As one of the most anticipated holidays for those with a palette whet by dark ales and fish ‘n’ chips, St. Patrick’s Day sneaks its way into the hearts and minds of non-Irish folk through its enthusiasm for liquor and hearty meals.
Though many of us are apt to get wild in Minneapolis instead of our state’s capital city, this weekend we shall recognize that St. Paul is the more Irish of the twins, charming the pants off visitors on St. Patrick’s Day with its abundance of Irish bars and great booze.
It’s time to show this city some love; a painted shamrock on your cheek and a glass full of green ale will do. Choose one of these Irish-infused locales as your St. Patty’s Day home base — then get to hoppin’.
What: St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Downtown St. Paul
When: Noon, Saturday
Grab a sidewalk spot on the streets of St. Paul for the 47th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade is a splendid way to kick off your Patty party at a delightful hour before spending the day in a Guinness-induced haze.
This parade is a delightful event to honor dear St. Patrick and of course the crowned Miss Shamrocks and Mr. Pats of 2013. Let’s hear it for the freckles!
What: World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Address: O’Gara’s Bar and Grill, 164 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul
When: 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Five minutes of booze and cheer and then an evening of just that: more booze and more cheer. O’Gara’s will have the parade through the bar, restaurant and O’Gara’s Garage. An Irish Pipe Band will lead the parade, and free swag will be tossed out. I’m talkin’ parade buttons, people.
What: The Liffey St. Patrick’s Day
Address: 175 W. Seventh St., St. Paul
Time: all day
For 21-year-olds, this is the bar to be at during a traditional St. Paul St. Patty’s Day. It’s got great beer specials, scrumptious Irish cookin’ — they offer a mean steak and mushroom pie — and it’s nestled in a pleasant spot near the river downtown.
The Liffey is a sublime location to don your gimmicky Irish-themed tee and party, well, how this bar always does. The crowd will be able to teach you a thing or two — it’s a mix of older folks reverting back to the habits of their college years and young folks perpetuating the habits of the present. Hey, the oldies have been celebrating the Irish for a handful of decades more than we have. This is a great place to maximize your St. Patrick’s Day drinking knowledge and capacity.
What: Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Nicollet Mall
Time: 6:30 p.m., Saturday
We have to toss Minneapolis a bone on Patty’s Day because it’ll be hosting a sequel parade for those of you who just can’t get enough of that Irish swag.
Saturday evening, Nicollet Mall will be a sea of green tees, pants and faces — depending on how much beer you put back at the previous parades — and a lot of shamrock cheer. Since you’ll be in the heart of downtown Minneapolis anyway, mosey into Irish bars The Local or Kieran’s Irish Pub for a celebration or two. Perhaps not quite St. Paul potential but either will do.