Kitchener-Waterloo

Drinking on St. Patrick's day not your thing? Sham Rock Cafe is an alternative

Sham Rock Cafe is an alternative event for those who want to celebrate the Irish festival without alcohol. There will be coffee, snacks and live music throughout the day, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sham Rock Cafe started three years ago after several Christian clubs wanted to offer alternative for students

Wilfrid Laurier's Sham Rock Cafe at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary celebrates the Irish festival without alcohol. (Waterloo Lutheran Seminary/Facebook)

Local pubs and outdoor areas near the universities will be buzzing Friday as students and the community celebrate St.Patrick's Day.

But for those who want to enjoy the Irish festival without alcohol, the Sham Rock Cafe at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus has an alternative.

"It's about offering a place for folks that want somewhere to be but aren't comfortable doing something with the wide population,' said Anne Anderson, community pastor at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

She says Sham Rock Cafe started three years ago after several Christian clubs on campus wanted to offer an alternative event for students.

"We had one student who said 'when I was in first year, I knew there was lots going on but that wasn't my scene, it wasn't what I was excited about but I felt lonely and wanted to be with other people'," said Anderson.

What to expect

This year, cafe doors will open at 11:00 a.m. and depending on the time of day there will be something different going on.

The event has a coffee house atmosphere where there will be, naturally, coffee, snacks, live music from different student musicians and board games.

The cafe also offers quilt tying, therapy dogs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and a Ceilidh Irish dance at 3:30 p.m.to finish at 4:30. 

"Everyone is welcomed, we've had neighbours that have come before and often the security guards are able to come in and warm up a little bit by getting a coffee or a treat on their break," said Anderson.

"This year we will hopefully host over 200 people coming and going."

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