If there's one place the Dropkick Murphys have to be around St. Patrick's Day, it's Boston. The band's traditional hometown shows in March fit in with a larger touring agenda, but that's all just a warm-up.
"People come from all over the world," says Dropkicks founder and co-singer Ken Casey. "They go to the parade, go to a Bruins game and go to our show. It's turned into a Dropkick Murphys convention."
That would be the famous St. Pat's Southie parade that Casey's referencing. The Dropkicks have put the punk into St. Paddy's for so long that Casey doesn't know what he'd do if he weren't playing that day.
"I've got young kids, so I'm sure they'd want to go to the parade. I certainly don't go out and drink green beer. I don't know if I've ever even seen it. I don't know if it's even true. I don't know why anyone would want to even drink green beer. It must look pretty."
Perhaps green beer is not some latter-day fictitious tradition, though. In one "Boardwalk Empire" episode, bootlegged beer is colored green for St. Pat's.
"'Boardwalk Empire' gets their facts right," says Casey. "So they must have been doing it back then."
"I was kept humble, though," says Casey. "When I walked out to get my car in the players' parking lot, it was stolen. I can say I had an experience that McCartney, Tyler and Springsteen never did. Of course, they arrived in a limo, and I drove my Chevy."
St. Patrick's Day Party with Charles River Rugby
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stadium Bar and Grill
232 Old Colony Ave., South Boston
$10 suggested donation, 21+, 617-269-5100
Celebrate the season in Southie with this local rugby team. At 1 p.m., they'll put on the Ireland vs. England 6 Nations Rugby "grudge" match. For anyone who wants to root for England, we'll remind you that rugby is a sport involving tackling with no padding. There will also be a raffle with rugby-related prizes.
St. Patty's Day Shamrock Shuffle
Noon to 9 p.m.
Hard Rock Cafe
22-24 Clinton St., Boston
$15, 21+, 212-255-4233
For those who need directions for stumbling from bar to bar this Saturday, we recommend this crawl. Draft beers are a measly $2 at every stop, which should easily make up for the registration fee. It starts at the Hard Rock, stopping at Battery Park, Side Bar and Grille, the Place, Kitty O'Shea's and Clarke's.
8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
247 Elm St., Somerville
Davis Square's popular Irish pub is opening bright and early for all you die-hards with a proper Irish breakfast. There will be live traditional music all day in the front, and in the back you'll hear sets from the Johnny Come Latelies, Dave Foley and U2 tribute act The Joshua Tree.
Shake Your Shamrocks
St. Paddy's Day Bash
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
33 Batterymarch St., Boston
Free, 21+, 617-350-7275
Get your green beer fix here, where they'll be pouring the stuff all day (admit it: you want some). Other features of Battery Park's party are a visit from the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, a special Irish menu, and Irish beer buckets. Plus, March Madness will be on all the TV's- not Patty's-related, but still seasonallyfun.
b Irish with b Positive Project
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
1260 Boylston St., Boston
$20, 21+, 617-212-3251
If St. Paddy's has put you in a charitable mood, stop by Sweet Caroline's, where your $20 cover, in addition to getting you a "b Irish" T-shirt and drink specials, will benefit the Dreamfar High School Marathon, an event dedicated to teaching at-risk kids that anything is possible. Those with the most flamboyant St. Paddy's attire may win a prize.
8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
148 State St., Boston
Cover TBD, 617-227-5100
This downtown Irish pub is offering green beer, complementary Irish breakfast between 8 and 11, and free T-shirts for the first 200 customers. It's hosted by "Lucky McLeprechaun," making it the only leprechaun-hosted event we've seen so far, which isn't surprising, due to archaic 19th century anti-immigration laws that make it tough for foreign fairy-folk to get U.S. work visas.
11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m
1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Bukowski's description of their promotion is right in line with their straight-talking namesake: "Snakes, Ireland, blah blah blah... whatever, let's drink!" They're starting with a brunch including Bloody Marys, and some "f-ing special drinks, drafts, and food for the occasion." But they refuse to serve either Irish Car Bombs or green beer, considering it "f-ing amateur."
The Green Dragon
9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Green Dragon Tavern
11 Marshall St., Boston
The Green Dragon is the bar Paul Revere used to hang out in. If you're drunk enough to see his ghost, don't forget to thank him for the midnight ride. He's very proud of it. They'll have Irish food and music all day, as well as Irish dancers. The music lineup includes Eamon Sheehan, Aidan Maher, and Scott Damgaard.
10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
518 Medford St., Somerville
Old Magoun's will be showing the English vs. Ireland 6 Nations rugby match, hosting live music from Ronin Quinn and Barry and Carlton, and whipping up some delicious-sounding food specials. Our favorite: the Jameson-soaked French toast, topped with Magner's glazed apples and Bailey's whipped cream- because on St. Paddy's, your food should be as booze-soaked as you.
Four Green Fields
8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Four Green Fields
201 Washington St., Boston
$10 after 2 p.m., 617-367-4747
Four Green Fields, one of Boston's newer Irish pubs, offers a good mix of the standard fare, with performances from the Dockside Saints, the Great Whisky Rebellion (man, those guys are getting around today!), bagpipers, and Irish dancers, plus a traditional Irish breakfast, a St. Patty's buffet, and March Madness.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Zero Brattle St., Cambridge
Prices vary, 617-547-2253
Okay, this isn't a bar promotion, but it might make a sweet pit stop during your drunken meanderings. Sweet has two St. Patty's offerings: the Irish Cream, and espresso-infused cappuccino cake topped with Bailey's whipped cream and dusted with cocoa, and the Guinness, a chocolate cake infused with, yes, Guinness, topped with Bailey's-laced vanilla bean buttercream.