An excuse to get inappropriately drunk, thanks Ireland.

It’s no secret that we, at Denver off the Wagon, enjoy a couple drinks every now and then. It’s also no secret that sometimes we have a couple more than a couple drinks and stumble around downtown Denver. St. Patrick’s Day provides an excuse to do things that would piss off the guys below. Yes they are Irish Guards. But don’t worry, we won’t do anything to draw attention to ourselves, or break any laws… hopefully.

Considering the youthfulness of Denver’s residents, it’s no surprise there are plenty of events to help us get a little rambunctious during this spring holiday. Here are a few highlights to help you plan your St. Paddy’s Day debauchery. If your plans change, just go with it; every bar is an Irish bar on St. Paddy’s Day.

Denver St. Patrick’s Day ParadeSaturday, March 12, 10am

The Denver parade has been a staple of St. Patrick’s Day since 1961, when three men, sitting at Sullivan’s bar began an impromptu parade. Since then, it has grown to become the largest event in Denver celebrating the Patron Saint of Ireland. Check the parade map to figure out where to wet your whistle or catch the bagpipes as they march by. The parade is a good way to kick off your celebrating, and you can veer off the parade route if something catches your eye.


Kegs and EggsLodo’s1946 Market St., Thursday, March 17, 7am

A good breakfast is a must if you are planning on turning day drinking into night drinking, so start the day off right with a breakfast starting at 7am. Kegs and Eggs is probably the most anticipated St. Paddy’s Day gathering in Denver, and this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint, with Ok Go!, Reno Divorce and Darling Thieves. This event is FREE but make sure you get there early as it will be crowded and you might not get in if you’re late. Take a look at their website to learn how to win guaranteed passes.

Celtic Tavern1801 Blake St., Saturday, March 12 and Thursday, March 17

One of the most well known Irish style pubs in town celebrates St. Patty’s Day with live music on both Saturday, the day of the parade, and Thursday, the real St. Patty’s Day. The Celtic is now a non-smoking bar, but Delaney’s, next door, still offers cigars. Crowds of thirsty drinkers will swarm to the Celtic, so be ready to wait a little bit for your Guinness and a shot of Jameson when the bar is 5 or 6 deep and the bartenders look a little overwhelmed. The Celtic might be a little expensive and crowded to get a buzz.

Fado Irish Pub1735 19th St. #150., Friday, March 11 THROUGH Thursday, March 17

Throughout the week, starting Friday night, Fado stretches the holiday into a week long celebration full of Irish deliciousness for your taste buds and music for your ears. They’re even giving away tickets to the U2 concert scheduled for May 21. Check out their week long schedule to see what events will draw you in. Personally, I’d have to say Brian and Brendan Clancy will provide the best music on Thursday, but I am a little biased. I’ve been listening to those guys since college. Also, if you serve our communities in Fire, Police, Rescue, or Military, bring your ID so you can skip the cover, if there is one that day. If you spend the whole week at Fado I doubt your liver will survive, I bet by Tuesday it’ll just pack up and leave.

The Irish Snug – 1201 E. Colfax Ave., Saturday, March 12 and Thursday, March 17

If you are looking to stay away from the crowds downtown, checkout the Irish Snug on Colfax for an alternate celebration. They’ll have a tent and live music both on Saturday and Thursday. The Snug is a great spot to practice your Irish dancing, with traditional music throughout the week. Along with rock bands, there will also be bag pipe bands and traditional Irish bands playing  on both days, and you can also find Brian Clancy at the Snug on Saturday and  Thursday. The Snug is a family oriented place, so plan your celebration accordingly, and maybe stop by for a bit towards the beginning of your celebration to avoid offending any parents and children with debauchery.

For a little background, here is how we came to making St. Patrick’s Day into an excuse to booze really hard on a random day in March:

Not a whole lot is known about Patrick’s upbringing, but he is believed to be of Romano-British background, and born in the 4th century. At 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken from Britain and enslaved somewhere in Ireland (probably near the West coast). God encouraged him to escape and he did just that, went back to Britain and joined the church. When he was a bishop, he was called to Ireland to help spread Christianity. He drove the snakes out of Ireland and is credited with using a clover to explain the doctrine of the Catholic Trinity to the people. Then he died in 461. He is remembered as an awesome dude who brought Catholicism to Ireland.

According to Irish legend, the tradition of drinking on St. Patrick’s Day comes from an interaction Patrick had with a stingy innkeeper. Patrick was served a less than full measure of whiskey, so Patrick told him a tale about how there was a devil that lived on his dishonesty. He came back a while later and the innkeeper was pouring completely full glasses, and the devil was gone. Supposedly the Irish have been drinking to St. Patrick ever since. Now that you’re edumacated go out and drink to St. Patrick! Or… just get drunk for the fun of it.

About Kell Benson

Kell has been drinking non-stop since turning 21, and yearns to start a brewery. His life goal is to rope and ride a moose while under the Aurora Borealis. No regrets, that's his motto. That and everybody Wang Chung tonight.