If you happen to have a vacation day to burn, it's most definitely gonna come in handy during St. Patrick's weekend. That's because the annual Irish holiday happens to fall on a Sunday this year, which might ordinarily throw a kink into your plans to engage in a massive Celtic-style craic. Those who have free pass from clocking in come Monday morning, however, can sip Guinness while supping on corned beef and cabbage to their hearts content. And there are plenty of places to do so around the Valley, starting on Friday, March 15, until Sunday, March 17, and we've got a list of the best places to get your fill of green beer.
Arizona Vapor Lounge
4230 W. Dunlap Road
If getting in some green on St. Paddy's involves substances more of the leafy and skunky variety, the annual Smoke Phatties Day concert and block party will take place on Saturday, March 16, at this West Phoenix establishment. Rock and rap will be on tap via performances from such acts as Property Six, Lucky D., Kan9ne, and S.P.A.D.E. 8 p.m., $13. See www.econcertlive.com.
Brides of March
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. There, you're all 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, 3110 North Central Avenue, 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.
The Comedy Spot
7117 E. 3rd Ave., Scottsdale
Joke-slinging Irishman and stand-up comic Butch Bradley visits the Scottsdale comedy den for a three-night set starting during St. Patrick's weekend. Performances are at 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16; and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 17. Admission is $12. Call 480-945-4422.
12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills
The yearly Fountain Hills St. Paddy's Day Festival will take place on Sunday, March 17, and offer feature arts and crafts, barbecues, vendors, children's play areas, and more. As always, the park's eponymous 330-foot fountain will be turned green, erupting at noon, and music will be provided by the local rock bands and Irish artists. 10 a.m., free. Call 480-816-5151.
Irish Cultural Center
1106 N. Central Ave.
The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Faire will once again 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. 10 a.m.; $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military, free for kids 12 and under. Call 602-258-0109.
Musical Instrument Museum
725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Get a taste of the Emerald Isle without leaving the Valley when the MIM hosts its two-day “Experience Ireland” extravaganza of Celtic culture on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17. Workshops on how to make authentic bodhrán drum and Irish badges will be held, as will a céilí and step-dancing demonstrations, and a special talk by curatorial assistant Clint Spell on traditional instruments and music. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, free with $10-$18 museum admission. Meanwhile, the Irish folk musicians of Altan will perform at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday in the theatre. Tickets are $32.50-$42.50. Call 480-478-6000.
Scottsdale's Ultimate Block Party
4219 E. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
Hard rocker James Durbin and '90s alternative radio hitmakers Lit will headline this year's edition of Craftsman Court's annual outdoor St. Patrick's extravaganza on Saturday, March 16. Local DJs and Valley bands like The Black Moods, Good with Grenades, The Wednesday Machine, Black Bottom Lighters, and Grain of Truth will provide support on two different stages. Patrons will also have access to three bars (Dos Gringos, Rockbar, and Blitz), various food and beer vendors, and plenty of St. Pat's swag. Gates open at 3 p.m., $10. Call 480-423-3800.
Tempe Beach Park
54 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
Dave King, Bridget Regan, and the rest of Flogging Molly once again will pack up their pipe whistles and make a jaunt to Tempe on Sunday, March 17, for a St. Patrick's Day outdoor concert as a part of their annual Green 17 Tour. Leading up to their gig will be an afternoon of music from such openers as reggae-rockers Pepper, the punks of Anti-Flag, and German-born hardcore band The Donots, as well as Valley natives The Wiley One and Jared and the Mill. Gates open at 1 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the event. Call 480-829-0707 or visit www.luckymanonline.com.