WITH VIDEO: The Kenosha Krawl returns, marking 16th year of bagpipes, drums and St. Patrick's Day celebrations
The sound of bagpipes and drums echoed in Kenosha establishments Saturday as the Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association returned with its 16th annual Kenosha Krawl.
Kenosha-area firefighters, police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other emergency response personnel were in the volunteer group which kicked off this year’s St. Patrick’s Day holiday Krawl at Mason’s Eatery & Pub, 7000 74th Place.
Twenty bagpipers and drummers dressed in matching plaid kilts marched into a sea of about 300 green-clad patrons who were enjoying the holiday’s signature beverage, cheering and celebrating the raucous return of the group.
Mason’s Manager Mike Roscioli said that Saturday was a “triple whammy,” with March Madness featuring the NCAA basketball games, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the band drawing in a crowd large enough to make the sizable venue feel small. Staff were even regretfully turning people away at the door.
“This is our busiest weekend of the year,” Roscioli said. “We’ll be out of everything by tomorrow.”
Roscioli said throughout the day they would see upwards of 800 to 900 people.
One group of about 18 people that managed to find a spot were all wearing bright green t-shirts. Brian Carpenter said he was with his wife and other relatives who regularly attend the Kenosha Krawl.
“Nothing says St. Patty’s Day like bagpipes,” Carpenter said. “This is what makes Kenosha great; not every town has this.”
Event emcee Al Carr said the Kenosha Krawl is both a celebration and a time of recognition.
“It’s a celebration of the season as well as a recognition of the people who serve the community,” Carr said.
The last time the group performed was in 2019. After a three-year hiatus, Carr said they were thrilled to return.
“We’re super, super excited to be here. This is always a big deal for us,” Carr said. “We’re very excited to be back on the tour.”
Several volunteers followed the performers with firefighter boots so guests could fill them with donations. A portion of the proceeds are going to the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation’s summer camp for burn injured youth.
After a set of six songs, the first performance of the day was done. Carr said they were ready for more.
“We’re just getting warmed up,” he said. “The band is exceptionally talented.”
The group quickly packed back into their bus to head to the next location; the Starlite Club, 8936 24th Ave., where they would do it all again. In total, the group went to 10 locations, filling the day with music and St. Patrick’s Day-themed festivities.