St.Patrick's Day is on a Tuesday this year, which let's face it, kind of sucks. Way too early in the week to stretch it towards a long weekend. Too late to tack it on the end of the previous weekend. Really there's only one thing to do. Start celebrating early.
How about, let's say, Thursday? Beginning on Thursday our friends and partners at Raglan Road Irish Restaurant and Pub are celebrating not just St. Patrick's Day but also their first birthday. Thursday, along with live music by Creel, a musical duo that impresses me more every time I see them, it's Boulevard Night with specially priced flights of Boulevard beer. Because of some draconian liquor laws, they're not allowed to advertise exactly how specially priced. But I happen to know. And it's special, believe me. There will also be giveaways and championship Irish dancing by Danielle Fitzpatrick. Friday the craic continues with more of those "specially priced" beer flights. This time, it's Raglan's Trinity Flights - a trio of Guinness, Harp and Smithwick's. Creel and Danielle return and you'll walk away with more giveaway swag. Saturday night the stakes get higher. There's a free Irish whiskey tasting. It's early, so if you're going to the Elders' Hoolie up the raod at the Midland, stop by on your way. After the Hoolie, swing back by for more great music with Creel and Danielle, and more giveaways, including the big grand prize: your very own whiskey locker.
What's a whiskey locker you say? As luck would have it, I and many other Irish Festers have one so I can tell you. Last Thursday night, Mrs. Bloggy and I dined at Raglan with fellow director Barney Walsh and his lovely wife Sarah, who heads up our site host committee. After dinner we retired to the Whiskey Room, where Barney and I took out the keys to our private lockers, the ones with shiny brass plaques bearing our respective names. I opened my locker and my own personal bottle of Red Breast and poured myself a drop. And it'll be there waiting for me this weekend, too. When you win yours on Saturday, you'll stock it with whatever you choose - Jameson, Power's, Middleton, Red Breast, Paddy. Tell them what you want on your plaque...maybe something like "I Won This For FREE, Suckers!" And they'll hand you the key.
So there we go. To hell with Tuesday. St. Patrick's Day starts this coming Thursday, downtown at 14th and Grand.