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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Partying on St. Patrick's Day

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Where to go, where to go, on St. Drinking's Day... Patrick's Day? We definitely want to sham-rock it, as the holiday is up there with Halloween, New Year's and Mardi Gras as one of the top party days of the year. And so it goes in Milwaukee, one of the tippy-top (so to speak) party cities in America.

This is the day when we are all related to Bono, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson and Enya. This is a day of Shamrock Shakes, Irish Spring and Lucky Charms, a day of jigging in green regalia and getting pumped full of green dye. Over the past several decades, March 17 has become less of a religious holiday and more of a secular haze of alcohol and greenness. March 17 also marks the patenting of the rubber band, the death of Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 180) and the births of Rob Lowe (1964) and Gary Sinise (1955). But all of this is immaterial fluff compared to the real meat and potatoes (or corned beef and cabbage) of the day.

No need to compile a long list of bars and events to attend, as most pubs, Irish or not, will be festively dressed in Gaelic grandeur, all geared up to fill you with Baileys Irish Cream. Whatever Emerald City you enter will be its own world of tipsy leprechauns and lasses from 6 a.m. onward. It's best to just pick an area and sign up with a bar-hopping crew. Driving can be left to non-revelers, as MCTS is giving free rides and plenty of shuttles are traveling from pub to pub.

If you are lucky enough to make it to the pot-of-empty-checkbook at the end of bar close, you will likely be left with the few stragglers who didn't pass out at various points during the day. This is where you say goodbye to a wee-bit-tired but moneyed bartender and bid your slán agat (goodbye, in Irish/Gaelic). And if you haven't yet kissed anyone because they're Irish, this is the time to do so.

Happy St...Patrick's Day.