Steady rain throughout the week should mostly subside by Saturday, leaving Sacramento with a possible rainbow — and maybe even a pot of gold at the end — on St. Patrick’s Day.
Some might want to celebrate by popping their heads into cozy pubs for a stout or fill up on bangers and mash in the comfort of their own home. For those interested in a more extravagant celebration, here are six options for fun around Sacramento on St. Patrick’s Day:
1. Parade through Old Sacramento
Hundreds of green-clad men and women are expected to march through Old Sacramento on Saturday in the 22nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, starting at Neasham Circle and Front Street.
Music and dancers will start about 11:30 a.m. on J, K, L and Second streets before the parade begins at 1 p.m., and the Mighty Murphys are booked to play acoustic Irish music at the corner of Second and K streets after it ends at 2 p.m.
2. Beer tasting and Irish music at the Mondavi Center
UC Davis' Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center will host Irish bands Danú and Goitse in Jackson Hall on Saturday night.
Danú’s seven-person band and Goitse’s quintet both include a fiddler, a guitarist, an accordionist and someone playing an Irish drum called a bodhran. The bands hail from County Waterford and County Limerick, respectively, and are two of Ireland’s most famous traditional music groups.
The concert starts at 7 p.m., but coming that late would mean missing out on beer tasting from at least nine local breweries, including Berryessa Brewing Co., Ruhstaller Beer and Sudwerk Brewing Co. Suds will spill as early as 5:30 p.m. in the Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby while Sacramento-based Celtic band One Eyed Reilly plays in the nearby Corin Courtyard.
Tickets remain available from $25 to $55 on the Mondavi Center’s website, with discounts for minors, students, active military and UC Davis faculty/staff. Tastings are included with admission.
3. Crawl through midtown or Old Sac
More than 20 yet-to-be-announced restaurants and bars are reportedly participating in XOSO Sport & Social League and 5Hundy Social Club‘s midtown bar crawl, and while there will be an organized route, many people are expected to break off in favor of their preferred haunts.
The Old Sacramento crawl stops off at O’Mally’s Irish Pub, River City Saloon, The Other Office, SacTown Sports Bar, Fanny Ann’s Saloon, Sports Corner Cafe, Vega’s Underground, SKY KTV and Knobs and Knockers. Maps of the route are available at each participating bar.
The midtown crawl stretches from 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday and costs $15 to $35, while its free Old Sac counterpart won’t start until 8 on Friday night.
For those who couldn’t say no to that last shot of Jameson, AAA is offering complimentary “Tipsy Tows” and rides home for members and non-members from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. The first 10 miles are free before AAA’s standard towing rate kicks in, and each tow truck has room for two guests. Call 1-800-222-4357 to take advantage of the service.
Orinda law firm GJEL is offering a similar deal: sign up for their “Drink and Alive Free Cab Ride Program” online and get a complimentary cab, Uber or Lyft ride worth up to $25 anywhere in the Bay Area or Sacramento between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
4. Catch Sacramento Republic FC’s opening match
Will Republic FC have the luck of the Irish this year? It all starts Saturday, when the club’s 2018 USL season kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo.
Republic FC will face San Antonio FC and goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, whose 12 clean sheets led the league in 2017. It'll be the first Republic FC match for offseason acquisitions midfielder Jaime Villareal and defender Justin Schmidt, both of whom have MLS experience and are in their early 20s.
Tickets range from $16 to $102, plus fees, on Ticketmaster.
5. Who’s Your Paddy?
A full Irish breakfast typically includes tomatoes, beans, eggs, blood sausage, bacon, mushrooms and (of course) potatoes. But when Father Paddy’s Irish Public House opens at 6 a.m. Saturday in Woodland, it'll be serving meals of Guinness and Irish coffee — the latter of which became famous at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco — as well as corned beef hash and other brunch items.
The pub’s annual “Who’s Your Paddy?” street festival then moves on to Irish dancers at 9 a.m. and traditional music by local bands Shovlin Blarney, Cahersiveen and One Eyed Reilly from noon through midnight.
Beer and whiskey can be enjoyed with fish and chips or corned beef and cabbage prepared inside Father Paddy’s kitchen at 435 Main St.
6. River cruises
Kid-friendly Hornblower boat tours of the Sacramento River depart the L Street docks at 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., with boarding times a half hour prior. The one-hour, $20 trip includes Sacramento River history lessons as well as on-board face painting and balloon art.
For those 21 and older, the $25 Rock the Yacht cruise departs at 8 p.m. for a 90-minute tour bumping Top 40 hits down the river. Drinks and food are available for purchase on board.
Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, firstname.lastname@example.org