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Irish on Ionia 2017 – Two More Days!

Irish on Ionia, the place where tried-and-true veterans of drinking embark on a 15-hour long quest in the hopes of finding peace and serenity in the gallons of liquid they will consume. Many have tried, many have failed, very few have made it the whole duration.


Irish on Ionia: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?

The 7th annual Irish on Ionia will be taking place this Saturday from 7:00am-10:00pm. If you were smart and thought ahead, tickets were $15. If you were the average person (still have time), you purchased your tickets online for $20. If you put everything off until last minute, then you have a small window of time to purchase your tickets at the gate for $25 (limited quantities). If you are the Wolf of Wall Street, then you spent $60 on a special VIP ticket which includes some things that you can flaunt with your boat-loads of money.

This shouldn’t have to be said, but it takes place on Ionia Street, which is right off of Fulton St. and runs right by with Van Andel Arena. We would definitely suggest walking from wherever you may be, because parking will be a nightmare. Literally, parking will be your worst nightmare, so good luck. There is an Uber drop-off and pickup point, however, so you might want to take advantage of that because YOU SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING TO AN EVENT WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IT TO GET EVERYONE DRUNK, IDIOTS.

This grand event features warming tents for drinking before the alcohol kicks in, live music (probably some Irish rock, or folk, or whatever. Just make sure you get drunk enough to yell ‘Free bird’ at them), many overflowing Porta-johns, 5 different areas to purchase drinks (beer and liquor), outdoor games, and of course green beer so you can vomit in a festive way.


The Proper Way to Do Irish on Ionia

[Disclaimer: Ben the intern’s drinking preference are his and his alone. Don’t be an idiot…. Idiot.] This is all preference, but personally, I like to wake up at dawn, loop the two Irish songs I know, and pre-game until I’m warm enough to wait in a long and cold line. Keep in mind that you must purchase your “drink tickets” before you actually buy the beer.

So you finally make it in, the time is around 11:00am and things are just starting to heat up. You have a decent buzz going and the rational-Kermit tells you to slow your roll, but the inner-Kermit [Note: We don’t know what Kermit means either. We assume the kids are saying it nowadays. This is why we have interns.] tells you to stop being lame, and really lean into it by peeling off a $20 bill and purchasing more drink tickets, and exchanging those drink tickets for 2…. maybe 3 drinks.



Related: See the shenanigans at Irish on Ionia 2016


After waiting in line for what seems like 45 minutes, you will receive your drinks. Now comes the tricky part, finding your group of people without spilling your $6 beer on a sea of drunk people. 15 more minutes and you finally make it back to your friends with half a beer, perfect time to go wait in line for the bathroom. Keep repeating this cycle until the live music starts or you tap out and have had enough.

We do not condone the 15-hour long drinking journey, but if you’re able to make it the whole time without being kicked out, arrested, or giving yourself alcohol poisoning, then we salute you and welcome to MVP status for Irish on Ionia. [Dislaimer: This is hyperbolic. We don’t salute you, you drunk. Go home.]

Irish on Ionia website ›

Purchase tickets here ›


Irish on Ionia 2017 Map

Click to enlarge

Irish on Ionia 2017 Particulars

7th annual event

March 18th at 7:00 am- 10:00pm

$15 if your tickets were pre-sale

$20 if purchased after February 20th

$25 at the door in limited quantities if you put everything off until the last minute

$60 VIP tickets(Fast Pass Gate Privileges (in/out of gates w/ no line all day)
Irish On Ionia T-Shirt, 22oz Beer Mug (refill for price of 12oz)
Camp O’ Malley Drinking Gloves on sale now
+$1 from every VIP ticket will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids

Located on Ionia Street downtown, between Fulton and Weston

Features: Warming tents, Food, live music, games, 5 areas to purchase drinks (beer and liquor), and of course green beer.

*photo courtesy of the official Irish on Ionia website