St. Patrick's Day falls on Saturday, meaning it's just about time to paint the town green. Count on local pubs with an Irish flavor, including de Vere's Irish Pub and the Boxing Donkey, to go all out with corned beef and cabbage, music, pints of Guinness and other prerequisite St. Patrick's Day refreshments.
But not all festivities are pub-based. You'll find family-friendly events as well, including an annual St. Patrick's Day parade and a special green-themed day at a local museum. And to kick off this weekend, note that the Sacramento Kings will pit its purple-and-black basketball attack against the Boston Celtics tonight at Power Balance Pavilion.
And as always, have a designated driver or taxi company number close by if you plan to imbibe on this most Irish of days.
Here's our guide to what's going down this St. Patrick's Day:
Bagpipes alert! Strike up the band and kick off your green-themed celebrations with Old Sacramento's 16th annual St. Patrick's Day parade. The parade starts at 1 p.m., with a route that starts at Second and L streets. Note that Old Sacramento's streets will be closed from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Green Day at the Sacramento Children's Museum (2701 Prospect Park Drive., Rancho Cordova; 916-952-6852): No, we're not talking about the Berkeley-based punk band. This "green day" at the Sacramento Children's Museum means kids get 50 percent off their admission if they wear green.
De Vere's Irish Pub, 1521 L St., Sacramento, (916) 231-9947; and 217 E St., Davis; (530) 204-5533: Don't expect any block parties in front of de Vere's downtown location. De Vere's will simply be hosting a good ol' fashioned pub party at its two Sacramento area locations. Warm the belly with corned beef cabbage and special flights of Irish whiskeys, too. They'll also be airing the Ireland vs. England rugby game starting at 10 a.m. Go Ireland!
The Boxing Donkey, 300 Lincoln St., Roseville; (916) 797-3665: Oh Danny boy, the pipes will be calling all day with live Irish music at this popular Roseville pub. You'll also find green beer, clam chowder, shepherd's pie and more at its Irish Faire. And judging by last week's Counter Culture review, my colleague Allen Pierleoni would recommend the fish 'n' chips and pork wings. The festivities begin at 6 a.m. and run until 2 a.m. a good 20 hours of Irish revelry. $5 before 4 p.m., $10 after 4 p.m.
Gallagher's Irish Pub, 1201 K St., Sacramento; (916) 444-3444: Billed as "the closest thing to Ireland in Sacramento," this pub will feature Irish fiddlers, drummers and pipers to keep everyone feeling green. This pub is inside the Broiler Steakhouse, with Gallagher's taking over the lounge. Also check the menu for St. Patrick's Day food specials.
Streets of London Pub, 1804 J St., Sacramento, (916) 498-1388; 649 E. Bidwell St., Folsom, (916) 984-3706; and 2200 Lake Washington Blvd., West Sacramento, (916) 376-9066: This British-themed pub should rename itself "Streets of Londonderry" in honor of St. Patrick's Day, but either way, you'll find a whole lot of festivities at its three area locations. Jell-O shots, car bombs (a potent mix of Guinness, Jameson whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream), plus the prerequisite corned beef and cabbage will all be for the devouring.
5Hundy Pub Crawl: Test your St. Patrick's Day stamina with a nine-hour pub crawl through 19 local establishments. The festivities start at 2 p.m. at Blue Cue, 1004 28th St., Sacramento; (916) 441-6810, and wind their way through the central city before wrapping up at 11 p.m. with music by Arden Park Roots at Shenanigans, (705 J St., Sacramento; (916) 442-1268. Check www.5hundy.net for the full itinerary.
Golden Bear, 2326 K St., Sacramento; (916) 441-2242: The Golden Bear goes green starting with a cocktail competition starting at 1 p.m. Also look for special food items, including corned beef banh mi, a beer garden with live music and more partying at 10 p.m. with DJ Shaun Slaughter in the mix. $10.