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Six spots for St. Patrick’s Day

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Patrons gather to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the Shamrock Pub in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday, March 17, 2013. / (March 17, 2013; Corespondent Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Pretty much every bar offers drink specials on St. Patrick’s Day. Monday, don’t be surprised to find even your favorite martini bar serving green beer and lime Jell-O shots. Here are six spots that proudly honor Ireland all year round and do this great bacchanal of a holiday better than most. It’s not a definitive list, so we invite you to tell us about your favorite local Irish bar, pub or gastropub at ticketsarasota.com.

shmarock pub HT 2013

Patrons gather to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the Shamrock Pub in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday, March 17, 2013. / (March 17, 2013; Corespondent Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Shamrock Pub
2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; 952-1730; shamrocksarasota.com
Shamrock Pub knows how to party, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, which it totally owns. Seriously, you won’t find a bigger party anywhere in Sarasota County on Monday. The Shamrock’s sixth annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party is from 2 p.m. to midnight. Local folk-rock band Have Gun, Will Travel, which has been touring the country in support of its superb new album “Fiction, Fact or Folktale?,” returns home to headline with a performance at 7 p.m. Live music begins inside at 2 p.m. and outside at about 3 or 4 p.m. Our Ticket limerick contest reading is at 6 p.m. with the winner receiving a trip for two to Beer Circus Chicago on May 18. (Not too shabby, right?) City of Sarasota Pipe Band plays at 6:30 p.m. with Andy Thomas, Ship of Fools, Passerine, Sons of Hippies, Hail Dale and Big Blu House also scheduled to perform. Local DJ RaeF will entertain in between acts. Suncoast Food Trucks is bringing three trucks with four chefs; each presenting a different menu including Irish-inspired dishes as well as their own personal favorites. Proceeds benefit the Sarasota Family YMCA Youth Shelter

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Clancys Irish Sports Pub / COURTESY PHOTO

Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub & Grill
6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton; 794-2489; clancysirishsportspub.com
By far the mightiest St. Patrick’s Day party in Manatee County, Clancy’s 14th annual St. Paddy’s Day Bash will feature enough green beer to float a large boat. There will be liquor specials, too, and Irish-style food all day including corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and corned beef sandwiches, plus burgers and hotdogs. Popular Bradenton area acts fill the music schedule: Jack Tamburin (noon-2:30), Mark Anthony (3-5:30 p.m.), Billy Rice (6-8:30 p.m.) and Bus Fulla Monkeys (8:30-11 p.m.) Bag pipers will be performing throughout the pub, its tiki bar and large back parking lot area from 5 to 8 p.m.

Ross making pickle shot

Pub 32 Irish Gastropub Managing Partner Ross Galbraith makes me a Bushmills Pickle Shot. STAFF PHOTO / WADE TATANGELO

Pub 32 Irish Gastropub
8383 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 952-3070; irishpub32.com
The foodie destination spot Pub 32 is throwing a two-day event out in its parking lot with live entertainment running from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday. The gastropub will have Irish music featuring Bobby Vesey and Michael Hickmott as well as Murphy’s Law, Pog Mo Thoin, Kevin McGuire and Dwight Sullivan. In addition, there will be Irish dancers, pipers and drummers to help with the celebration. Food, beer, wine and liquor stations will also be outside, and, please arrive at Pub 32 hungry - we’re talking some of the best pub grub in the area. During a recent visit for my Bar Tab column, I was thoroughly impressed by the Fish & Chips, Pan Seared Scallops, Chicken Pot Pie and Black Bush Chicken Liver Pâté. Also, no trip to Pub 32 is complete without doing a Pickle Shot. It consists of slamming a shooter of Bushmills, chasing it with a separate, smaller portion of pickle juice and then eating the homemade pickle slice. The pickle back absolutely annihilates the whiskey burn with a smart balance of salty and spicy that will have you hankering for the whole jar of pickles.

Celtic Ray HT 2012

The Celtic Ray in Punta Gorda, Fl. Wednesday May 10, 2012. ( Photo/ Matt Houston)

The Celtic Ray Public House
145 E Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 916-9115; celticray.net
When it comes to authenticity, The Celtic Ray Public House easily ranks as the top Irish pub in the region, rivaled only by the thatched-roof Four Green Fields in Tampa. How authentic is The Celtic Ray? In keeping with the true Irish public house tradition, there are zero televisions. Also, the menu is bereft of any corned beef and cabbage, because proprietor Kevin Doyle does not consider it a genuine Irish dish. But, to celebrate the Irish-American union that St. Patrick’s Day has come to symbolize, The Celtic Ray will serve corned beef and cabbage Monday and maybe even Sunday night. Really, though, do yourself a favor and order The Celtic Ray’s famed fish and chips. As for entertainment, the festivities run Saturday through Monday with performances by Bobby Vesey, Emily Ann Thompson , Stephen’s Green, The Crestliners, Flurgin and Room Full Of Strangers.

Lynches HT 2014

A large crowd got loud outside of Lynches Pub and Grub durning the Mardi Gras Strut Around The Circle Tuesday, March 4 on St. Armands Circle. (March 4, 2014) (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Rachel S. O'Hara)

Lynches Pub & Grub
19B Boulevard of the Presidents, St. Armands Circle; 388-5550; lynchespub.com
For a laid-back, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration, best bet is Lynches Pub & Grub, one of the great Irish pub traditions in the area. Sisters Ethna and Chris, originally from County Cork, Ireland, relocated to the United States in 1972, put their restaurant backgrounds to use, and operated Lynches Landing on Longboat Key from 1986 to 2003, before moving to the current location on St. Armands Circle. This year’s festivities include performances by the acclaimed Jacobites Pipe & Drum Band at 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the Jacobites will be at Lynches from noon until 10 p.m. The menu will include tasty Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage and cottage pie. “It’s a classy St. Patrick’s Day party,” Ethna says.

McCabes Ticket file photo

McCabe's Irish Pub / FILE PHOTO

McCabe’s Irish Pub
302 Old Main St., Bradenton; 896-3126
A cozy Irish bar with plenty of bric-a-brac to make you feel like you are at the owner’s old home in Ireland, McCabe’s, located on the bustling bar row of Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton, will be serving up plenty of shot specials from its long list of Irish whiskeys and more liquor libations as well as ample fine Irish beers on tap. As for food, newly opened sister business Market on Main Street is located two doors down and will be making corned beef and Reuben sandwiches. Singer-guitarist JJ Smith, one of the region’s top purveyors of Celtic music, performs from noon to 5 p.m.

And for something different...

Irish Celtic Festival & Lucky Dog Parade
11-4 p.m. Saturday; 12150 Forest Park Circle, Central Park, Lakewood Ranch; 757-1530; lwrcac.com
Lakewood Ranch Community Activities is hosting the 3rd Annual Irish Celtic Festival on Saturday with ABC 7’s Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan emceeing. Celtic Misfit Band, Mountain Brew, the Drake School of Dance and New World Celtic Dance teams will provide entertainment. The inaugural Lakewood Ranch Irish Celtic 5K and Family Fun Run kicks things off at 8 a.m. followed by the Lucky Dog Parade at 11 a.m. Awards will be given for dogs that are “most Irish, cutest, and dog/owner look alike.” Cost to enter your pooch is $5. Gentleman can enter the Best Legs in a Kilt Contest. Attendees are encouraged to dye their hair orange and wear green. Organizers promise plenty of traditional Irish food, green and stout beer, as well as whiskey and coffee available for purchase. Free admission and parking, with trolley service from the Gullet Elementary School, 12125 44th Ave. E.

The Beach Bistro annual St. Patrick's Day Parade
4 p.m. Sunday; Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach; 778-6444; beachbistro.com
The Beach Bistro annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will feature the usual array of dignitaries, cyclists, floats, dancers, high school bands and pipe bands garnished with greenery and smiling faces plus a “jumbo” surprise, promises parade founder Sean Murphy. Starting at 4 p.m., the parade starts rolling from Holmes Beach City Hall north along Marina Drive to its juncture with Palm Drive and then north on Palm to the parade's conclusion at the corner of 78th and Palm. Organizers say this route should permit traffic to circumvent the parade route area and proceed relatively unimpeded north and south along Gulf Drive.



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WADE TATANGELO is the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: March 18, 2014
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