By Marcia Bigg
As St. Patrick’s Day draws near, revelers o’ the green around Tampa Bay prepare to party. Even Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gets in the spirit annually by dyeing the river that runs through downtown a brilliant shamrock green. A number of Irish taverns draw high-spirited crowds with legendary celebrations that guarantee plenty of fun, food and live music. So brush up on your brogue and get ready to dance a jig at these fun-loving celebrations!
FOUR GREEN FIELDS
Step into this cozy cottage tucked between palm trees and skyscrapers on the edge of downtown Tampa and you’ll be transported to Old World Ireland. Four Green Fields has a devoted following thanks to live Irish music every weekend, a good selection of imported beers on tap and a hearty menu of classic Irish fare. The annual St. Paddy’s Day Celebration starts at 11 a.m. with their famous corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. Live music featuring Ireland’s Derek Warfield and the Young Wolf Tones begins at noon. Expect to make new friends–up to 5,000 partiers stop by to indulge in some 6,000 pints of Guinness. fourgreenfields.com
FLANAGAN’S IRISH PUB
In the quaint town of Dunedin just north of Clearwater, Celtic heritage runs high. Generations of families from the British Isles call Dunedin home. No wonder, then, that for two decades Flanagan’s Irish Pub has been ground zero for a two-day St. Paddy’s Day Festival in the heart of Dunedin’s downtown Main Street. Set for March 17-18, this family-friendly celebration fills three city blocks and includes entertainment by top Celtic bands, Irish dancers and the hometown Dunedin Pipe Band. Try Flanagan’s traditional fish and chips, shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash and tip a pint of the special St. Paddy’s Day ale supplied by the Dunedin Brewery. flanagansirishpub.net
A Clearwater landmark and just minutes from Clearwater Beach, O’Keefe’s draws a steady crowd of regulars who come for the large menu. Spread over the three-day St. Patrick’s Day weekend, O’Keefe’s famous “party under the big top” is held under a circus tent with plenty of seating and a large stage and dance floor. Festivities include Irish bands, bagpipers, Irish dancers, arts and crafts vendors, games and more. Thousands of revelers of all ages drop by annually, consuming up to two tons of corned beef and two semi-trucks of green beer! okeefestavern.com
Plan your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Tampa by visiting allegiant.com.