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.
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
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
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
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
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 .
A good old-fashioned bar crawl
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 .