Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in St. Paul with this bar hop that features local favorites

Image by genjok/fotolia

By Charles Brandt

St. Paul may be the smaller half of the Twin Cities, but we know how to party. For St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a corner without roving bands of fun-loving St. Paulites covered from head to toe in green. Around the city there will be tons of traditional Irish music, DJs, party tents, pints, shots, food specials and, of course, the parade. Metro Transit is even offering free rides from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.. So pull that green shirt out of your closet and come out Friday, March 17 to celebrate. 

Start the day with an Irish breakfast and bag pipers at 9 a.m., and then jump on a free shuttle to the parade. If you feel like coming back after the parade is over, Gabe’s is also offering a free ride back. Hammer-Schlagen plays at 3 p.m., followed by DJ STR8 REPPIN at 6 p.m.. Food specials include corned beef, cabbage and carrots, which you can wash down with some good ol’ green beer.

51st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
No St. Paddy’s day celebration in St. Paul would be complete without streets filled with parade goers covered in green. The parade begins at noon on Friday, so make sure you get down with time to get a good spot picked out.

35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration
Put on by the Irish Music & Dance Association (IMDA) at the Landmark Center. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features traditional Irish music, dancing, cuisine and live bagpipes. Check out the full schedule of performances here.

Patrick McGovern’s Pub
After the parade, stop by the big tent celebration at Patrick McGovern’s for drinks and DJs in the tent, on patio, and upstairs on the second level.

The Dubliner Pub
Join the Dubliner for an all day St. Patrick’s Day celebration with musical guests, Todd Menton, Charlie Heymann, Tiller Black and Irish Brigade.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
This brewery was founded by Irishmen, so you’ll be sure to have a good time. Doors open at 1 p.m. for the release of Irish Cream Short Circuit Stout, followed by the release of this season’s final keg of Lecky Peated Scottish Ale at 3 p.m. To celebrate further, from 3-6 p.m. Tin Whiskers will have live Irish drinking songs, dance songs and ballads from Todd Menton. Stick around until 6 p.m. for the release of Short Circuit Stout cask-aged on oak.

Dark Horse Bar & Eatery
Along with a selection of food that helps hungry patrons celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, Dark Horse will be offering their “Irish Trilogy” from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., which includes a one-ounce pour of Jameson, Jameson Caskmates and Jameson Black, along with a 12 ounce Guinness for $20.

The Bulldog
Live bagpipers start at 1 p.m., and they recommend you “come thirsty”. Plenty of beer, including flights and green PBR, along with great apps, burgers and more.

Wild Tymes
Live music starts at 1 p.m., with 80HD, The Serfs, The Wibesmen, Fifth Season, and What’s Next. Also stick around for Hammer-Schlagen nail driving, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, green beer, beads and multiple giveaways. Wild Tymes also has a great outdoor patio that shares the West 7th Place courtyard with Great Waters Brewing, Afro Deli, and the Park Square Theater. For those with a sweet tooth, Candyland is right around the corner too.

Camp Bar
Looking for a truly unique St. Patrick’s Day experience? Get your tickets now for the interactive production of Flanagan’s Wake at 7 p.m. on St. Paddy’s day or wait until the 9:30 p.m. set of Sh!t-faced Shakespeare. Both have received wild roaring reviews, and can be enjoyed while drinking whiskey and pints. If you stick around for the Shakespeare production, the cast will be vigorously drinking along with you while they perform on stage.

Public Kitchen / Green Lantern
If you’re looking for something other than traditional Irish music or DJs in the downtown area, stop in for drinks at the Green Lantern and catch the Kronick Quintet at 9 p.m. The group has a jazzy-swing, bossa nova funk kinda feel. Green Lantern is located right below Public Kitchen in Lowertown and offers a small food menu along with beer, wine and cocktails.

O’Gara’s St. Paddy’s Celebration
Ready to fuel your early morning celebrations, O’Gara’s main bar opens at 8 a.m. and the kitchen shortly after at 9 a.m. The St. Paddy’s Day celebration will continue throughout the day, including:
3:30 p.m.: 26th Annual World’s Shortest Parade led by the Brian Boru Pipe Band
4-7 p.m.: The Whiskies in The Tent
4-8 p.m.: Love Songs for Angry Men (Acoustic) in The Shamrock Room
5 p.m.-2 a.m.: DJ in The Shanty
8-Midnight: The Todd Douglas Band in The Tent
9 p.m.-1 a.m.: The Sam Kuusisto Band in The Shamrock Room

Half Time Rec
Ready to get out of the downtown area? Half Time Rec is a bit of a local legend for both their basement Bocce court and St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. They’re pulling out all the stops, and opening at 8 a.m. to begin the celebration. The Irish Brigade will be performing at 1:00 p.m. (they’ll be at Dubliner later in the day if you don’t get a chance to catch them here). Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. with $3 domestic bottles, drafts and rails, and at 6 p.m. the DJ starts spinning.

Honorable Mentions
Most of the bars in and around downtown St. Paul get into the spirit for St. Paddy’s day. Stop into any of the following along your bar hopping path for a celebratory pint with good people.

Kelly’s Depot
Tom Reid’s
Shamrocks Irish Nook
Alary’s Bar
Amsterdam Bar and Hall
The Liffey Irish Pub

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