By Sandra G. Leon
A celebration of food, craft beer, live music, live art, and live history will honor the history of the ‘Batallón de San Patricio’ Irish soldiers that fought alongside Mexican troops in the Mexican-American War.
The Batallón en El Barrio event on Saturday, March 7, will celebrate that collaboration between cultures with food, craft beer, live music, live art, and live history. The event will feature live dance performances by Grupo Folklorico Tapatio de Oceanside and Clan Rince School of Irish Dance, live music by Lexington Field, Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, Mariachis, and more.
The event will be sponsored by Thorn Brewing Co., HottMess, the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center (CPMCC), Turning Wheel, and ReBru.
El Batallón de San Patricio, or St. Patrick’s Battalion, was a group of mostly Irish-Catholic immigrants who joined with the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War of 1846. The Irish soldiers were in the US Army but felt that American advances into Mexican territories were unjustified and reminded them of the similar treatment they had received back in their homeland at the hands of the British. The Irish soldiers also were perceived as second-class citizens in the US Army due to their Catholic immigrant status.
“The story of the San Patricios is one of my favorite lesser-known moments in history.” Thorn Brewing Founder and CEO Dennis O’Connor explains. “I think it’s a piece of history people should know about and remember. Most people in Mexico know this story very well, but in America, the history we are taught tends to be curated in a certain light.”
Los San Patricios joined forces with the Mexican Army to support their cause for sovereignty and independence. In the end, of course, Mexico accepted the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which enforced the Mexican cession of the northern territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States. The US agreed to pay $15 million in compensation to Mexico and assumed $3.25 million of debt already owed by the Mexican government to US citizens. Mexico also acknowledged the loss of the area that became the State of Texas and accepted the Rio Grande as its northern border with the United States.
“Right now, in a time when there is so much turmoil revolving around the borders, family separation, and political posturing, it’s nice to reflect on similar moments in the past,” O’Conner said. “History has a way of repeating itself and many of these things happened to the Irish upon first arrival in America. Batallón en El Barrio is an opportunity to celebrate not only Irish and Mexican culture but their rich history together,” he added.
Pre-sale tickets are donation-based (suggested donation of $15) or a $15 donation on the day of the event. All ticket proceeds will go to CPMCC and performing artists. Entry for kids is free. The event will be open from 3:00pm to 10:00pm.
The event will be at The Side Yard in Barrio Logan at 1733 National Avenue, next to The Boiler, a converted warehouse which is home to Thorn Brewing Co.; the soon-to-be-opened HottMess, a wood-fired pizza restaurant; The Boiler, a speakeasy; Barrio Side Yard event space, as well as ReBru, a soon-to-be-opened craft distillery that will upcycle craft beer into spirits. Situated in the historic neighborhood in Barrio Logan, San Diego, The Boiler is a hub for creatives, cultural events, and craft everything.
Photo by Mario A. Cortez