The 15 Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Minnesota! By
Whether you bleed green or are just Irish for the day, you’ll find plenty of reasons to shout, “Erin go bragh!” in the North Star State. St. Paul is the undisputed Celtic capitol of Minnesota, but with a dash of Irish luck, you’re sure to find a local pub where you can hoist a pint and hum a lilt.
A mid-day event in the state’s capital city, the St. Paul St. Patrick’s Day parade is the largest such celebration in Minnesota. Thousands leave work and skip school to don green and line the downtown streets every March 17. If you’re more into history than size, New Ulm boasts the longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parade in the state—on the same date, of course.
Not surprisingly, St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest of the year for this popular pub that makes its own beer. In the Northland, it’s hard to beat Dubh Linn’s locally-sourced ingredients and scratch kitchen, paired with house-brewed beers and ales. There may be other places to celebrate the 17th in Duluth, but why give up your stool?
This family-friendly celebration is an annual event at the historic Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. It’s scheduled to coincide with the parade, so families can enjoy the street show and then warm up with traditional Irish dancing, food, activities, and entertainment.
As the oldest Irish bar in a city of more than 100,000, it’s not surprising that Dooley’s hosts the biggest St. Patty’s Day party in town. Before heading down to Dooley’s on the 17th, catch the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on the Saturday before.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, two blocks of West 7th St. become the most Irish spot this side of Chicago. Anchored by two popular pubs, the Liffey and McGovern’s, and supported by Eagle Street Bar, Tom Reid’s, Burger Moe’s, and Louis, tents go up, pints are passed, and the streets fill with green.
The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade is a popular for those who live west of the Mississippi. However, it’s conveniently scheduled in the evening, so you work your way East to West and hit both the St. Paul and Minneapolis parades… and plenty of pubs along the way.
Named both Best Dive Bar and Best Irish Bar by Mpls. St. Paul magazine, this neighborhood joint fills to the gills on St. Patrick’s Day. Live music, drink specials, dancing, and lots and lots of singing make St. Patty’s at the Rec feel more like a night out with hundreds of friends than a packed bar party.
If you’re in the Brainerd-Lakes area for St. Patrick’s Day, Crosslake hosts the biggest and oldest celebration in the region. The town has put on this event for more than four decades. The celebration offers plenty of Irish fun for the whole family, from a parade and a pageants to a pub crawl, a 5K and a scavenger hunt.
This venerable watering hole on Snelling Ave. is one of the perennially popular pubs where people partake of St. Patty’s pints. Live music, dancing, and the world’s shortest parade draw hundreds of revelers to O’Gara’s every year.
Kieran’s, along with its sister pub, the Local, hosts the best St. Patrick’s Day celebration in downtown Minneapolis. The party starts early in the morning, in a heated tent with pipe bands and a full bar. The party keeps going with more live music, a raised dance floor, and ultimately, a DJ.
Located on University Ave., and easily accessible by train, the Dubliner hosts a major Irish blow-out every year. They set up a tent in the parking lot to accommodate the excess revelry. Get your jig on with the help of a little live music and a lot of Finnegan’s.
Another small town with a surprising affinity for all things Irish, St. Peter has put on a St. Patrick’s Day parade for more than 40 years. After the parade, stop into Patrick’s on 3rd for a shot of Jameson to wet your whistle.
13. Winona, MN
Looking for a slightly different take on St. Patrick’s Day? Head down to Winona on the Mississippi River, near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. This college town has a decades-old tradition of celebrating St. Patrick for a week with folk dancing, plays, concerts, church services, and community dinners. You can still grab a pint at Mulligan’s after dinner.
What does an old-school steakhouse with an Italian name have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Well, a lot actually. Mancini’s is just down West 7th St. from Irish Ground Zero, and not be outdone, it hosts its annual event featuring the Blarney Stone Band and the occasional “Worst Irish Tenor Contest.” Feeling less than lilting after a pint or two? Take your tin ear to Mancini's, and perhaps you’ll luck into a pot of gold.
Every year, Metro Transit and a corporate sponsor offer free rides to St. Patrick’s Day celebrants from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. This includes the aptly-named Green Line train, which goes right past the Dubliner and stops within walking distance of O’Gara’s on the way into or out of Downtown St. Paul. If you’re in the Cities and planning to hit any of their other spots on this list, Metro Transit is definitely the smartest way to get your Irish on.