating. Activities co-ordinator Lesley Young said the group were all originally from Ireland, England and Scotland. Volunteer Jenny Cawte said St Patrick's Day was in their background and still meant a lot to them. She said they had come to Hennessy's for lunch, and had really enjoyed dressing up.

Other bars around Rotorua were also expecting a busy night, with some holding competitions and offering special deals to mark the Irish holiday.

Related articles: