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Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Sonoma County

From eco-themed races to festive parades to delicious Irish cuisine, Sonoma County is pulling out all the stops this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Put on your green outfit, hold on to your lucky shamrocks, and find out where to go green on March 17. Click through the gallery above for highlights from past celebrations and inspiration. Sláinte!

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, not St. Patrick’s Day

Let’s start by making one thing clear: Contrary to what many Americans like to believe, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and not St. Patrick’s Day. This year, Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey, which was founded in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, sets out to change that common misconception with a St. Paddy’s Day patty kit – created in partnership with the butcher American Pat LaFrieda. The special kit ($84.99) includes two ceramic Tullamore DEW shot glasses, a beanie, a drink recipe card (with a Drizly code to order a bottle of Tullamore DEW to your door), and twelve meat patties from 8 oz. Kits can be ordered from shop.lafrieda.com. Now that that’s settled, let’s move on to the March 17th celebrations and treats.

(Courtesy of Pat LaFrieda)
Local St. Patrick’s Day Treats

“I’m a big meat eater and I love corned beef,” says Chef Cheyenne Simpkins. “It’s like beef bacon – super flavorful, chewy and delicious. It’s one of those treats that you can sneak in maybe three or four times a year. Simpkins, who grew up in New York and trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, now runs Windsor-based catering company Wine Country Feasts with his wife, Amber, a pastry chef and Sonoma County native. For St. Patrick’s Day, the couple are selling special holiday take-out boxes containing a multi-course meal of Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and a Guinness-flavored flourless chocolate cake. About $70 per box. Order via the “Contact Us” page on winecountryfeasts.com.

The Real Irish Comedy Festival

The Raven Performing Arts Theater in Healdsburg will present The Real Irish Comedy Fest at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, featuring comedic talent from Ireland. The roster includes Sean Finnerty, Martin Angolo and Dave Nihill. General admission is $25; VIP entry tickets are $40. Find out more and buy tickets here. 115 North Street, Healdsburg, 707-433-6335, raventheater.org

St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Fleet Feet Santa Rosa will host a St. Patrick’s Day-themed five-kilometer timed race at Julliard Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. The race is open to people of all ages and abilities. Participants will receive a commemorative finisher medal after the race. A post-race celebration will include various fun activities, a judged costume contest, beer and root beer, music and sponsor gifts. Registration fees are $30 for youth 17 and under and $55 for adults. Proceeds will go to the Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Scholarship Fund to provide swimming lessons and summer camp experiences for children. Registration is open in line until March 11.

2015 St. Patrick’s Day Queen Ashley Coleman-Callagy rides in an antique convertible during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Healdsburg, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)
Runner Zachery Woods runs along a street during the St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Santa Rosa, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)
St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celtic Concert

The city of Healdsburg is dusting off its shamrocks and green attire as it brings back the annual Grand St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday, March 17. The festive community walk will begin at 7 a.m. at Sanderson Ford (453 Healdsburg Ave.) and wind around the town square and back. Then there will be traditional Celtic music and Irish dancing at Plaza Park from noon to 2 p.m. Learn more about Healdsburg’s free festivities here.

St. Patrick’s Day at Murphy’s Pub

Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Sonoma will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with traditional Irish fare and live music beginning at 11 a.m. on March 17. The band will perform at 2:30 p.m., Sonoma rock ‘n’ roll band Lynne O and the Riots will perform at 4:30 p.m., and the eclectic San Francisco-based ensemble Dirty Cello will close the evening with a performance at from 6 p.m. :30h

464 1st St. East, Sonoma, 707-935-0660, sonomapub.com

35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at McNear’s

McNear’s Saloon will host its 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 17, with live entertainment, dancing and food and drink specials throughout the day. Performers from Petaluma’s Keenan School of Irish Dancing will provide entertainment as guests dine on Irish cuisine, such as Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Spring Rolls, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Irish Cake. Various Irish drinks will be on offer, such as Guinness, green beer, assorted whiskeys and other festive drinks. Learn more and RSVP here.

23 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, 707-765-2121, mcnears.com

St. Patrick’s Day Takeout Dinner Fundraiser

The Healdsburg High School Skills USA chapter will be hosting a fundraiser this St. Patrick’s Day with take-out Irish themed dinners. Dinners are $50 each, serve four people and will include an option of corned beef or shepherd’s pie with roasted seasonal vegetables, a loaf of soda bread, assorted condiments and decorated cookies. Pre-orders close at 5 p.m. Friday, March 11, and pickup is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at Healdsburg High School Culinary Arts Hall. Find out more and buy tickets here.

1024 Prince Ave, Healdsburg, 707-431-3420

Corned Beef and Cabbage Grab and Go

The Windsor Kiwanis Foundation will host a St. Patrick’s Day Drive-In Dinner on March 17 at Windsor Methodist Church. Dinner is $20 per person and will include corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. The deadline to reserve and pay is 9 p.m. on Monday, March 14. Pick-up is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 at the church. Find out more and buy tickets here.

9451 Brooks Road, Windsor, 707-838-6898

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Rio Nido Roadhouse

Rio Nido Roadhouse will host a festive celebration from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, with dinner and a live show. Bay Area band Free Peoples will perform their “intergalactic afro-cowboy world beat music” during the evening with a $10 cover charge. A traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner will be served for $17, which will include corned beef, cabbage, carrots, red potatoes, mustards and soda bread.

14540 Canyon Two Road, Rio Nido, 707-869-0821, rionidoroadhouse.com

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Show

Sally Tomatoes’ Heirloom Cafe in Rohnert Park will host an Irish-themed dinner and show from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, March 17. The menu will consist of corned beef and cabbage accompanied by potatoes, buttered carrots, minted peas and homemade soda. bread with butter. The drink menu includes St. Patrick’s Day classics such as Guinness, Green Ale, Irish Mules, Irish Car Bombs and Irish Coffee with Baileys. There will be a screening of the 1952 Irish-American film “The Quiet Man” at 5:30 p.m. The event costs $20 per person.

1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park, 707-665-9472, sallytomatoes.com

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at Petaluma Woman’s Club

The Petaluma Woman’s Club will host a dinner party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, featuring a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. The dinner will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. on March 17 at the Woman’s Club. Tickets are $25 and people should RSVP before noon on Saturday March 12.

518 B Street, Petaluma, 707-762-4271, petalumawomansclub.com

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Toad in the Hole

The Toad in the Hole Pub in Santa Rosa will host a festive celebration with a special Irish menu, beer garden, traditional bagpipes, singers and dancing. The party will last from 11 a.m. until closing time on March 17.

116 5th Street, Santa Rosa, 707-544-8623

St. Patrick’s Day at TIPS Roadside

TIPS Roadside’s “Burger and Beer Thursdays” falls on St. Patrick’s Day this year, so all day March 17, Kenwood Restaurant will have a special festive treat to celebrate the day. There will be a St. Paddy Burger and a Green House IPA Beer available in addition to $5 house beers and $20 pitchers.

8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 707-509-0078, tipsroadside.com

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend at the Sausage Emporium

The Sausage Emporium in Sonoma will be offering a special St. Patrick’s Day offer over the holiday weekend, March 17-19, including an Irish-themed burger, along with traditional Irish music. The Irish burger, called “The Dubliner”, features an Irish sausage patty with bacon, Irish cheddar and the chef’s secret emerald sauce, served with Emporium fries and a glass of Guinness, craft beer or Emporium wine. The special meal is $20 and can be enjoyed on the patio decorated in green and gold. The Emporium will also be running a “Dare or Discount” promotion where guests can reach for a pot of gold and win a prize or be challenged.

31 East Napa St., Sonoma, 707-934-8814, sausage-emporium.com

St. Patrick’s Day cocktails

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Graton Resort & Casino shares two cocktail recipes from Jessica Christensen, mixologist of Graton’s lounges and bars (Sky Lounge, G Bar, Lobby Bar, Pool Bar, 8 Bar and 630 Park Bar).

A lucky charm

1 oz vanilla vodka
½ oz banana cream
½ ounce of Midori
1 oz pineapple juice
1 ounce of aquafaba
Marshmallow creme
crushed lucky charms

Prepare a Collins glass by using the back of a spoon to create a swirl of marshmallow creme inside the glass, then use it to circle the glass and dip it into your crushed lucky charms. Add all your ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake for about 20 seconds to make sure it creates enough foam. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a light sprinkle of crushed Lucky Charms.

Irish Espresso Martini

1 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 oz Borghetti di Vero Café Espresso liqueur
1 oz Guinness Draft Stout
3 Drops of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Shake all the ingredients with ice, except the Guinness, for about 20 seconds to make sure it creates enough foam. Strain into a coupe glass and slowly pour in your Guinness. Garnish with espresso beans, 3 drops of bitters and edible gold powder.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes