Your Town Friday: Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Ireland, Indiana!

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Ireland, Ind. - For this week's Your Town Friday, where else would we go but Ireland? Ireland, Indiana that is!

Ireland is in Dubois County, approximately 120 miles from downtown Indianapolis near Jasper.

Back in 1816, an Irish man named John Stewart bought the land from the United States government. The town was intended to be called American City, but the post office wouldn't approve that so it was changed to Ireland.

Stewart's son and four others laid out the town and the first map is dated May 20, 1865.

Objection of liquor was strong there. In fact, each time a new saloon opened, it seemed to burn down. That is until the Shamrock Cafe opened in 1940. And it's still there! It's now called The Rock Bar and Grill and it just might be the hottest spot in town.

"Everybody knows one another," said Jim Mehringer. "If somebody does something, we've got to discuss it! Who is going out with who or whatever!"

Make no mistake, if something happens in Ireland, Jim Mehringer and Pat Schmitt know about it.

"I come down here every morning!" said Schmitt. "We all sit here and drink coffee, discuss what happened yesterday and what we think it’s going to do tomorrow."

The stools might as well have their names on them! They start every single day at The Rock.

Schmitt was around back in 1940 when it was still The Shamrock!

"I was born in 1930," said Schmitt. "I was born and raised here. We had three girls and they all live around here. They come to visit every weekend or every day. I just live up the road."

"We have another restaurant across the street," said Mehringer. "The Chicken Place they call that."

St. Mary's Catholic Church is another Ireland staple. Built in 1891, it's one of the most active in the Diocese.

Everywhere you look this time of year, there is a shamrock, plenty of green, and maybe a pot of gold.

Ireland goes big for St. Patrick's Day weekend and the days leading up to it. There is a home decorating competition, a Spud Shoot, a For Patty's Sake Bake-Off, an Irish Trot and much more.

If you'd like to take a road trip, check out the entire weekend schedule here.

"We like to have fun!" said Mehringer. "We work hard and we play hard."

If you're busy this weekend, don't worry, the luck of the Irish is on your side! Ireland hosts a Half Way to St. Pat's Day event in September.

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