Whether you have a spray of shamrocks woven into your hair or not -- or you're just wearing a ginormous green bow tie -- you can find your celebratory St. Patrick's Day outing around Southern California on Tuesday, March 17. There are the pubs and taverns, yes, but there is also...
Pershing Square: The downtown meet spot has hosted Erin-Go-Bragh-ian high jinks for years, and, as is tradition, those doings don't come with a dollar amount. Aye, the party is free, and it has an earlier time than most of the indoor St. Paddy's gatherings: 10:30 a.m.. A parade starts it all off -- City Councilmember Tom LaBonge is a host and the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums will be in attendance -- and Swagger'll keep the sound a-rockin', Celtic-style, into the noontime hour. Food trucks'll be there, too, into the early afternoon.
Tom Bergin's: If you think that an old-time traditional pub that has a neon shamrock outside, year-round, one that says "House of Irish Coffee," will throw what is, pretty much, a day-long party in honor of St. Patrick's Day, you'd be 100% correct. The day-long party is actually 22 hours -- we'll call that day-long, for sure -- and runs from 6 a.m. on March 17 to 2 a.m. on March 18. A band, a DJ, "Irish-inspired cocktail," and a full-on Guinness truck up the on-Fairfax festiveness.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Casey's Irish Pub: A post on Facebook pretty much sets the convivial scene: "460 kegs of beer and 100 cases of Jameson just made it into #CaseysIrishPub!" Like Tom Bergin's, the bash heats up in the wee smalls ("wee smalls"=6 a.m) with the street festival revving at 11 a.m. You're also close enough to the Pershing Square celebration if you want to take in both (and, of course, Metro is right there).
The Original Farmers Market: Magee's Kitchen has the longtime, been-around-for-decades cred that one looks for in a traditional St. Patrick's Day happening -- heck, Farmers Market, the meat-and-more counter's home, does, too -- and it also has corned beef and cabbage and lots of it. Follow the people in green to the foodie favorite, and stay for live tunes, too. Just don't forget the horseradish, something Magee's has perfected over the years.
Tam O'Shanter: Over the hills and through the dell and to Atwater Village you may go, to find another pub-y party of St. Patrick's-big proportions. One of the oldest restaurants in all of SoCal welcomes The Ploughboys on March 17, and Whiskey Sunday, too. As is the case with other raise-a-pint parties, the parking lot will be host a lot of the shenanigans. And will there be Bailey's cupcakes, too, in addition to the large beer selection? We'll have three, please.