Saint Paddy’s is hands down my favorite holiday because it brings people of all nationalities, from all walks of life, and of all faiths and creeds together for one reason: to wear green, get rowdy, and let loose. As they say, everyone’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day!
Santa Cruz has a huge Saint Patrick’s Day fan base and nearly every watering hole and restaurant in town has a celebration planned for the big day. Here’s a break down of some of the hot spots and events going down March 17. And don’t forget: Unless you want a pinch, wear that green. Beannachtam na Feili Padraig! (Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!).
The Wild Rovers at The Crow’s Nest: A six-man Irish sea chanty and drinking song band of vagabonds influenced by the likes of Flogging Molly, the Dubliners, and St. Bushmill’s Choir, the Wild Rovers are as passionate about Irish music as
the Irish are about Joyce, Gaelic football, and hurling. They’ll be lighting up the Crow’s Nest tonight, one of the finest places to hear live music, enjoy expertly crafted drinks, and hang with the locals. Hope for clear skies, because the view from the top deck of the Nest, where the music’ll be banging, is an overlook of the Pacific and the setting sun. 4:30 to 7pm. No cover. 2218 East Cliff Drive Santa Cruz, CA 95062. (831) 476-4560. http://www.crowsnest-santacruz.com/home/home.php.
99 Bottle of Beer on the Wall: A local institution, there are, as the name suggests, 99 different types of beer on tap and in the bottle at this drinking hole. 99 Bottles is one of the more comfortable places to throw back a few and as welcoming
to wayfarers as a pub on the Emerald Isle. As one enthused employee put it, they are having a Saint Patrick’s Day “extravaganza.” Harp’s, Bushmill, Bass, Guinness, any and all Irish brews will be flowing. It just so happens that St. Pat’s Day falls on Thirsty Thursday, when pitchers are $3 off, most appetizers (mounds of nachos, soups, beer-battered artichokes, steak fries, etc.) are $2 off, and pints are $1 off. As the 99 Bottles’ motto goes, “It’s only beer that makes thirst so wonderful.” Cheers! 11am-2am. (831) 459-9999, 110 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. http://www.99bottles.com.
Britannia Arms in Aptos: Missing out on corned beef and cabbage can be a travesty for any traveler, but Britannia Arms steps in with an Irish menu served all day, plus green beer and Guinness. B.A. is also bringing in a
handful of entertainers to get the party bumping. DJ Sean Bodie, one of Ireland’s best known DJs, is spinning the turn tables, keeping the theme with classic Gaelic favorites and streaming a live broadcast across the pond. KPIG, Santa Cruz’s premier and fiercely independent radio station, will also be in the house. As more bands hit the stage and a singer straight from Dublin croons the crowd, just try to resist being swept away in the Irish spirit. 11am-2am. 8017 Soquel Drive, Aptos. (831) 688-1233. www.britanniaarmsaptos.com.
For more events, check out this link to the Santa Cruz Sentinel website: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/entertainment/ci_14653085. You can’t go wrong with any of these venues. Be safe, and, as always, have fun.