The calendar gods got it right this year: St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, meaning the partying starts early this weekend and continues until the final strains of “Danny Boy” have been sung in the wee hours of March 18 ... or March 19 ... or, maybe, even March 20.
You can jump right into the holiday Friday when the Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association — a bagpipe band made up of Kenosha-area firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies — kicks off its “St. Patty’s Day Kenosha Krawl.”
Friday’s stops are: 1:15 p.m. at Cheers, 4619 Eighth Ave.; 2 p.m. at Pete’s Place, 4520 Eighth Ave.; 2:45 p.m. at Mason’s Eatery & Pub, 7000 74th Place; 3:30 p.m. at Uncle Mike’s Highway Pub, 6611 120th Ave.; 4:15 p.m. at tg’s Restaurant & Pub, 4120 Seventh Ave.; 5 p.m. at the Bartley House, 1212 58th St.; 7 p.m. at Circa On Seventh, 4902 Seventh Ave.; 7:45 p.m. at the Boathouse Pub & Eatery, 4917 Seventh Ave.; 8:30 p.m. at Spanky’s Bar & Grill, 2325 52nd St.; 9:15 p.m. at Mike’s Chicken & Donuts, 707 56th St.; and 10 p.m. at Ashling on the Lough, 125 56th St. The schedule is subject to change. For updates, go to www.kapda.org. And let’s be careful out there!
The group’s main role is typically ceremonial — playing at events such as funerals for law enforcement, fire and military personnel.
The group performs at local taverns to raise money for uniforms, instruments and music instruction. Taverns pay the band, and a boot is passed for donations. The group performs at each locale for about 40 minutes.
Here are just some of the many area events/parties/dinners planned to celebrate everyone’s favorite excuse to dye beer a lovely shade of green:
Racine’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday features Irish and Celtic music, troubadours, leprechauns, a pipe band, floats, Irish dancers, Irish wolfhounds — and more. Noon at State and Main streets, heading south on Main to Sixth Street, turning west onto Sixth Street and ending at City Hall. www.racinedowntown.com.
Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward Association’s annual “Shortest & Smallest St. Patrick’s Day Parade” is 5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, taking place in Catalano Square (at the intersection of Broadway and Menomonee streets).
The “route” is a mere 280 steps, marched around the square. Visitors should “dress up in your Irish attire and receive free green beer and festive beads.”
The schedule: 4:30 p.m., McMenamin Irish Dancers; 5 p.m., parade steps off; 5:15 p.m., The Low Standards perform.
Note: Bring any kind of musical instruments and join the parade. More information: www.historicthirdward.org.
* St. Patrick’s Day is a huge event each year at The Bartley House, 1212 58th St. There will be green beer and corned beef and cabbage in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu items. Stuffed animals are given away — is this some obscure Irish tradition? — based on spins of a wheel. (The Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association group stops there at 5 p.m. on Friday.)
* Mike’s Donuts & Chicken and Chicken & Donut Bar, 707 56th St., celebrates the “Everybody’s Irish” season with concoctions like Jameson & Baileys doughnuts, plus food and drink specials. (The Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association group stops there at 9:15 p.m. on Friday.)
* The Rustic Road Brewing Company, 510 56th St., is now serving its Sean O’McMurphy’s Irish Stout.
* Coins Sports Bar, 1714 52nd St., will host a “two-day St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza” Friday and Saturday. Green beer will be served, along with corned beef and cabbage. Also, on Friday is a “Luck O’ The Irish” dart tournament. Saturday night, the bands Revival and Unusual Suspects perform, starting at 8 p.m.
* The corned beef and cabbage dinners are served March 17 at Spanky’s Bar & Grill, 2325 52nd St. There are also drink specials for patrons who enjoy that sort of thing. The staff at Spanky’s calls St, Patrick’s Day “our favorite day of the year! Make sure to get here early to enjoy all our drink and shot specials and find a seat. Cheers!” (The Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association group stops at Spanky’s 8:30 p.m. on Friday.)
* The Skybox Bar and Grill, 2901 60th St., has live music and Irish food served on Friday.
* There will be live music Friday night at the Starlight Club, 8639 24th Ave. The Lonely Ninjas, starting at 8 Friday night, aren’t normally an Irish band, but we’re sure you’ll hear some Celtic favorites. Also, “The Paddy Girls” will be serving shots of Paddy Irish Whiskey from 9 to 11 p.m. Friday.
* Proving that everyone really is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen, 7531 39th Ave., is serving corned beef and cabbage March 17 and 18.
* Luisa’s Pizza, on Highway 50 at 317th Avenue, gets into the spirit of the holiday, too, by celebrating St. Patrickanetti!
* Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub, 510 57th St., is serving corned beef and cabbage in addition to its regular menu.
* Baker Street, 6208 Green Bay Road, and Birchwood Grill, 7515 125th Ave., serve St. Patrick’s Day buffets all day Friday, including corned beef brisket.
* Corned beef and cabbage is also on the menu March 17 and 18 at the Fireside restaurant, 2801 30th Ave.
* St. Patrick’s Day dinners can be found on March 17 at Antonia’s Pancake House, 24207 75th St. in Paddock Lake, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Andy’s Drive-In, at 30th Avenue and Roosevelt Road, serves corned beef and cabbage dinners and Reuben sandwiches March 17 starting at 11 a.m.
* The Irish dinner specials run March 17-19 at the Boathouse, 4917 Seventh Ave. The Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association group stops at the Boathouse 7:45 p.m. on Friday.
* As you can imagine, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are a very big deal at Ashling on the Lough, 125 56th St., an Irish pub and eatery next to Southport Marina. Ashling opens at 8 a.m. Friday, serving a breakfast buffet until 11 a.m. Irish specials are served 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entertainment includes Lavonne (7:30 to 10 p.m.) and the Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association at 10 p.m.
* People who prefer to celebrate with sweets can visit Jack’s Cafe inside Andrea’s, 2401 60th St. Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, Jack’s serves Irish shakes and malts, special cheesecake and Irish Cream lattes and cappuccinos. The treats are in addition to corned beef and cabbage soup, Reuben sandwiches and corned-beef sandwiches.
* George’s Club Highview, 5305 60th St., serves up corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes and carrots starting at 11 a.m. every St. Patrick’s Day — until it’s gone.
* tg’s Bar and Restaurant, 4120 Seventh Ave., will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Reuben sandwiches, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread as well as traditional and vegetarian Irish stew and festive desserts. (The Kenosha Area Pipes and Drums Association group stops there at 4:15 p.m. Friday.)
* The Public Craft Brewing Company, 716 58th St., also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a special brew.
The green beer flows Friday at Crystal’s, 1402 52nd St.
* Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with songs made famous by John Mellencamp. The tribute band Mellencougar is playing Friday night at the Brat Stop, on Highway 50 just west of I-94. $8 cover.
* McAuliffe’s Pub, 3700 Meachem Road in Racine, opens at 10 a.m. on March 17 for an all-day St. Paddy’s Day party. There will be live music throughout the day and evening, including the Saturday Night Preachers and The Celtic Gypsies. Guinness stout stew and soda bread will be served.
* McAuliffe’s on the Square, 213 Sixth St., opens at 10 a.m. on March 18 — before the Racine St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Post-parade live Irish music starts at 4 p.m.
* If you’re looking for Irish grub, The Ivanhoe Pub & Eatery, 231 Main St. in Racine, serves its “Irish favorites” menu March 16-19, featuring Guinness fish and chips, bangers and mash (which is not as naughty as it sounds) and other specialties.
The Ivanhoe opens at 8 a.m. March 17-18. Sunday afternoon, Ivanhoe wraps up St. Patrick’s Day Weekend with music by The Pure Drop from 4 to 7 p.m. March 19. All musicians (even beginners) are welcome to join in with the group.
* The Yardarm Bar & Grill, 920 Erie St., regularly hosts Irish music. On March 17, Jeff Ward Band performs a solo show. On Saturday night, he’s joined by his band for an Irish sing-along.
* Racine’s Reefpoint Brew House, downtown on the waterfront, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day Weekend March 16-19, with Irish food and drink specials. The live music Friday night is by Hooked on Sonics.
Milwaukee and Chicago go all out for the holiday, too, with music all over those cities. If you do travel north or south to party like an Irishman, designate a driver and be careful out there! That goes for those of you staying closer to home, too. Let’s all be safe.
Chicago goes all out for the holiday, starting with the traditional dyeing green of the Chicago River and continuing with the city’s hugely popular Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. All that happened last weekend — but you can still find plenty of Irish themed events in our sister city to the south, including:
* You can’t get more Irish than celebrating St. Patricks’ Day with The Tossers, performing Friday night at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. The band — billed as “Chicago’s reigning pub punk heroes” — use traditional Celtic instrumentation with a snotty, punk rock edge. Tickets are $16-$20 at www.etix.com.