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St. Patty's concert aims to become kid, neighbor-friendly

By KBell
March 17, 2011 at 9 p.m.
Updated March 16, 2011 at 10:17 p.m.

Dottie and Jim Edison dance to Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" as performed by The Dirty Birds on Thursday evening at the second annual Andy's Irish Bash at Texas Roadhouse. The restaurant sectioned off part of the parking lot and brought in live music to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

ATTRACTIONS

After getting their fill inside the packed restaurant, several Crossroads residents poured into the Texas Roadhouse parking lot to enjoy live music from Dr. Moto, Dirty Birds, Southern Rose and Nick Lawrence

With the tunes in the background, kids 10 and under got in free and jumped in the bouncehouse, got their face painted and balloon animals.

Restaurant Manager Chris McDowell said the restaurant plans to make the event a yearly attraction Victoria families will look forward to

The Texas Roadhouse parking lot bled green down to the port-o-potties.

Sipping from a green beer bottle and jamming to the roaring music of Dr. Moto was Opie Pena, whose band, "Southern Rose," was set to perform later Thursday night at the Second Annual Andy's Irish Bash.

"I love things like this because not only do you get to see bands, you get to see people," the 31-year-old lead singer said.

What's more, her 13-year-old son, Gio, was by her side.

"Anytime we can bring kids without having to get a babysitter or something, that's cool," Pena joked.

Manager of the restaurant and one of the event's organizers, Chris McDowell, said he made it a point for this year's event to be kid-friendly.

"It's Thursday night, spring break, we wanted to reach out to Victoria to give them something fun to do, something safe," McDowell said.

Last year's event caused something of a ruckus for at least six Roadhouse neighbors, who filed noise complaints, according to previous reports.

McDowell said the St. Patrick's Day concert was shutting down half an hour earlier this year, at 11 p.m. He also said employees canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods, passing out flyers for the event.

"(We want to) try to be a partner in the community and try to give them something fun for everybody to do. Fun for all ages," he said.

Neighbors directly behind the restaurant didn't report any problems with the tunes faintly flooding their backyards.

"We were surprised that somebody complained about it because it really wasn't overbearing," said Jeremy Bateman, who said he enjoyed a barbecue and some free tunes in his backyard last year.

Other neighbors said they did the same and that they will actually look forward to this yearly event continuing.

"It doesn't bother me," said Kathy Martinez, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, well before the restaurants were even constructed. "I was thinking about walking over there."

A hop, skip and a jump beyond her backyard fence, lads young and old and green continued to gather at the bash.

Stacey Kelley sat in a lawn chair as her daughter, 6-year-old Savannah, brought her a flower balloon made by Ziggy the Clown.

"Heck yeah," she said she told friends when they asked if she was going to bring her daughter to the concert. "We usually let (St. Patrick's Day) pass, so this is nice ... As long as everybody's responsible."

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