Best Bets: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day 2023 in Twin Ports

Find the right Northland celebration for you.

Richie Rochel, of Cloquet, waits at the starting line of Saint Fennessey 4K race in Hermantown on March 13, 2021.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday and pandemic restrictions in the rear view, this stands to be Duluth's most raucous Irish holiday in years. Here are some options to consider when you're making your plans.

Food at the fore

Dubh Linn Brew Pub is known for its Irish foods.
File / Duluth News Tribune

Is traditional Irish fare your priority? Well, Thursday's event at the Duluth Tap Exchange has nothing to do with that, but it is an opportunity to decorate some ornate St. Patrick's Day cookies with Frosted Sweets by Jessica ... and to partake of the taps, if that's where you're at. (

As you'd expect, the Dubh Linn goes big for the holiday, kicking things off at 11 a.m. Friday for a celebration extending into the night: green beer, a special seasonal menu, bagpipers, dancing and Irish music. (

Down the street, the English-style Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake becomes an Irish pub for the day, with a menu including corned beef and cabbage, bangers and colcannon and lamb stew. Irish music starts at 6 p.m. (

If you're not full yet, you can continue east to the Black Woods Grill & Bar, which is offering a St. Patrick's Day menu all week long — with green beer on Friday. ( Duluth's Tavern on the Hill, part of the Black Woods restaurant group, also has a special menu and, on Friday, green Coors Light. What could be more quintessentially Irish? (


The bishops of both Duluth and Superior have issued dispensations from the traditional obligation of abstinence from meat on Friday (this being the Lenten season), so there's no need for faithful Catholics to choose one side of the harbor or another. Be it duly noted, however, that Louise's Place in Superior is offering corned beef and cabbage pasties all week. (Pre-orders requested;

Get moving

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

Given that St. Patrick had to walk for 28 days in the wilderness, the least we can do in his honor is to run a couple of miles. The annual Saint Fennessy 4K kicks off at 10 a.m. at Skyline Social and Games in Hermantown. This year's new route also ends there, which organizers point out allows "more time pre- and post-race to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day festivities." (

Duluth's Full Circle Yoga is also providing a seasonal exercise opportunity that begins and ends in the same place. In fact, you conveniently stay on your own mat throughout the a special "Fri-yay All Levels Flow" class Friday evening. Marcia Rienhardt, whose professional handle is the absolutely perfect Marcia Marcia Marcia Yoga Yoga Yoga, is leading the themed class. (

Can you roller skate in the shape of a shamrock? Don't tell Superior's World of Wheels Skate Center we gave you that idea, but they're having a special St. Patrick's Day Skate on Friday evening. No green beer, but if you wear green, you get a free pop. (

Another family-friendly event that evening is taking place at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Duluth. They're hosting a Ceili Dance, a night of traditional Gaelic folk dancing, to benefit Loaves and Fishes. (

For the music fan

Black-eyed Snakes play Friday at Cedar Lounge. 2018 file/News Tribune
Alan Sparhawk, seen here during a 2018 performance with his band Black-Eyed Snakes at Duluth's since-shuttered Red Herring Lounge, will play the Cedar Lounge on Friday with Derecho.
Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune

The Willowgreen concert at Sacred Heart Music Center will be very on-brand for the holiday. The Duluth ensemble boast "harp, hammered dulcimer, bodhran, guitars, button accordion, whistles and mandolin." They're a favorite at Irish fairs and festivals throughout North America, but they've booked a hometown show of Celtic music for this year's big holiday night. (

The vibe will be rowdier at R.T. Quinlan's, which is hosting a "Mosh of the Irish" night with God's Holy Blood, Euclid and Tragyc. If there's a dulcimer, it's definitely going to get hammered. (

Meanwhile, alternative rock cover band Darling Danger will be at the Gopher Bar and Grill in Spirit Valley ( and Earth Rider's Cedar Lounge in Superior is hosting Derecho (featuring Alan Sparhawk and Al Church) and Trampled By Turtles' Erik Berry (


And ... the parties

Three light-skinned women pose for a photo wearing St. Patrick's Day garb: plastic shamrock necklaces, shirts advertising Guinness and Ireland.
Themed garb is strongly recommended at Lucky's St. Patrick's Day Crawl.
Contributed / Crawl With US

For all the significance of Gaelic tradition and St. Patrick's legacy of faith, perhaps the most popular way to mark the holiday is to put something green on, go out to a bar, and drink alcoholic beverages while listening to music that may or may not be Irish. If that's your Friday night wish, numerous Twin Ports establishments are ready to grant it.

Carmody Irish Pub may be better known for Christmas these days, but they'll be pouring o' the Irish on Friday as part of the Lucky's St. Patrick's Day Crawl. That bar crawl is also hitting Duluth establishments including Spurs On First, 310 Pub, Duluth Flame, Little Angie's and the Barrel Room. The crawl extends over both Friday and Saturday, if you want to pace yourself ... or just do the whole thing twice. (

Other watering holes ready to be the end of your rainbow include Black Water Lounge, with DJ Sounds Unlimited and "a SHAM-ROCKIN' good time." ( Mr. D's in Spirit Valley is hosting the band Aftershock along with "green beer and leprechauns." Literally? (

Sidestreet Detour are playing The Shack in Superior (, where you can also find merriment at the Superior Tavern ( and Tower Avenue Tavern (

If you want to try something different, you can check out BURG, a new venue at 20 W. First St., the former home of Burg Hotel Supply Co. The space is hosting monthly "Zodiac Parties" celebrating the 12 signs, so Friday is a Pisces party. Revenue will "help support the BURG after the tragic passing of co-owner Robert Wagner." (

Members Only
Dozens of people packed the Zeitgeist Zinema on Sunday for a screening of the new holiday movie filmed in Duluth. Carmody Irish Pub hosted an afterparty in what's now advertised as the "home of 'Merry Kiss Cam.'"

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in 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; he's also a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
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