Even I, a mutt of Jewish, Catholic, Peruvian, Canadian, Belgium, Polish and German descent can pass for Irish this weekend as St. Patrick's Day activities continue. These days of enchantment — read that as a combo of green beer, happy people and good tunes — say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with the boozy aftertaste of four-leaf clover blessings.
As its often said, an Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.
In that spirit, be yourself and party hard, but remember the rules of Southern hospitality and charm. Behave yourself, be courteous to others, plan for a designated driver and don't post any incriminating photos on Instagram or make any desperate, stalking phone calls to any of your exes.
Below, find a list of happenings in Houston and surrounding areas. If I've missed any of your personal favorite hangouts, be sure to write in the comments and let us know.
Grand marshal, radio celeb Donna McKenzie has been practicing her Irish wave — think of a beer guzzling gesture — for the mainstay of the festival that historically has been organized by the Kearns family. The theme, "We are ALL Irish Texans!" pays homage to the memory of Larry Joe Miggins, Jack Barnes and Sister Muriel Clarke. The new parade route, which starts at Minute Maid Park, begins at noon Saturday. We recommend taking it all in from the viewing stands, located at Texas Avenue at Austin.
Music, beer and food contests invade this Irish dive in the heart of Montrose. Indulge in tasty concoctions prepared by teams competing for best Irish stew, chili and chicken in the Open Irish Dish Cook-Off, while enjoying tunes from Hot Mess and the Marie Chapa Project. The carouse begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until the cows come home. Cover is $10; food/drink tickets are $1.
Stops include Kung Fu Saloon, Komodo's Pub, Lone Star Saloon, Catbird's, Brixx, The Firkin & Phoenix and Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill. Wear protection, meaning, bring along a designated driver. Crawl begins at 11 a.m.; tickets are $10. Continues Sunday at 11 a.m. at different locations.
Stops will include Midtown Drinkery, Little Woodrows, Christian's Tailgate, Proof Bar and Farrago's among others. Organizer's pledge to throw the biggest — that means rowdiest — pub crawl in the city, because everything is bigger in Texas. Meet at Midtown Drinkery. Crawl begins at 10 a.m.; tickets start at $10. Continues on Sunday at noon.
A festive day of green beer and music showcases the melodious sounds of Nigel Edison, The Slags, Will Carter Band, Beggars Inc. and Rock Radio on the ground of Cullen's Upscale American Grille beginning at 1 p.m. Free admission until 6 p.m., $5 cover after. VIP tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Reps from Jameson's Irish Whiskey and SportsRadio 610 will host a party that includes drink specials and freebies, from 8-10 p.m. The celebration continues on Sunday at noon with Irish dancers, bagpipers, more live music and plenty of grub.
Dubbed the "Biggest St. Pat's Festival in Midtown," the two venues partner to offer revelers a DJ showcase, green beer and crawfish. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. Two-day presale passes are available for $10.
The band Mark Jones and Twenty Paces has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the decades-long tradition. The route begins at 2 p.m. from the intersection of Champion Forest Drive at FM 1960 and travels east to Kuykendahl. All proceeds benefit the Cypress Creek EMS Scholarship Fund.
St. Patrick's Day Block Party on Washington Ave.
Little J's, Underdogs and Lava Rock join hands for a block party on Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. Meander from bar to bar to check out the all-day crawfish boil, fireball shot block, face/body painting, live music, infused liquor shots, vertical beer pong and DJs, alongside a performance by the Bud Light Bagpipers. Food trucks will be onsite.
The Irish fete continues on Sunday, 9 a.m., with a music lineup that includes Infinity's Twin, Dolly Rockers, The Dolly Rots, The Dead Rabbits, Cottonwood Blossom, Jerry Jones, Tom Ryan, Black Queen Speaks and The Tyburn Jig. Free event.
Corned beef and cabbage, beef Guinness, Shepherd's pie and fish & chips will be served, accompanied by tunes courtesy of Clandestine, The Jig is Up!, Jiggernaut, Earl Grey in the Morning, Brizeus and The Irish Session Players. Comedian Jim Mackenzie will serve as master of ceremonies and resident leprechaun Martin Burniston will lead an Irish sing-a-long. Sunday, 11 a.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door.
Seven bands, two full bars, six beer bars, shot girls, Irish dancers, bagpipers, whiskey and green from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Doors open at 8 a.m. for breakfast.
The shindig extends to all three locations, Downtown, The Heights and in Cypress, set to be broadcast by 94.5 The Buzz. Three stages, 15 bars and six DJs include talent like Maximus, Tomfooligans, Murder the Stout, Lost Element, Alter Ego, The Booth Pimps, The Blues Brothers, Zydeco Dots, Jesse Roach, Ruben Moreno, Whisky Myers, Scooter Brown Band, The Last Place You Look, Steven Chadwick, DJ Zach, DJ KB and DJ Emerson. The bash begins with breakfast at 9 a.m. On the menu? Lucky Charms and breakfast tacos. No cover before 3 p.m. Tickets start at $10.
Other popular locations to find Irish merriment include Moongoose vs. Cobra, Molly's Pub, Shay McElroy's Pub, The Flying Saucer, The Brewery Tap, Hendricks Pub & Eatery, Irish Pub Kenneally's and The Original OKRA Charity Saloon.
In The Woodlands, try The Goose's Acre Bistro & Irish Pub. Around the city, check out Boondoggles Pub near Clear Lake; Bogie's Pub and Grill in Sugar Land/Missouri City; Kilburn's Tavern & Grille in Cypress; and Molly Maguire's Irish Pub, Molly Malone's Pub and Olde City Pub & Grill in North Houston.