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Best Bets: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day 2022 in Duluth

Whether your idea of St. Pat's fun involves drinking green beer or getting a little spring air, the Zenith City has you covered.

Corned beef on a plate
Dubh Linn Brew Pub, known for its Irish foods, opens at 11 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day.
File / Duluth News Tribune
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Traditional fare at the Dubh Linn

As you'd expect, the Dubh Linn Irish Pub is throwing a celebration with all the traditional elements. What's advertised as a "family friendly" event (despite the green beer) starts at 11 a.m. Thursday, with Irish music and dancing. The music lineup includes local notables like Teague Alexy bringing his Irish band the Paddy Wagon, plus folk-dance specialist Terrence Smith and more. In an inclusive gesture toward the German Minnesotans who may be stopping by, the venue also promises hammerschlagen: the game where you stand in a circle and try to hammer nails into a log. Maybe don't let the kids try that one unsupervised. See dubhlinnpub.com for more information.

Bluegrass Blowout at Duluth Cider

A woman and three men sit on the edge of what seems to be a stage, dressed casually. Relaxing, they look off camera to their right.
High and Rising are part of the St. Patty's Day Bluegrass Blowout at Duluth Cider.
Contributed / High and Rising

Duluth Cider isn't promising anything explicitly Irish at their St. Patty's event, but given that bluegrass music draws on Celtic roots, you won't have to squint too hard through your glass of Greenstone-hopped semi-dry cider to see rainbows and buckets o' gold when Black River Revue, Buffalo Galaxy, High & Rising and Rick McLean take the stage starting at 7 p.m. Thursday. "Groovy grass" band High & Rising have an additional reason to celebrate: Last month they welcomed a new member, vocalist and banjo player Harrison Olk. $10 cover. See the "St. Patty's Day Bluegrass Blowout" event on Facebook for more information.

Celtic vibes at Sacred Heart

Eight white people of varying ages pose for studio portrait with Celtic instruments including harp, dulcimer, and guitar.
Willowgreen members Liesel Wilson, from left, Mary Lou Williams, Georganne Hunter, Wendy Nelson, Jim Ofsthun, Sue Spencer, Bridget Spencer and Ella Branca.
Contributed / Fitzphoto

Willowgreen are a Duluth-based group playing original, traditional and contemporary Celtic music drawing on a wide range of European and American sources. It's been almost four decades since their founding, but a 2021 reunion after a 15-year hiatus showed their draw is as strong as ever for local audiences. They'll be at Sacred Heart Music Center for a show that promises to be alternately joyful, poignant and reflective. $15 advance tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show Thursday are available at sacredheartmusic.org or in person at Duluth's Zenith Bookstore and Superior's Globe News; $20 tickets available at the door. Mask and COVID-19 vaccination proof required.

Sir Ben's: Two fiddles are better than one

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One of the vintage signs hanging on the wall at Sir Benedict's Tavern in Duluth.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Tired: dueling pianos. Wired: Double Fiddles. Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake has a standing tradition of Thursday night Celtic jams. On this very special Thursday night, fiddlers Mark Boggie and Chuck Butler will take the lead along with guitarist Cameron Butler. The group, collectively known as Double Fiddles, will perform from 6-7 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day before the night transitions to an open Irish music session. Meanwhile, the Sir Ben's kitchen will be serving up corned beef and cabbage; bangers and colcannon (an Irish specialty blending greens with mashed potatoes); and lamb stew. The venue isn't promising supplies will last all night, so you might want to start eating earlier: the kitchen opens at 11 a.m. See sirbens.com for more information on this popular Superior Street spot.

I would run 2.49 miles

Three runners on street, wearing fantastical animal costumes: a dragon, a unicorn, and a dinosaur.
Participants in the 2021 Saint Fennessy race dressed to impress.
Contributed / Christi Willette

Locals know that Grandma's Marathon isn't just a one-day run; it's the umbrella for an entire series of fitness and charity events spanning the calendar. This year, that calendar kicks off Saturday with the Saint Fennessy 4K, a short race that starts at Hermantown High School and ends down the road at Skyline Social and Games. Registration runs $30 ($35 on race day), but you'll be handed a commemorative hat-and-glove set to complement whatever you wear in hopes of winning the contest for "best St. Patrick's Day attire." You'll also get a drink ticket for Skyline Social. The race, the first in Grandma's "KP Challenge" series, benefits the marathon's Young Athletes Foundation. Info at grandmasmarathon.com .

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A good old-fashioned bar crawl

Nine people in festive St. Patrick's Day gear crowd together for a photo in a bar.
You may not win the Lucky's costume contest with just a string of green beads, but ... you'll still be on a bar crawl.
Contributed / Crawl With US

After two St. Patrick's Days under pandemic restrictions, some people are going to be really, really ready for ... that's right, a bar crawl. Aptly named organizer Crawl With US is prepared for hundreds of people to participate in the 14-stop Lucky's St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl in Duluth on Saturday. Twenty-five dollars ($20 if you're in a group of four or more) gets you a lanyard, two drinks and the chance to enter a costume contest with a $1,000 national grand prize. It's really about the journey, though, so: pace yourself, be sure to plan a safe ride home and watch your step on those Duluth hills. Never mind the traditional Irish blessing ... in this case, you definitely do not want the road to rise up to meet you. Details at crawlwith.us .

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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