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

From green-themed races to festive parades to delicious Irish fare, Sonoma County is pulling out all the stops this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Hold on to your lucky clovers and check out where to go green on March 17. Read on for highlights from previous celebrations and some inspiration. Sláinte!

It’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day

Tulamore Dew St. Paddy not St. Patty
Courtesy of Pat LaFrieda)

Let’s start by getting one thing straight: Contrary to what many Americans like to believe, it’s St. Paddy’s Day and not St. Patty’s Day. This year, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, which was founded in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, is setting out to change this common misconception with a St. Paddy’s Day Patty Kit — created in partnership with American butcher Pat LaFrieda. The special kit ($84.99) includes two Tullamore D.E.W. ceramic shot glasses, one beanie, one drink recipe card (with a Drizly code to order a bottle of Tullamore D.E.W. to your door) and twelve 8-ounce meat patties. The kits can be ordered at shop.lafrieda.com. Now that that’s settled, let’s move on to the March 17 celebrations and treats.

Local St. Patrick’s Day Treats 

Wine Country Feasts' St. Patrick's Day gift box
Wine Country Feasts’ St. Patrick’s Day gift box

“I’m a big meat eater, and I just love corned beef,” says chef Cheyenne Simpkins. “It’s like the bacon of beef — super flavorful, moist, and delicious. It’s one of those treats you maybe sneak three or four times of year.” Simpkins, who grew up in New York and trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, now runs the 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 takeout holiday boxes containing a multi-course meal of Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and a flourless, Guinness-flavored chocolate cake. About $70 per box. Order via the “Contact Us” page at winecountryfeasts.com.

The Real Irish Comedy Fest

The Real Irish Comedy Fest at The Raven
The Real Irish Comedy Fest at The Raven

The Raven Performing Arts Theater in Healdsburg will present The Real Irish Comedy Fest at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, featuring comedic talent hailing from Ireland. The lineup includes Sean Finnerty, Martin Angolo and Dave Nihill. General admission is $25; VIP front-of-house tickets are $40. Learn more and purchase tickets here115 North St., Healdsburg, 707-433-6335

St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Fleet Feet Santa Rosa will host a St. Patrick’s-themed, chip-timed five kilometer race at Julliard Park from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. 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-run celebration will include various fun activities, a judged costume contest, beer and root beer, music and sponsor giveaways. Registration fees are $30 for youth 17 and under, and $55 for adults. Proceeds will benefit the Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Scholarship Fund to provide swimming lessons and summer camp experiences for children. Registration is open online until March 11.St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celtic Concert

Celebrants of the 2019 St. Patrick's Day festivities in Healdsburg
Celebrants of the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Healdsburg

The city of Healdsburg is dusting off its shamrocks and green attire as it brings back the grand annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday, March 17. The festive community march will begin at 7 a.m at Sanderson Ford (453 Healdsburg Ave.) and wind around the town plaza and back. Afterward, there will be traditional Celtic music and Irish step 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 & Restaurant in Sonoma will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with traditional Irish fare and live music from 11 a.m. on March 17. Glen Ellen-based sibling duo The Fabulous O’Hara Brothers will perform at noon, the Dave Cory and Tim Hill 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 out the evening with a performance starting at 6:30 p.m. 464 1st St. East, Sonoma, 707-935-0660

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

mcnear's saloon and bar welcome sign 
Welcome sign outside McNear’s Saloon in Petaluma

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 own Keenan Irish Dance School will provide the entertainment while 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 available, such as ​​Guinness, green beer, assorted whiskeys and other festive beverages. Learn more and RSVP here. 23 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, 707-765-2121

Saint Patrick’s Day To-Go Dinner Fundraiser

The Healdsburg High School Skills USA chapter will hold a fundraiser this St. Patrick’s Day with Irish-themed dinners to-go. The dinners are $50 each, serve four people and will include an option of corned beef or shepherd’s pie along 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 from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at the Healdsburg High School Culinary Arts Room. Learn more and purchase 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-thru dinner on March 17 at the Windsor Methodist Church. The dinner is $20 per person and will include corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. The deadline to reserve and pay is 9 p.m. Monday, March 14. Pickup is from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at the church. Learn more and purchase tickets here. 9451 Brooks Road, Windsor, 707-838-6898

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Rio Nido Roadhouse
St. Patrick's Day Sign at Rio Nido Roadhouse
St. Patrick’s Day Sign at Rio Nido Roadhouse 

Rio Nido Roadhouse will host a festive celebration from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 17, with a dinner and live performance. Bay Area band Free Peoples will perform its “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

St. Paddy’s Day Dinner and Show

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the Heirloom Cafe at Sally Tomatoes
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Heirloom Cafe at Sally Tomatoes 

Heirloom Cafe at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park will host an Irish-themed dinner and a show from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, March 17. The menu will consist of corned beef and cabbage along with potatoes, butter carrots, mushy minty peas and homemade soda bread with butter. The drink menu includes St. Patrick’s Day classics such as Guinness, green beer, Irish Mules, Irish Car Bombs and Irish Coffee with Baileys. There will be a showing 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

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

The Toad in the Hole Pub in Santa Rosa will hold a festive celebration complete with a special Irish menu, outside beer garden, traditional bagpipes, singers and dancing. The celebration will last from 11 a.m. until closing time on March 17. 116 5th St., 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 on March 17, the 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 Highway, Kenwood, 707-509-0078

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend at Sausage Emporium

St. Patrick's Day at Sausage Emporium in Sonoma
There’ll be a tasty St. Patrick’s Day deal at Sausage Emporium in Sonoma 

Sonoma’s Sausage Emporium will have a special St. Patrick’s Day deal over the holiday weekend, March 17-19, including an Irish-themed burger, along with traditional Irish music. The Irish burger, called ​​“The Dubliner,” includes 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 green- and gold-decorated patio. The Emporium will also run a “Dare or Discount” promotion where guests can reach into a pot of gold and either win a prize or be challenged to a dare. 31 East Napa St., Sonoma, 707-934-8814, sausage-emporium.com

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails

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

A Lucky Charm

lucky charm cocktail from graton resort and casino
A Lucky Charm cocktail at Graton Resort & Casino

1 oz vanilla vodka
½ oz Crème de Banana
½ oz Midori
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz aquafaba
Marshmallow crème
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 rim the glass and dip it into your crushed lucky charms. Add all your ingredients into a shaker tin with ice and shake for about 20 seconds to ensure it creates enough foam. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a light sprinkle of crushed Lucky Charms.

Irish Espresso Martini

Irish Espresso Martini at Graton Resort & Casino
Irish Espresso Martini at Graton Resort & Casino

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

Shake all ingredients with ice, excluding the Guinness, for about 20 seconds to ensure 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 dust.

Written. by Maci Martell 

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