What to do for St. Paddy’s Day, based on which Irish band you like most

It’s a science, and Stephanie Ganz is our totally-not-mad scientist.

Photo by: Kmeron

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for somber reflection on the life and death of 5th-century Irish missionary and bishop Saint Patrick, a time to thumb through the verses of Seamus Heaney and plays of Samuel Beckett while quietly enjoying a glass of Bushmills 16 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey and contemplating life’s meaning.

ORRRR it’s a time to wear an outrageously green outfit with blinking shamrock antennae, drink until you’re shwasted, and see how many RVA monuments you can puke on before midnight. You do you. In either case, here’s a guide to some RVA St. Patrick’s Day happenings organized by famous Irish rockers.

Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat!

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DROPKICK MURPHYS: 12 Straight Hours at Rare Olde Times Public House

Start at noon and make one million new friends all day long as the Rare Olde Times Public House keeps the live music, food, and maybe a drink or two pumping through your veins. This is the option in which you are most likely to find yourself singing, locked-arms, with 10 other people, a song that you’ve never heard before but suddenly completely understand–a rousing verse or two from “All for Me Grog.”

Doors open at 11:00 AM because for some, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Accordingly, you’ll need to eat, and ROTPH’s menu is full of Irish classics like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and colcannon. Proceeds from the $6 cover charge benefit Full Circle.

VAN MORRISON — Irish Cooking Class at Southern Season

Imagine unlocking the secrets to Irish soda bread. Maybe you thought it would never happen for you, but, thanks to the Cooking School at Southern Season it can. After their St. Patrick’s Day class you’ll be able to add soda bread, shepherd’s pie, cabbage and apple saute, and chocolate Guinness Stout Cake to your repertoire, not to mention a “miniature Irish breakfast,” which probably doesn’t mean what I want it to mean (tiny food!) but sounds lovely nonetheless.

Or, you can stay at home and make your own soda bread. We accept free samples with enthusiasm that’s both ravenous and a little scary.

U2 — The Church Hill Irish Festival

This is the big one, so big in fact that the Church Hill Irish Festival requires two days that aren’t even St. Paddy’s proper for its enjoyment. According to festival organizer and best-name-ever-haver Stokes McCune, this year we can look forward to food from Proper Pie, Alamo BBQ, Rosie Connolly’s, Rare Olde Times Public House, and the good folks at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church who serve up Irish coffees and McCune’s personal favorite, Irish Surprise, a casserole-like combination of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and, presumably, surprises.

THE CRANBERRIES — Gelato, sweets, and bread from Castanea and Whisk

Crank your sugar and carb intake all the way up with St. Patrick’s Day treats from your Shockoe Slip friends at Castanea and Whisk. Castanea’s gelato gods have birthed batches of both Guinness and Lucky Charms Gelato. Over at Whisk, the bakers have come up with four limited edition items–green Irish Cream macarons, Irish whiskey marshmallows, chocolate stout cream puffs, and traditional Irish soda bread.

THE POGUES — Bagpipes at Keagan’s Irish Pub OR Pipes and Drums at Rosie Connolly’s

Assault your ears in the most Irish way possible with bagpipes in Short Pump at Keagan’s Irish Pub, starting at 7:00 PM. Keagan’s actually has boxty on the menu, which is cool, but I would be doing you a disservice if I failed to mention that there’s also a burger on a pretzel bun.

Over at Rosie Connolly‘s, the Metro Richmond Police Emerald Society will do what they do best on the pipes and drums. Rosie’s will be serving up a traditional menu including sausage rolls, steak and mushroom pie, and fish and chips. Also drinks.

BONUS THING: THE COMMITMENTS — Butcher Brown and Big Payback at the Camel

Fake band, real thing. Doors at 8:00 PM, music at 9:00 PM; tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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