You may or not be Irish, but chances are you’ll end up celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year. Inevitably, when a holiday entirely revolved around drinking falls on a Saturday, even the biggest haters have trouble ignoring it. And this year, we’ve come up with a way for you to hit up some of the best parties without getting behind the wheel.
Start your downtown bar crawl early Saturday with an authentic Irish breakfast at Molly Darcy’s on East Bay Street. With a long day of drinking ahead, you’re going to want to fill up on Irish bacon, blood pudding (maybe after a few drinks), Irish sausage, and homemade Irish brown bread. The festivities at the traditional Irish pub continue throughout the day with bagpipes, step dancers, fiddlers, face painting, and live music with Na Fidleiri and the Scotty Fryer Band. Walk it off with a short jaunt to King Street, where O’Malley’s and Mercury Bar are joining forces, offering you the “biggest St. Patrick’s Day party ever,” so they say. With a traditional Irish menu and Irish drink specials, the powerful duo will also have cornhole, a dunk tank, leprechauns, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, and live music all day and night. Get there early enough and you can enjoy the downtown Irish parade (10 a.m.) while you sip your Guinness. Continue back to East Bay, where Mac’s Place has been gearing up for the holiday for weeks with beer of the month Killian’s Irish Red. The “not so traditional” Irish pub is celebrating with live acoustic music from Shamus O’Butcher, Marci Shore Irish Fiddle Duo, and Calhoun’s Calling. There will be prizes and giveaways, food and drink specials, and, as always, no cover. And there’s sure to be green tongues galore at Big John’s Tavern on East Bay as Charleston’s oldest dive bar celebrates St. Patty’s with $1 green jello shots and live music from Make It Go. With $2 Guinness, $3 Shamrock shooters, $4 Jameson, and $5 Irish car bombs, you’re sure to be seeing leprechauns by the time you leave. Let's face it: jello shots only seem like a good idea after a full day of drinking.
If you're on Folly Beach, a number of bars and restaurants are hosting an official St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl. Starting at 11 a.m., Folly favorites will be kicking off the holiday with drink specials and a chance to win a gift certificate to all participating establishments. Everyone will be given a card (free of charge) to stamp at every location (including Taco Boy, Rita’s, Planet Follywood,The Drop In Bar & Deli, Folly Beach Brewing Co., BLU Restaurant and Bar, Loggerhead’s, Snapper Jacks, The Grill on the Edge, and Surf Bar). After downing drinks at each, be sure to end up at Folly Beach Shrimp Co.’s upstairs bar for the grand prize drawing and finale.
But if you have underage leprechauns in tow, you might be interested in something family friendly. North Charleston’s Park Circle is putting on their annual St. Paddy's Day Block Party. Complete with live bands, Irish dancing, bagpipes, and food vendors, it definitely qualifies as a destination festivity. As far as kids go, there will be activities galore, with the parade, face painting, and jump castles you’ll be certain to keep your kiddos occupied. Plus there's always Madra Rua for the kidless.
And if you find yourself with your eye on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow you’ll be seeing, don’t drive to it- go green and call Charleston Green Taxi at (843) 819-0846. Each cab is splattered with St. Patty’s day-green leaves, making them hard to miss even when you’re seeing hearts, stars, horse shoes, clovers, and blue moons … you get it.