Don’t let the French last name fool you. I’ve got some serious Irish blood running through my veins (first name Shannon —- hello). St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years since St. Patrick’s 30-year mission was to convert Irish pagans to Christianity.
If you want a taste of authentic Irish partying on March 17th, then Austin has you covered with events at both authentic pubs and franchised pretenders, as well as the Shamrock Austin Festival and parade.
The Shamrock AustinTM Festival is the place to be during and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Central Texas. Located at 4th and Guadalupe, this fun-for-all block party includes a battle of the bands, fun zone for kids, food court, beer garden, picture taking with leprechauns, and exhibitors selling their wares.
Austin boasts at least seven traditional Irish pubs where you can find such favorites as Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and Corned Beef and Cabbage Boxty, along with a variety of beers including Stella Artois, Harp Lager, Spaten Lager, Smithwicks Irish Ale, and of course Guinness.
EVENTS AT AUTHENTIC PUBS
Fado Irish Pub 214 W Fourth St, Austin, TX. Grab pints of “Liffey water” at this rockin’ all-day street festival with Irish booze, bands, dancers and the like beginning at 6am.
Mother Egan’s Irish Pub 715 W 6th St, Austin, TX. It’ll be Guinness galore all day long at this local favorite run by County Meath natives John O’Brien and Mick Morris. They named this pub after Morris’ grandmother, who took care of her village’s children in the early 1900s. You’ll believe you have been transported to a friendly neighborhood in Ireland when you visit. The St. Patrick’s Day party is both indoors and out–the back lot will be opened up for Irish-style music and merriment.
Dog & Duck Pub 406 W 17th St, Austin, TX. Celebrate the luck of the Irish with live music, traditional food and drink out in the tented lot. The Dog & Duck has been holding St. Patrick’s Day festivals for 16 years. Inside the pub’s ambience includes a pressed tin ceiling, mahogany bar, pub-couch seating, and hardwood floors.
Opal Divine’s Freehouse 700 W Sixth St, Austin, TX. Look out for leprechauns dancing next to the stage in the parking lot as bands play all day long at this raucous festival.
B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub 204 E 6th St, Austin, TX. Frenzied and frat-like, this Sixth Street Irish locale goes nuts on St. Patrick’s Day from 10am on with live music and bagpipes, and Irish food and drink specials.
Bull McCabe’s 714 Red River St, Austin, TX. This is an authentically Irish pub with the best brews. Don’t expect food, they are all about the beer. They don’t have a web site, but click here for a review.
Draught House Pub & Brewery 4112 Medical Pkwy, Austin, TX. A Central Austin favorite with a 30-foot long handmade mahogany bar.
For the party schedules at several Austin venues, keep visiting the St. Patrick’s Day in Austin web site at http://www.stpatricksdayparty.net/austin.shtml. It is updated as information is received.
EVENTS AT CHAINS PRETENDING TO BE AUTHENTIC PUBS
“When I realized what I had turned out to be was a lousy, two-bit pool hustler and a drunk, I wasn’t depressed at all. I was glad to have a profession.”
– Danny McGoorty, Irish Pool Player
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, La Frontera Shopping Center, 2701 Parker Rd. Suite 300, Round Rock, TX. While a bit light on traditional Irish fare, this pub offers a generous happy hour and selects one of its scantily clad food servers month as “Girl of the Month.” Think of an Irish twist on Hooters and you’ll get the idea. They’ll be having some sort of decadent do for St. Patrick’s Day.
Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub & Grill, 9012 Research Blvd , Austin , TX. Okay, so it’s a British pub rather than an Irish pub, but it offers extensive beer and wine lists, live music, billiards, darts and TVs and serves a mix of traditional fare and American food. It’s loud, busy and St. Patrick’s Day festivities will be plentiful. The place will be packed so arrive early.
Shakespeare’s Pub 314 E Sixth St , Austin , TX. This Sixth Street hole in the wall caters to a sports-loving crowd whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or not. They lack a web site, but do have a MySpace page here.
Bennigan’s 301 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX. Yes, it’s a chain with 5 locations in the Austin area. But if you’re into green beer, shots, prize giveaways, and Irish-themed food then this is the St. Patrick’s Day party place for you.
Ginger Man Pub 304 W Fourth St, Austin, TX. To celebrate St. Paddy, there will be festive music during the day and regular beer drinking into the night. And they do beer right with 80 beers on tap and more than 100 in bottles.
PARTY ATTIRE & IDEAS
To arrive at any St. Pat’s party in style check out Things Celtic, 1806 West 35th Street in Austin, Texas. They feature some of the finest Celtic products and have an online store on their web site.
For some fun inexpensive St. Patrick’s Day themed hats, decorations, and other things green, check out either the Party Pig or Party City. Both have several locations in the Greater Austin area.
Perhaps you want to host your own St. Patrick’s Day party. If so check out these creative ideas.
SXSW is held March 9th -18th this year. This annual Austin music festival is huge with it’s accompanying film festival, conferences, and trade show. On St. Patrick’s Day, some favorite bands from Ireland are scheduled to perform. You can listen to Oppenheimer from Belfast, Cardinal Cyn, Dublin’s Cracker, and if that’s not enough, you can check out the body painters and Curvy Canvas Hulabaloo Dance Party Crew. If you want to attend you’ll need to plan ahead and register – events sell out fast.
The Emerald Restaurant 13614 W. Hwy. 71, Austin, TX If you prefer to celebrate St. Pat’s in a quieter way, try this out of the way treasure for legit Irish cuisine served by the sweetest brother and sister you’ll ever meet. It’s pricey, but well worth it for the authentic food, peaceful ambience, and exceptional service. They don’t have a web site because they don’t need one.
While not a St. Patrick’s Day event, if you are in Austin celebrating anyway, stop by the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. It’s held March 9th -24th. If you hang out until March 20th you can see Foreigner in concert. That’s where I’ll be.