Try to imagine St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday. We would get a paid day off for partying. Rivers of green beer would flow in the streets. And we could enjoy an even bigger hangover the day after.
There's a real campaign behind this silly idea, but it's more of a publicity stunt by beer giant Guinness. (Check out Proposition317.com.)
The Twin Cities' own Irish patriarch, bar owner Kieran Folliard, found such a lark amusing but "completely ridiculous." Fans of St. Paddy's Day don't need the government to tell them when to party, he said.
Indeed, Folliard and his brethren in the bar scene have a cavalcade of parties planned, making this year's St. Patrick's Day the most anticipated Tuesday since election season. With so many to choose from, we offer up some suggestions for finding your ideal St. Paddy's Day party.
... dancing an Irish jig
With three stages of music, there will be plenty of dancing at Kieran's Irish Pub. The Belfast Cowboys headline the tent outside. It's a special St. Paddy's Day with this year marking the 15th anniversary of Kieran's.
... real Irish drinkers
The Nomad Pub offers its annual "Break the Seal" challenge, where beer is free until someone pees. Last year, free beer flowed for two hours. Afterward: dirty limericks by the fire, cover bands and more shenanigans.
(Doors open at 3 p.m. Tue. and lock at 4 p.m. for the challenge. Free.)
... not quite Irish, but close enough
The folks behind Brit's Pub welcome their Irish friends with a party in the third-floor Clubhouse Bar. It has a great view of the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade (which starts at 6:30 p.m.). The Como Avenue Jug Band plays at 7 p.m. Bagpipers, too. (1110 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Free.)
... the politically incorrect
Well, you knew some nightclub was gonna do it. The Lone Tree in downtown Minneapolis will host what it calls "midget leprechaun wrestling." (9 p.m. Tue.)
... tent lovers
It wouldn't be a St. Paddy's Day party in Minnesota without an outdoor tent in the dead of winter. One of the biggest happens at O'Donovan's in downtown Minneapolis, where the Wild Colonial Bhoys play at 9 p.m. Across the river from downtown, Keegan's tent party will have music all day, too.
... rocking the suburbs
Don't want to come into the city? Don't worry. There are two locally owned Irish bars in the suburbs and both are throwing big parties. Kip's in St. Louis Park has a tent with music, while Jake O'Connor's in Excelsior has bagpipers and bands.
... pub crawlers
The Finnegan's pub crawl is always a hot ticket (two buses will visit Irish bars throughout the metro). There still might be seats left. If not, check out the after-party at Stella's in Uptown. (See www.finnegans.org.)
... pseudo-St. Patrick's Day parades
If you don't think your attention span can stand the two St. Paddy's Day parades in Minneapolis and St. Paul, O'Gara's offers the "World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade" at 3 p.m. in its bar. O'Gara's will, of course, have much more planned for its 68th annual celebration, including a lot of live music.
Take a free bus ride on St. Paddy's Day
Partying on St. Patrick's Day? No need to drive drunk. Once again, MillerCoors has teamed up with Twin Cities metro transits companies to offer free public bus rides. The promotion starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday and runs through the last scheduled trip on routes operated by Metro Transit, the Met Council, Minnesota Valley Transit and Plymouth Metrolink. Check route info at MillerCoorsFreeRides.com (www.MillerCoorsFreeRides.com) or call 1-800-373-3743.