Augusta musician celebrates St. Patrick every week

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Everyone’s Irish for a day, but one local musician doesn’t wait for March 17 to sing a tune celebrating St. Patrick and the Emerald Isle.

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Dr. John Fisher, an associate professor at the Medical College of Georgia, entertains the crowd at The Fox's Lair with Irish music. Fisher found a love for Irish sing-a-long songs while studying for a semester in Galway, Ireland, during medical school.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Dr. John Fisher, an associate professor at the Medical College of Georgia, entertains the crowd at The Fox's Lair with Irish music. Fisher found a love for Irish sing-a-long songs while studying for a semester in Galway, Ireland, during medical school.

Dr. John Fisher, an associate professor at the Medical College of Georgia, plays the guitar and sings Irish songs weekly at The Fox’s Lair, a small basement pub at The Olde Town Inn. Fisher insists he’s “just a singer and an average one at that,” but fools the ear with the accompaniment of fiddle, percussion and an upright bass.

The doctor found a love for Irish sing-a-long songs while studying for a semester in Galway, Ireland, during medical school. The local pub musician allowed Fisher, who traces his maternal ancestry to Ireland, to play the few guitar songs he knew.

“During the day, obviously I was a medical student, so I would study till the day’s end,” he said. “By nightfall, I would head down to a local pub.”

After other stints playing music in Augusta, Fisher’s son introduced him to an open mic night at The Fox’s Lair about nine years ago. The show became especially popular with medical students who clink their glasses, clap their hands and sing off-tune to the Irish songs.

“I was trying to keep a low profile but it blossomed from there,” Fisher said. “People love to sing. That’s just in the human spirit.”

After Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Fisher will play Irish music at The Fox’s Lair from 4 to 7 p.m.

With March 17 falling on a Saturday, parade organizers expect a large crowd in downtown Augusta. Marching bands from Josey, Laney and Washington-Wilkes high schools and the Fort Gordon Signal Corps will appear in the parade, parade chairman Jason Scherer said.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

WHAT: 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade hosted by the Irish-American Heritage Society of Augusta

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: The 1.7-mile parade route starts at James Brown Arena and travels down Telfair Street before turning right on 11th Street. Then, the parade turns right on Broad Street and follows it to Sixth Street.

BEST VIEWING LOCATIONS: Telfair Street for families and children; Broad Street for crowds standing three to five people deep

CELEBRATION ON AUGUSTA COMMON

WHEN: 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Augusta Common between the 800 block of Broad and Reynolds streets

WHAT: live entertainment, children’s play area, and food, drink and merchandise vendors

IRISH-AMERICAN HERO TO BE HONORED

WHAT: Wreath laying at the Dennis Cahill Memorial; Cahill drowned after jumping into the Augusta Canal in 1902 to save a girl

WHEN: 2 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Southeastern corner of the Butt Memorial Bridge on 15th Street

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