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Ricky Koons will perform at the Watson Inn’s St. Patrick’s Day Party on Friday.

Irish eyes will be smiling at the Watson Inn as Sunbury musician Ricky Koons will perform at the Inn’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party, Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m., at 100 Main St., Watsontown.

Koons has been playing at the Watson Inn for 10 years, nearly all of that time with Harvey Young of Northumberland as the duo Ricky & Harv. Young retired last year at 80 years old.

“I actually met Ricky at Staples in Lewisburg,” said Pamela Showers, general manager of the Watson Inn. “I went in for printer ink, handed him my rewards card, and he said, ‘Watson Inn! We’ve been trying to get in there to play live music!’ I smiled and said, ‘Are you available for St. Patrick’s Day?’ Needless to say, Ricky has been a special music guest ever since. Not only did I get my ink — I made a friend for life!”

Ricky & Harv then played at the Watson Inn every year except 2020, due to the pandemic.

“Ricky & Harv made the best duo — a fun crowd pleaser, and always up for one of my crazy ideas,” Showers said. “I wanted them to play at our first Ugly Sweater Party many moons ago, and they had no idea what I was talking about. But they knew it would be successful. They learned Christmas carols and let customers come up and sing with them. Every year their show was a big hit!”

A Sunbury native and a 1973 graduate of Shikellamy High School, Koons grew up as a huge fan of the Beatles but also loved the sounds of ‘70s and ‘80s artists, such as Grand Funk, the Eagles, Joe Walsh, America, and Ricky Skaggs.

A singer and guitarist, Koons repertoire consists mostly of hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s. His song list draws from a wide array of artists and styles, with favorites like “All My Loving,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “California Dreamin’,” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

“My main goal is to entertain and have fun with the audience and get them involved in the show,” Koons said. “I often hand out my song list so people can make requests.”

This summer, Koons will be performing with his good friends Tim Latshaw and Sean Madden at Knoebels on June 7 and Sunbury in the Park on June 27.

When not performing shows at other venues, Koons can be seen regularly at McGuigan’s in Sunbury, where he performs the first Friday of each month.

“I also do shows at local nursing homes and other public venues,” he said. “I always have fun with the audience when I play.”

This year, the Watson Inn’s St. Patrick Day menu will feature corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, traditional Irish beef and Guinness stew, corned beef reuben with fresh cut fries, bangers with mashed potatoes and shepherd’s pie. Entertainment is free of charge.

Showers said the reception for their shows is always positive, and even as a solo performer, Koons is sure to receive the same reception from the crowd as he did with Harv.

“We loved having them at the Inn!” Showers said. “Whenever I mention Ricky & Harv I always get smiles as a reaction from anyone who has ever heard them play — definitely a crowd pleaser. It’s always a great time and great music! Besides — everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day.”

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