It's that time of year again. Don your green bowler and brush up on all your best Celtic pickup lines, because 'tis the season when everybody's Irish. That means you'd better be able to down the drinks and sing a traditional Irish tune or two. St. Patrick doesn't want to see Houston slacking on this, his holiest of days.
Last year Playboy reported that Houston has one of the lowest Irish populations in the country, but there's no shortage of Irish pubs and other watering holes that work hard to pay their respects to the Patron Saint of Beer (wait, isn't that St. Arnold?). So gear up and get out into the city to support these fine establishments in their efforts to get you as drunk as a mad leprechaun.
SATURDAY, MARCH 12
Cory Morrow Get lucky with live Thoroughbred racing and a fabulous concert at Sam Houston Race Park. The northwest Houston track will be hosting a St. Patrick's Day Party, and the festivities will include green beer and a live concert by Cory Morrow. The concert will take place following the last Thoroughbred race. Morrow, a native Texan, began playing the guitar while attending Memorial High School in west Houston. He attended Texas Tech University and studied the lyrics and musical groove of Texas musician Robert Earl Keen. Morrow's releases include Texas Time Travelin', The Cory Morrow Band, The Man That I Have Been and Cory Morrow Live: Double Exposure. 5:30 p.m. $3 before 9 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m.; $1 for senior citizens.
Irish American Heritage Association St. Patrick's Day Dance The Irish American Heritage Association, a gathering of people of Irish descent and those who appreciate Irish culture and its gifts to the world, wants you to celebrate St. Paddy's Day by dancing the night away. Enjoy the sounds of the Cass Irish Dance Troupe and music by the great DJ David O'Clark. Caricatures will be drawn by world-renowned J-Wax. 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. $10; BYOB.
St. Patrick's Day Parade Downtown Always a free event, the two-hour St. Patrick's Day Parade historically has been one of the largest in the country and will include more than 100 entries to delight the Irish and Irish-at-heart. "The St. Patrick's Day Parade gives everyone a chance to be Irish," says Pat Duane. "It's one day when the sounds, sights and celebration transcend all nationalities and people come together to celebrate the spirit of the Irish."
The St. Patrick's Parade Commission is proud to announce this year's parade grand marshal, James D. Wetherbee, a retired captain in the United States Navy and former NASA astronaut. This year's parade theme is "The Irish Salute Irish Heroes, Past and Present" and is dedicated to Ann Ivins, grand-niece of Dick Dowling, famous Civil War hero and Houstonian.
Houston's St. Patrick's Day Parade is rooted firmly in the city's heritage. The first parades date back to the 1880s, when the parade was started in "Irish Town" by old St. Patrick's Church. Flags, bands and marchers hit Market Square for a day of fun, games, music, food and drink. The people spilled in and out of the various pubs in Market Square.
The parade continued until World War I, when the Irish scattered all over the growing city. The Great Depression and World War II took priority in people's lives and the parade disappeared. In 1960, radio personalities Tim Nolan and Bob Bryant announced a St. Patrick's Day Parade for downtown Houston. This little parade was only a few blocks long, but it sowed the seeds of the current St. Patrick's Day Parade. See map on page 62 for route. 2 p.m. Free.
St. Patrick's Day "1960" Parade and Celebrations This parade benefits the Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS). Last year's parade and related events raised $30,000 to assist CCEMS in purchasing a new ambulance. This year, all proceeds will go toward the CCEMS Scholarship Fund and community- and prevention-based programs for children.
The parade begins at 2 p.m. at the Wells Fargo parking lot at Champions Forest Drive and FM 1960 and ends at The Boat Seafood Restaurant at the corner of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl. Revelers should make their way to the 3.5-mile parade route as early as possible; 60,000 to 80,000 folks are expected.
THURSDAY, MARCH 17
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
Brian O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub You can spend your entire day at one of Houston's premier Irish pubs. At 9 a.m. enjoy brunch and a traditional Irish breakfast, served until noon, featuring traditional Celtic music by the Highlanders on the patio stage. At 1:30 p.m. Murder the Stout, featuring traditional Irish drinking songs, leads a sing-along on the patio stage until 5:30 p.m. Then at 6 p.m., the Slags will take the stage. This Clear Lake band brings a large repertoire of music spanning from the '70s to present-day hits, including some traditional Irish drinking songs, so get out your dancing shoes. At 7:30 p.m., the McTeggart Irish Dancers of South Texas will perform on the patio stage. These young ladies are amazing. Make sure to come early and get a good spot. Then "around eightish" the Slags will return to the patio stage and rock out until 10 p.m., when the Trey Clark Band will take over and rock the indoor stage until closing time. There are also rumors of a sexy kilt contest. Hmmm.
Connolly's Irish Pub Connolly's features 27 different beers on tap, Irish whiskeys, pool tables, video golf and a variety of pub-style cuisine including shepherd's pies, chicken pies, wings and pizzas.
The Dog House Tavern This is the place to be if you love a good Irish stout. They feature $2 stouts till close.
Fitzgerald's St. Patrick's Day Party Tonight enjoy drink specials and a hellafied Heights party atmosphere.
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium Doors open at 10 a.m. There will be beer specials all day and night, and you can drink 'em in your commemorative St. Patrick's Day Flying Saucer Glass. There'll be a guitar raffle at 10 p.m. and live music featuring the Handsomes.
The Ginger Man Today doors open at 1 p.m. Come enjoy some of the finest traditional Irish food and a wide selection of beer with music by Abbey Rode from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
The Harp Named Houston's Best Neighborhood Bar in 2004, The Harp opens at noon today with burgers and hot dogs served from 5 p.m. on. Lisa Novak will perform on the patio starting at 7 p.m., and as always, there will be fantastic Irish dancers and bagpipers to entertain you on this holiest of days.
Kenneally's Irish Pub For this special event there will be a tent up in the parking lot. There will be plenty of special Irish stew, andof course they'll still serve their famous pizza. Enjoy continuous live music throughout the day with Luther & the Healers and Vince Vaughn. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
King Biscuit Patio Cafe Live music and world-famous Irish stew. The Jameson girls will be in the house with shots of your favorite Irish whiskey, and you can expect all the shenanigans possible on Houston's most fun patio.
Les Femmes de la Nuit, The Social Lounge & Patio Bar Join in on the fun at Houston's premier all-female DJ rendezvous happening tonight with Gracie Chavez, Diva Karina Nistal and friends like Soul Free, Jessica Partin, Candice Elliott and vocalist Shina Rae.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck St. Patrick's Day Celebration They'll be serving great Irish food all day, including corned beef and cabbage, beef Guinness, shepherd's pie and fish and chips. The entertainment starts at noon and will feature Jiggernaut, the Rogues, the O'Maoileidigh Irish Dancers, Wyndnwyre, Tartanic, E.J. Jones, the Irish Session Players and their resident leprechaun Martin, as he leads the Celtic throngs through some of your favorite Irish tunes and even a limerick or two. Starts at 11 a.m.
Meridian It's the return of the Houston St. Patrick's Festival with performances by Flying Fish Sailors, Constant Billy, Paisley Close and Godfrey's Rangers. 5 p.m. Free.
Molly's Pub Molly's is an authentic Irish pub where you can relax by the fireplace and enjoy cocktails or a choice of a dozen draft beers. Today enjoy Irish music with Liam Tierney from 4 p.m.
Red Lion Pub With a party beginning at 11:30 a.m. and going until the beer runs out, this cozy English pub showcases the best British brews with more than 20 beers on tap, real imperial pints, along with the full gamut of fine spirits and single malts. In addition, the Red Lion offers freshly prepared savory pub fare. Menu items include traditional dishes such as shepherd's pie, bangers and mash and sausage rolls. Opens at 11:30 a.m.
Ron's Pub Get stewed at Ron's and enjoy free Irish stew served from 3 p.m. till it's gone. Enjoy live bagpipe performances at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Always a good time had by all with nary a cover.
Sam's Concert Pub You'll love this St. Patrick's Day Parking Lot Party. Live music from three bands plus DJ Jaime, beer specials and a live remote with 104 KRBE's Adam Smasher. Noon to 2 a.m.
Shamrock 'n Roll at Sherlock's
10001 Westheimer, 713-977-1857: Fondue Monks, Strippers Lie, the Stugots and Livin' Proof will provide the jams with a live remote on 94.5 the Buzz. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
1997 W. Gray, 713-521-1881: Live music from the Max and special guests. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
2416 Bay Area Blvd., Clear Lake, 281-461-4702: Live music from Static and special guests. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
228 W. First St., Humble, 281-446-0407: Live music from Cross Check and special guests. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Shamrock 'n Roll at Baker St. Pub & Grill
5510 Morningside, 713-942-9900: Live music from Bad Boyfriend and Some Duo. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
17278 Tomball Pkwy., Willowbrook, 281-517-0828: Live music from the Ruse and special guests, with a special Bloody Mary breakfast bar and live remote on 94.5 the Buzz from 6 a.m. (that's right, party people, till 3 p.m.). 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
15970 City Walk St., Sugar Land, 281-494-0774: Live music from Sonic Amber and special guests. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Shay McElroy's Irish Pub Open noon to 2 a.m. with live music from the Bourbon Street Band. Also featuring bagpipers, Irish dancers, party favors and a beer garden.
Six Degrees a.k.a. Murphy's Pub Enjoy a lounge with an Irish twist for one day only, with drink specials and DJ Soul Tower 606 spinning the hits. 5 p.m.
Slainte Opening at 11 a.m. with commemorative pint glass giveaways, discounted beer and live music featuring Charlie Wemyss. Start your downtown pub crawl here.
St. Pete's Dancing Marlin Festivities start at 11 a.m. with a green beer special and rattlesnake on the menu, a live remote at 3 p.m. with KPFT and live music at 10 p.m. featuring Kosmic McLatte.
THE MAIN EVENT ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION
Downtown, on Main Street between Congress and Capitol
Main Street celebrates this fun Irish holiday with a huge street party. The Bud Stage will feature music from Urbana, and the Irish Stage will feature the Cass Irish Dancers. They'll close the street to automotive traffic, creating a pedestrian-friendly zone with picnic tables lining both sides of the 500 block of Main, with outside vending, Irish dancers and live music 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
GRIFF'S 40 ANNUAL ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVAL
3416 Roseland, 713-528-9912, www.griffshouston.com
Thursday, March 10
St. Patrick's Day Queen Contest
Are you one of Houston's most beautiful lasses? Then you're invited to compete for the title of St. Patrick's Day Queen. Join in for an evening of fun and entertainment as the list of competitors is narrowed down. The queen will ride in the Houston St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 12. And the first prize is a vacation for two to a resort in Mexico, $250 in baubles from Klein's Jewelry and other gifts. Second prize is jewelry worth $150, and third prize is jewelry worth $100, all from Klein's, in addition to other gifts.
Friday, March 11
Beer, Booze, Babes and Balls -- Greater Houston Irish Open Golf Tournament
Griff's 23rd annual tournament is always a good time. Get more details and sign up online. Noon.
Saturday, March 12
Join the Green Tide to Houston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Ride in the caravan departing at 9 a.m. Have fun at Griff's after the parade. Then head back to Griff's for an Irish stew cookoff all afternoon, with music.
Monday, March 14
The Old Timers get together to remind themselves how much fun they used to have. Drink specials all day and night.
Tuesday, March 15
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St. Paddy's Festival Steak Night
Get you a good base in your belly, well in advance of Thursday's drinkfest, with 16-ounce steaks, Irish potatoes and green beer.
Thursday, March 17
Top o' the morning to ya. Griff's has everything you need to make today special: music, beer and friends. All day and night. Get your tickets early. Check your head at the door.