The wealth of local bars and nightlife hangouts gearing up for Irish-inspired festivities this coming weekend might as well call it St. Patrick's Days, since the partying is happening over more than just a single 24 hour period.
It's a boon for both their bottom lines and liquor sales, as well as for anyone looking for an excuse to overindulge in intoxicants and sport flashing green plastic knickknacks, that kicks off on Friday, March 15, and keeps on going right up to last call on Sunday, March 17. Here's a list of nine St. Paddy's events where you can Erin go bragh, brah.
El Hefe Sundays are always a big deal at El Hefe, as hundreds fill the Saddlebag Trail spot to capacity for rowdy thrills -- despite the fact it's a school night. This weekend will be no exception when it brings a party for St. Hefe (a.k.a. "The Patron Saint of Day Drinking") on Sunday, March 17. A beer pong tournament starts at noon, when DJs like Circle, Diverse, and Thomas James begin their spin sessions, which will run until 10 p.m. Admission is free.
O'Kelley's The sweet science will be showcased in grand fashion during the St. Patrick's festivities on Sunday, March 17, as bouts for the 10-Count Boxing championship will take place in O'Kelley's parking lot party starting at 1 p.m. Other distractions planned for the daylong affair include drinking games, bagpipers, giveaways, appearances by both the Bud Girls and Guinness Girls, psychic readings, and green beer (natch). Live music starts at 12:30 p.m. with performances by Rhythm Edition, The Dickensons, Rock Addix, and Krutch. Doors open at 6 a.m.
Giligin's Although the infamous Chuey the Rock 'n' Roll Midget won't be able to attend the festivities this year, as he's out of town on vacation, there will still be other little folk working as bartenders and waitstaff while dressed as leprechauns at Giligin's four-day St. Patrick's weekend block party. Starting on Thursday, March 14, the Old Town Scottsdale tiki joint will fence off a portion of the street and host live bands, various street games, beer stations, giveaways, and plenty of little green men and women. A "Best Leprechaun" contest is also planned. Opens at 11 a.m. each day and there's no cover.
Padre Murphy's While many local bars boast that their St. Patrick's shenanigans are the biggest in the Valley, Padre Murphy's actually backs up the claim every year by erecting an enormous bigtop tent in its parking lot and offering a three-ring circus of libations and live entertainment underneath. Multiple food and drink vendors, kitschy promo giveaways, and a slew of performances will take place, including gigs by the Michael Patrick Gallager Dancers, blues musician Hans Olson, the Highland Legacy Bagpipers, J. David Sloan and Western Bred, Colleen Callahan, Boy Wonder Blues Band, Summer Dawn and Envy, and others. Doors open at 10 a.m. Admission is free before 2 p.m., $10 until 6 p.m., and $15 until close.
Rosie McCaffrey's Better stock up on energy drink if you hope to make it through the three straight days of St. Patrick's merriment scheduled to transpire at this popular Camelback Road pub. Keltic Cowboys will perform starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16, and there's no cover either night. The biggest bash of the weekend, however, takes place on Sunday, March 17, which will benefit local charities and will be hosted by the on-air personalities of 98.7 The Peak. It gets going at 6 a.m. Corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, Irish lamb stew, and pulled-pork sandwiches can be purchased all day, and bagpipers will perform beginning at 2 p.m. Live music starts at 11 a.m. $10 cover on Sunday only, which also includes admission to the fiestas as Seamus McCaffrey's and The Turf in downtown Phoenix.
Fat Tuesday Mill Avenue will be the epicenter for St. Paddy's Day activity, given that Flogging Molly's blockbuster concert is taking place at nearby Tempe Beach Park, not to mention all the nightspots populating the area. Fat Tuesdays will be holding its annual Block Party encompassing both the daiquiri joint, as well as neighboring Canteen and Handlebar. A quartet of DJs will drop Top 40 and dance hits and libations will be in abundance. If you get bored, head over to Robbie Fox's next door, as it will offer a variety of local bands and musicians, beer trucks, and Irish Car Bomb stations. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is $5.
Rula Bula Elsewhere on Mill Avenue, Rula will be offering back-to-back St. Patrick's parties during the weekend, each featuring live music and plenty of revelry. Things kickoff on Saturday, March 16, with Irish folkster Trevor Jones taking the stage at 5 p.m., followed by The Sea Merchants from 10 p.m. until last call. Come back on Sunday, March 17, for bagpipers, giveaways, the Bracken School's Irish Step Dancers at 3 p.m., The Sullivans at 4 p.m., and JJ's Band at 8 p.m., as well as promos by Guinness, Jameson and Bailey's all day. Opens at 11 a.m. both days. Cover ranges from $5 to $10.
Kobalt Cue up Billy Idol's 1982 chart-topper "White Wedding," hit up local thrift stores for a secondhand bridal frock, and rest up your liver for plenty of alcohol. Now you're prepared for the annual madness of the Brides of March, a nuptial-themed bar crawl through downtown Phoenix on Saturday, March 16. Both men and women will don wedding dresses and gather at Kobalt before departing on an afternoon-long journey to nearby drinking establishments along the light rail, all while engaging in goofy antics and downing a surfeit of spirits. The bizarre bridal show begins at noon. Participation is free.
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Irish Cultural Center The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Faire once again will fete the Emerald Isle via a day of traditional Celtic fun and festivities that takes place on Saturday, March 16. As always, the event kicks off at 10 a.m. with the parade, which will depart from Third and Sheridan streets and wind its way to Margaret T. Hance Park. The faire itself will feature three stages of Irish-oriented live entertainment, food and drink, vendors and craft booths, and a variety of other activities. Meanwhile, the public can also peruse the ongoing "Fighting Irishmen" exhibition being hosted inside the ICC's new McClelland Library. Events at the center begin at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military, free for kids 12 and under.