Painting the town green: Colusa celebrates St. Paddy’s 

Patrons, including Dennis Sanders (waving at the camera), packed Rocco's Bar & Grill on Saturday, at the conclusion of the Poker Walk – part of the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Colusa last weekend.

Hundreds of Colusa County residents clad in green attire joined in the revelry surrounding St. Patrick’s Day in Colusa last weekend by taking part in the Fifth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Poker Walk and Bar Crawl.

A total of five bars took part in the free event, including Rocco’s Bar & Grill, Rocco’s on the River, The Tap Room at Colusa Made, Riverside Lanes, and the Colusa Golf and Country Club. Each of the businesses put money toward promoting the event and toward hiring the Colusa County Transit as a charter service, which provided safe and sober transportation to and from each location.

There aren’t many events like it in Colusa County, Dennis Sanders and his wife, Donna, said at their last stop of the night. While the St. Paddy’s Day event in Colusa is relatively new, the couple is amongst an already loyal following.

“I’ve been every year that they’ve had it, and she has been to all but one,” Sanders said. “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great event.”

Brady Myers, president of the Colusa Golf and Country Club, echoed Sanders’ sentiments.

“I think it’s an outstanding event, and we will continue to support it,” Myers said. “(What makes the event great is that) the community gets out and shares in the fun, the food, the people – it gets people together that maybe have never gotten together before. It brings new people to a setting that may not have ever done that before.”

While it may not be a huge money maker for the golf course, Myers said that the St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl and Poker Walk is an event that benefits the community and brings some much-needed exposure to the club.

Carolee Ornbaun, the event’s main organizer and co-owner of Rocco’s Bar & Grill and Rocco’s on the River, said that the event started as a way to get the community of Colusa together, and to keep them in Colusa. It has grown over the years, and has succeeded in doing just that – with this year’s being the most successful yet.

“It was a success, and another one is in the books,” Ornbaun said.
“I think our numbers were up by probably 10 to 12 percent at the end, but it’s hard to say for sure, because not everyone turns their cards in.”

Samantha Pruitt, a manager at the Tap Room at Colusa Made, said that she felt that all aspects of this year’s St. Paddy’s celebration ran smoothly, and that she received a lot of positive feedback from patrons. Put simply, Pruitt feels that the event is a win-win for Colusa residents and businesses alike.

“It’s just an event that actually brings people together. How often are we able to get together with our friends and family for a holiday event, and not have to worry about the hassle of getting everyone home safe?” Pruitt said. “Our community is coming together to provide a safe event for everybody. It also sponsors a lot of the local businesses, so you can’t really go wrong.”

Riverside Lanes owner Linda Silk said that the turnout for the event was up from last year, and added the bowling alley also had a great showing for their inaugural St. Patrick’s Family Fun Day, a more family-friendly event that ran alongside the pub crawl.

Heading into the future, Ornbaun said that she hopes more local businesses will jump on with the event.

“We want to get everyone involved in the community, and we want to keep it local… I wish every business in town with a liquor license would participate,” Ornbaun said.

No DUI’s in County on Saturday

Colusa Police Chief Josh Fitch credited the event’s organizers for their efforts to provide safe transportation on Saturday night, which saw no arrests for driving under the influence – not only in the City of Colusa, but county-wide.

“It’s a successful St. Patrick’s day when we can go county wide with no DUIs, accidents, or incidents. It’s awesome,” Fitch said. ■

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.