On March 17, everyone is Irish. Named in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has always been celebrated with great enthusiasm. Although Las Vegas is not on the Emerald Isle, it’s still a fabulous city to be in for what is essentially one of the world’s largest keggers. Along with drinking, you’ll find many ways to enjoy the “craic” (an Irish word for boisterous joviality) in Sin City. Here are five of them.
1.) Attend a parade and festival.
Dublin, being the capital city of Ireland, holds a massive parade along with a multi-day festival to commemorate the holiday. The Southern Nevada chapter of the Sons of Erin will be throwing their 48th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival in Henderson, which is about 20 minutes southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. This year’s parade, themed “Shamrocks & Shenanigans,” takes place on Saturday, March 15 at 10 a.m. The route goes down historic Water Street. The accompanying festival will be held March 13 – 17 in the Henderson Events Plaza located at 200 Water St. There will be live entertainment on two stages as well as carnival rides and games, a car show presented by the Hustlers Car Club, traditional Irish music and dance, food vendors and much more.
There are four other parades/festivals to check out on the Strip and in downtown.
• O’Sheas Casino at The Linq, which reopened at the end of last year, is bringing back its St. Patrick’s Day block party. The celebration will run from March 15 – 17. Throughout the weekend, delight in drink specials (such as 12-ounce drafts for $3 and $10 Irish Car Bombs), beer pong tournaments and live music. At noon on March 17, Brian “Mr. Lucky” Thomas will lead “a parade of shenanigans.” Expect to see stilt walkers, balloon artists and other entertainers participating. Afterward, Thomas will transform into a “Mini-ster” and officiate the wedding ceremony of a couple whose love story began at O’Sheas Casino four years ago.
• Rí Rá Las Vegas, located inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, is also hosting a three-day St. Patrick’s Day festival from March 15 – 17. The celebration is sure to be raucous with live music starting at 5 p.m. on March 15 and 16 and at noon on March 17. Two of the bands, Ruaille Buaille and the High Stool Prophets, are coming direct from Ireland. The American Diddle Idols will also perform. Guests can indulge in traditional Irish fare – like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and beef and Guinness stew (all for $15.95) – and pay homage to a 500-pound statue of St. Patrick that will be presiding over the fun.
• New York-New York is putting on its rollicking Celtic Feis festival on March 15 – 17. In honor of the opening of the property’s pedestrian-oriented outdoor plaza, green lights will shine on the replica of the Statue of Liberty, and her surrounding fountain will also be dyed green during this year’s kickoff at 1:45 p.m. on March 15. At Nine Fine Irishmen, live entertainment (including Patrick Sieben, Zach Winningham, Sin é Rí Ra, Limey Bar Stewards, Michael Bowman and Rattle & Hum) will be featured throughout the weekend inside the pub and on the resort’s faux Brooklyn Bridge. Plus, at 11 a.m. on March 17, a parade led by bagpipers will wind by the Brooklyn Bridge, through the casino and into the pub. On all three days, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious pub fare and an array of drink specials.
• Downtown Las Vegas is planning four straight days of Gaelic revelry on Fremont Street Experience from March 14 – 17. There will be free concerts on the Main Street, First Street and Third Street stages by the following bands: Tempest, L.A.vation, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Celtic Rockers, Vegas U2, The Wild Celts, 1916, Finnegan’s Wake, Sham-Rock Rising, Desert Skye Pipe Band and Whiskey Galore. Specially priced drinks will be available at many of the walk-up bars outside the resorts. For example, at The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate you’ll be able to get $3 shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey, $4 green beers and $5 Dirty Girl Scout Cookie shots and Irish Car Bombs.
2.) Knock back pints of Guinness, green beer and other Irish-themed libations.
Guinness and spirits like whiskey are among the greatest goods to come out of Ireland, so it’s no wonder alcohol consumption plays an important part in observing this holiday. Most of the Vegas’ bars and pubs will be catering to patrons with special prices on beer, shots and various cocktails.
Here are just 10 of the countless places where you can imbibe in Las Vegas on St. Patrick’s Day.
• At Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in the Flamingo, order one of their four special St. Patrick’s Day cocktails: the Shamrocker, the Irish Boat Drink, the Lucky LandShark Lager and the Off to See the Leprechaun Marg O’ Rita.
• Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar in The Linq is offering green beers for $6 and green margaritas for $11.
• Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is serving up green beer for $6 and Sammy Hagar’s signature margaritas with a green Irish twist for $10.
• Also in the the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, PBR Rock Bar & Grill is boasting $5 green beers and Irish Car Bombs.
• SHe by Morton’s in The Shops at Crystals has a magical concoction on its menu for St. Patrick’s Day – the SHe’s Lucky cocktail, which is made to resemble the Irish flag.
• Go green at Rockhouse Las Vegas in The Venetian. Green draft beers are priced at $5, while 64-ounce super beers cost $27 and 80-ounce beer guitars and 100-ounce super yards are both $38. Irish Car Bombs are also being offered for $5.
• At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Pink Taco is selling Luckaritas for $10. In addition, the Center Bar and the HRH Tower’s Luxe and Midway bars will all be doling out Guinness, Irish Car Bombs, Jameson Irish Whiskey shots and Crabbie’s Time cocktails for $6 each.
• Quinn’s Irish Pub in Green Valley Ranch has $5 pints of four Irish beers (Kilkenny, Smithwicks, Harp and Guinness) on draft. You can also down $4 pints of Bud Light green beer, $5 Irish Car Bombs, $6 shots of Jameson with a Bud Light green beer back, and $15 pitchers of Bud Light green beer.
• Rhumbar, the stylish bar at The Mirage with a patio that looks onto the Strip, is featuring $3 shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream, $4 green beers, $5 Guinness and Black and Tans, and $6 Irish Car Bombs.
3.) Feast upon traditional and fusion Irish foods.
Everybody knows corned beef, cabbage and potatoes are tasty Irish staples. You’ll find more dishes – like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and lamb stew – along with some creative takes on Irish cuisine fused with other cultures in Vegas’ restaurants and buffets.
Here’s just a sampling of the good grub you can tuck into on St. Patrick’s Day.
• Hungry revelers should make tracks for the buffets on March 17. At both the Excalibur Buffet and More: The Buffet at Luxor, there will be corned beef at the carving stations. The Buffet at Monte Carlo is featuring a special Irish menu that includes colcannon soup, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and traditional Irish stew.
• Chef Jon Amorin at Social House in The Shops at Crystals has put together some unique culinary creations to be served as part of the restaurant’s Shamrock Social Hour running March 14 – 17 from 5 – 8 p.m. These items include bangers and potatoes (Kurobuta pork sausage with potato purée and green onion), fish and chips (tempura-battered cod with house-fried taro chips), and the Hama-chimi Shamrock Roll (a sushi roll layered with hamachi, jalapeño and cilantro chimichurri).
• Chocolate & Spice, located at 7293 W. Sahara Ave., is not only baking Irish soda bread priced between $4 and $7, but it’s also crafting several adults-only confections like Guinness-infused dark chocolate bars for $4.75 and whiskey-infused dark chocolate truffles for $1.50 each or $5 for four.
• A taco cart in Pink Taco at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be peddling $2 corned beef street tacos, which are made with spiced corned beef, chipotle mustard and cabbage slaw on green tortillas.
• Trevi Italian Restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars has some yummy green eats. After you devour the fettuccine al pesto con gamberi, which contains sautéed shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and basil in a green pesto cream sauce for $24.95, dig into a scoop of creamy pistachio gelato for $4.50.
4.) Listen to Irish music.
For such a small country, Ireland has had a huge impact in the world of music. Not only will you be charmed by age-old folk and pub songs, but you also have to appreciate the numerous Irish artists and rock bands that have risen to prominence – from Van Morrison, The Cranberries and U2 to Snow Patrol, Glen Hansard/The Frames and Damien Rice. St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to listen to their contributions – typically performed by tribute bands – as well as a get an earful of some of the country’s up-and-coming talent.
In addition to the bands mentioned earlier in the “festivals” section, you can see Everlast at the Ling Ling Club inside Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand on March 17. The Irish rapper will perform his chart-topping single “Jump Around.”
Finnegan’s Wake, whose lead singer/guitarist Robbie Murphy is from Dublin, will be showcased in J.C. Wooloughan’s Irish Pub at the JW Marriott Resort and Rampart Casino from March 14 – 17.
Some other bands that don’t have Irish roots but have mastered popular songs by Irish artists are London Cries and Darby O’Gill and the Little People, both appearing at Quinn’s Irish Pub in Green Valley Ranch on March 17. Machine Gun Kelly’s and Killian’s Angels are scheduled for Brendan’s Irish Pub at The Orleans on St. Patrick’s Day as well.
5. Get the “luck of the Irish” on your side.
The Irish have numerous blessings for good luck as well as superstitions about where it can be found.
For instance, people come in droves to the ruins of Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone. This can be a treacherous experience because you have to lean backward and pucker up to a slimy slab of limestone while hanging almost upside down. In downtown Las Vegas, you’ll have a much easier time accessing it. At The D’s annual St. Paddy’s Day Bash on March 17, a piece of the Blarney Stone will be on display in the resort’s Vue Bar. Planting a kiss on it won’t necessarily bring you luck, but the Blarney Stone is rumored to give you “the gift of gab,” which may be even better because you’ll be able to talk your way into – and out of – any situation you desire.
Coyote Ugly Bar & Dance Saloon at New York-New York is hosting a “Luck of the Coyotes” party from March 14 – 17. Its famed cocktail servers, who are called “Coyotes,” will don sexy green attire while showing off their sultry dance moves on the dive bar’s counter tops. They’ll also be dispensing $3 Jell-O shots, $5 beers and $7 Jameson Irish Whiskey shots during what’s sure to be a rowdy celebration.
On March 17 at Crazy Horse III, located at 3525 W. Russell Rd., you can begin an enchanted evening by taking advantage of the strip club’s complimentary limo service. When you arrive, the sexy lassies of Crazy Horse III will shower you with attention and $5 Jameson Irish Whiskey shots. By the time you leave, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten lucky!