Back East they dye the rivers green on St. Patrick's Day in honor of the snake-driving, dead-raising, proselytizing patron saint of Ireland. Down here we don't bother with the food coloring -- after all, Buffalo Bayou is always a little green -- but we do party like we're all a wee bit Irish. And this year we'll have plenty of opportunities to puke up foamy green lager: St. Paddy's Day falls on a Wednesday, an inconvenience that guarantees a hungover Thursday but also sets the stage for a week of partying beforehand. Local festivities begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, when Griff's holds a Paddy's Day Queen Contest (3416 Roseland, 713-528-9912). Friday at 8 p.m. it starts to get sloppy with Griff's First Annual Pudding Wrestling Competition. We can only wonder how many wrestlers will be runners-up from the night before.
The Houston St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford, 713-681-5170). An Irish stew cook-off follows at -- you guessed it -- Griff's, and there's also an evening of festivities planned at Sam Houston Race Park, where you can see if you actually do have the luck of the Irish (7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, 281-807-7223).
We suggest you take a few days' vacation after that, because the big day itself, Wednesday, March 17, should be off the hook at The Main Event. Authentic Irish bagpipers and green beer will be ubiquitous at Slainte (509 Main, 713-222-1033) and Shay McElroy's Irish Pub (909 Texas, 713-223-2444). And, for no reason other than the possibility of seeing girls go wild, both venues will offer up plenty of beads to throw to revelers. -- Keith Plocek
FARRAGO'S CAMPARI AND SODA
A four-day blowout getaway to Colorado left me dizzy, beat up and just a tad hungover. I woke up at my friend's house rather disoriented, my shins and calves feeling like they'd taken a few blows from Tonya Harding's ex. I stumbled across the street to Farrago (318 Gray 713-523-6404) in search of a barstool and a well-made cocktail. Ron behind the bar was all too happy to oblige and wasted no time whipping up a Campari and soda for me. It was quiet, maybe three in the afternoon, with only a handful of people at the bar. I was finishing my second and about to pay the tab when the most striking bald woman strolled in and sat down a few seats away. I usually don't approach strangers, but this time I couldn't help myself. "Pardon me, miss, do you have the time?" Her beauty left me unable to come up with a better line. She ignored me and looked in the other direction, blowing smoke from her mouth. "Would you like one more drink, buddy?" Ron asked. I'd had enough of everything. I settled up and headed home.
1-3/4 ounces Campari
1 ounce soda water
Lemon twist optional
In an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, measure out Campari and top off with soda water. Perfect for late-afternoon shopping excursions, home remodeling or lunch with your ex-wife. -- J.W. Crooker
Sense of Style
This weekend's Style and Profile party wants to overwhelm all your senses. First, there's the eye candy: Not only will lingerie models be strutting around in their skivvies, but (if you pay for VIP access) you can watch them auction the scraps of nylon right off their bodies. Next, take your taste buds on a trip to the chocolate "bar," and after that, offer your muscles to the healing touches of the masseuse and masseur on duty upstairs. DJs will delight your ears throughout the evening. And as for smell? Just stand next to any metrosexual and inhale the Clinique for Men. 9 p.m. Friday, March 12. Mint, 511 Main. For information, call 281-935-1978 or visit www.fruitionpr.com. $10; $30 for VIP tickets. -- Lisa Simon
The Higher They Fly
In the late '70s, Canadian-born, black-leather-wearin' guitar god Pat Travers made the cover of Guitar Player and played football stadium gigs around the world with bands like Van Halen opening for him. Now he's playing sports bars. In between, he's had a hell of a ride, even recording a couple of hit songs, including "Snortin' Whiskey, Drinking Cocaine." All you mullet-wearing rock freaks should be pleased to hear that for his Houston gig, Travers's band will include Greg T. Walker, the original bass player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and drummer Simon Wright, of AC/DC's chart-topping '80s lineup. Support 'em on this tour before they're forced to play kids' parties. 9 p.m. Thursday, March 11. Forgetta 'Bout It, 13245 Jones Road. For information, call 281-807-4116. $15. -- Greg Barr