Yes, there have already been parades and pub crawls, but the actual St. Patrick's Day is this Saturday and, with the holiday falling on a weekend, there is no shortage of things to do. Here's a sample of ideas to celebrate (or fake) the Irish in you:
J. Patrick's Irish Pub, 1371 Andre Street, 410-244-8613: Long-time house band Rigadoo will start playing authentic Irish tunes at 4 p.m., as they do every year. This will be a no-frills celebration with the usual suspects on tap: Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, and Magners. Early risers will appreciate that the staff is getting to the bar around 7 a.m. and owners anticipate a crowd will be waiting when J. Patrick's opens.
Sláinte Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1700 Thames Street, 410-563-6600: If you thought 7 was early, Sláinte is pushing it all the way to the legal limit and opening at 6 a.m. on Saturday. They will have live, acoustic music in the morning, as well as Irish dancers three times throughout the day. The highlight, however, will be at 1 p.m. when England plays Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby Championship. The bar may or may not explode.
An Poitin Stil, 2323 York Road, Timonium, 410-560-7900: For those after the mega-celebration, The Stil is right up your alley. Though they've been celebrating since the 11th, Saturday will feature a live broadcast from 100.7 The Bay, as well as a tent with various live bands throughout the day, ending with the Kelly Bell Band at 9 p.m. If you get there early enough (10-11 a.m.) Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick's will be $3.17 each. But, don't worry—Jameson drinks are $5 all day.
Liam Flynn's Ale House, 22 W. North Avenue, 443-956-1702: This relatively new Station North bar is celebrating pretty big on Saturday. They'll open at 11 a.m. (instead of the normal 4 p.m.) and will feature all the matches on TV (including England vs. Ireland rugby). At 2 p.m., they'll serve complimentary food like bangers and beans, corned beef and cabbage, and soda bread. Drink specials include $5 20-oz. Guinness pints, $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas, and $6 Irish coffees.
Victoria Gastro Pub, 8201 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia, 410-750-1880: If you're a beer lover, this Columbia gastro pub is ideal. They'll feature live music and food specials, like Irish breakfast, smoked salmon, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness pie. But the kicker is the draft beer on tap: Kilkenny Irish Cream, Brooklyn Irish Stout, Porterhouse Red, DuClaw Celtic Fury Irish Stout, Flying Dog Lucky SOB, Ohara's Irish Red, and more.
Mick O'Shea's, 328 N. Charles Street, 410-539-7504: The Mt. Vernon bar is kicking it off at 10 a.m. with kegs and eggs. They'll also be doing beat-the-clock specials on 16-oz. Guinness pints (from 10-11 a.m., $2; from 11 a.m.-noon, $3; from noon-1 p.m., $4). That's all leading up to the England vs. Ireland rugby game and then traditional Irish band Spalpeens will perform from 4 p.m. on.
The Life of Reilly, 2031 E. Fairmount Avenue, 410-327-6425: Starting at 8 a.m., this quaint Butchers Hill bar will be packed with revelers. This is a place to go for the food: All of their delicious Guinness entrees will be $9.99 and they'll feature a stew-and-brew deal—half-order of Guinness stew and pint of Guinness is $9.99. Also, a trio of Irish whiskey flights is $15.99.
Claddagh Pub, 2918 O’Donnell Street, 410-522-4220: In true Canton style, Claddagh's is hosting the 17th annual "Meet in the Street" where revelers party in O'Donnell Square. This year, expect a live 98 Rock broadcast, green beer, heated tents, and live music from Mr. Greengenes.
Dougherty’s Pub, 223 W. Chase Street, 410-752-4059: This mid-town dive is taking a low-key approach to the holiday. They'll be opening up at 11:30 a.m. instead of the usual 5 p.m. and they'll be serving entrees like corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, and Irish cream cheesecake. But, other than that, it's business as usual: they won't have any live entertainment and they'll have the typical Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, and Magners on tap.
Cat's Eye Pub, 1730 Thames Street, 410-276-9866: As it is wont to do, Cat's Eye will have live music all day and night. Irish folk band Dogs Among the Bushes will be perofrming their tunes from 2 p.m.- 2 a.m. There will be drink specials on Murphys and Jameson, as well as giveaways.
Ryan's Daughter, 600 E. Belvedere Avenue, 410-464-1000: The Belvedere Square spot will feature live music from noon until midnight, including a local balladeer, a bagpiper, and Irish soloist Brendan Pelan. The bar will be serving a limited menu with all of the typical Irish favorites.
Power Plant Live!, 34 Market Place, 410-752-5444: This Saturday, Power Plant is hosting "Shamrocks & Shenanigans," an all-day music festival, culminating with a performance by mash-up DJ Girl Talk at 9 p.m. For $20, you get a pass that gives you access to the concerts and no cover at the various bars. Also, for $30, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden and Luckie's Tavern are having open bar and food 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
[Image: courtesy of ajax15 via flickr]