LEXINGTON, Ky. — It’s one week until St. Patrick’s Day, and a longtime tradition is returning to downtown Lexington.
The 41st St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival starts at 10 a.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11 and it’s the first celebration in three years. Failte Irish Imports have been bringing a little taste of Ireland to the Bluegrass for over 20 years.
“This is what I call the bread and butter freezer, literally bread and butter. It is sausages and rashers, which is what you guys call bacon, black and white pudding, scones. Boiling bacon, we don’t eat corned beef and cabbage, we eat boiling bacon,” said owner Liza Betz.
Liza Betz opened the shop in 2001 after permanently emigrating to the United States from Ireland.
“I came in ’96 and I was working in the pub for a while and I realized the one thing I missed about home was the food and our culture,” Betz said.
The store has shelves of Irish canned goods, a freezer full of Irish meats and tons of chocolate candy for any sweet tooth.
“We got all the Cadbury eggs, Cadbury chocolate. Lots of chocolate, we’re like a chocolate shop,” Betz said.
It also has clothing and houseware goods, all of it directly imported from Ireland and Scotland.
“These are like our Ireland sweaters, the fisherman's sweaters and we have them in cardigans, sweaters,” Betz said.
Betz said this time of year, St. Patrick’s Day does wonders for her shop.
“December and March are our biggest months for sure, so this is like a second Christmas for us,” Betz said.
Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day parade is the first in Lexington in three years after being canceled because of COVID-19.
“I love parade day, I love seeing my shop in the parade, I love seeing all my customers just jump on our float. It just makes the day,” Betz said.
Lexingtonians looking for traditional Irish fare are hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the city.
“I think some places have little bits, but we’re the one-stop-shop is what I like to say and you’re supporting local,” Betz said.
Failte Irish Imports is open Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Festivities celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Lexington begin at 10:45 Saturday. The parade itself steps off at 1:00 p.m. on Main Street.