The Guards Welcome Dinner Social Honors Irish Heritage – Sat. Feb 22
Celebrate the 15th anniversary on February 22, 2020 as we honor bagpipes with the Guard Pipes & Drum group. The music group, which currently consists of 21 pipers and seven drummers, is planning its big annual fund-raiser, “The Guard’s Welcome,’’ from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in the gymnasium of the School of St. Elizabeth on Seney Drive in Bernardsville.
The event includes food, beverage and of course, plenty of music. For $45 per person, guests can enjoy a fish and chips dinner along with soft drinks and traditional Guinness and Harp beer.
In addition to The Guard, the event will feature music by The Irish Harpers along with Irish step dancers.
Some 300 people usually attend the bash.
Pre – Event Pub Crawl
To help promote the evening, The Guard is also planning its second pub crawl with stops at several local pubs and restaurants this Saturday, Feb. 8.
The band plans to start at 6:30 p.m. at Rudy’s Tavern in Bernardsville with subsequent stops at The Claremont Tavern and The Station, all in Bernardsville. The last stop will be The Washington House in Basking Ridge, with an estimated arrival time of 8:30 p.m.
“We just want people to come and enjoy,’’ said Basking Ridge Nick Williams, a member of The Guard for 14 years. “We typically spend about half hour in each place.’’ The crawl performances are free and open to the public.
The Feb. 22 event raises funds to help pay for uniforms, equipment and the band’s music education school. The band was co-founded by Donlon, Jim dePorteere of Basking Ridge and Steve Murray of Warren. Paula Axt of Basking Ridge is the piping instructor for The Guard’s “School of Piping.’’ Anyone interested in joining or learning more can reach Axt at (908) 230-3033. Williams said the group’s membership is quite diverse and includes a few Ridge High School students and youths from other area schools.
Paula Axt is also a founding trustee of the Mr. Local History Project.
While many members are from Basking Ridge and Bernardsville, several members travel over an hour for practice, including Pipe Major Kevin Donlon, the leader of the band, who travels here from Blairstown.