Music

St. Patrick’s Day

Prepare to be pinched

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Know this: If I see you on St. Patrick’s Day and you’re not wearing green, I will pinch you.

I issue this warning to stem the tide of indignation that has flowed my way in recent years when I have visited this custom on the unsuspecting. After all, this is not some secret tradition, known and acted upon by only a few. Rather the pinching of the sans-green sect dates back to the 1700s. Does it really matter that the pinching, like so many things associated with this holiday, originated in the United States, not Ireland? Or that we pinch in order to remind the green-abstainers that if a leprechaun were to come along (could happen), he would do the same?

Like many traditional behaviors, this one makes little sense when examined closely. Which is why I prefer to pinch first and think about it never.

But pinching isn’t the only custom associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Indeed, the occasion involves a whole host of habits—green beer, shots of Jameson, corned beef, loss of dignity—and as is so often the case in Bellingham, if you’d like to partake in revelry, you don’t have to try very hard to find a party. Here are just a few of your options.

Boundary Bay Brewery: At this point, if you don’t know that Boundary is nutty for St. Patrick’s Day, you probably haven’t lived here very long. Bellingham’s original brewpub might not have invented St. Patrick’s Day, but Janet Lightner (Boundary general manager, part-time leprechaun) founded a Bellingham parade in its honor. The event pays homage both to St. Pat and Bellingham’s public safety personnel, fulfilling Lightner’s mission to contribute to her community and have fun doing so. Post-parade festivities will happen at the brewery, with Irish music, dancing by the Penk O’Donnell school, one of the tastiest Irish-themed menus in town (I speak from experience on this point) and pint after pint of Boundary’s potent beer. The party resumes on St. Pat’s proper, Thurs., March 17, and it’s an all-day affair featuring a full Irish menu, the return of the dancers, the yearly appearance of Robert Sarazin Blake’s elusive Paddywhackers, as well as music by Peadar Macmahon, Jan Peters, the Porch Lights, and more. Where: 1107 Railroad Ave. Info: http://www.bbaybrewery.com

Glow Nightclub: The last time I was at Glow, I was wearing sequin pants and I drank a pink shot (it was that kind of night). A couple of nights after that, a Tyrannosaurus rex showed up and joined the dance party (it should always be that kind of night). None of this is particularly surprising—but it is all representative of the random delights to be found at the downtown nightclub. For St. Patrick’s Day, Glow is cutting the corned beef and cabbage right out of the equation, and getting down to what defines this holiday: drink specials. Green beer and green Jell-O shots are on the menu, as are shots of Jameson, and they’re priced to sell. The soundtrack will be provided by DJs J-Will, Gray Matter, and Shadow Variable. Sequin pants and T-rex costume are optional, but highly recommended. Where: 202 E. Holly St. Info: http://www.glowbellingham.com

Kulshan Brewery: Downtown Bellingham gets a lot of the St. Patrick’s Day action, but Sunnyland will do its share of celebrating too, thanks to Kulshan Brewery. The warm-up to the big day begins Sat., March 12 with the McLaughlin Irish Dancers, who will entertain the beer-quaffing crowd with their fancy footwork. Kulshan favorites the Devilly Brothers will play a show on Thurs., March 17, and what they lack in intricate dance routines, they’ll make up for in holiday-themed music. Get a friendly Kulshan beertender to pull you a pint and prepare to belt out some drinking songs. St. Pat would be proud. Where: 2238 James St. Info: http://www.kulshanbrewery.com

Mount Baker Theatre: Green beer and raucous parties are all well and good, but if you’re looking for a more civilized good time, the Mount Baker Theatre is getting in on St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. Solas, groundbreaking Irish-American band, is celebrating their 20th anniversary year—and they’ll spend this very special St. Patrick’s Day playing a show for us. Call it the luck of the Irish, chalk it up to that four-leaf clover you found—however you choose to characterize the twist of fate that routed one of the most popular and influential Celtic bands in existence our way on March 17, it’s going to make for an unforgettable show. Tickets range from $20-$39 and are somehow still available, so procure yours and get ready to Erin go Bragh. Where: 104 N. Commercial St. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Skylarks Hidden Cafe: For many years, Skylarks has been the Southside’s St. Patrick’s Day bastion, hosting a party that comes complete with a directive to wear green (see, I’m not the only one). Said party also comes with Jameson whiskey on special, Guinness on tap and corned beef and cabbage Skylarks claims is Bellingham’s best (I’ll happily be the judge of that). And since music is always on the menu at the Southside staple, Leaps & Bounds will be on hand to provide you with a with songs that will transport you straight to the Emerald Isle. Where: 1308 11th St. Info: http://www.skylarkshiddencafe.com

Uisce Irish Pub: It is only proper to round out this roundup with Bellingham’s only proper Irish bar, Uisce. The charming bar with its nattily attired staff of expert bartenders always goes all out on St. Patrick’s Day, but this year the occasion also doubles as Uisce’s 10-year anniversary party. Certainly congratulations are in order for the pub and its milestone, and in typical Bellingham fashion, Uisce is celebrating its birthday by throwing us a bash. Music is a must, and it will be provided by a stacked lineup that includes Peadar Macmahon, Gallowglass, the Devilly Brothers, and more. Commemorate the occasion—and then help usher Uisce into its next decade in the manner it deserves. Where: 1319 Commercial St. Info: http://www.facebook.com/UisceIrishPub

ICU Ship Lap#2
More Music...
Blues, Brews & BBQ
Sounds by the bay

Recently, I sat down with a calendar and a fairly comprehensive list of the very many outdoor music series that are taking place over the course of the summer in Whatcom and Skagit counties. It did not require much hard figuring to discern that a person could, if they were so moved, spend…

more »
Elizabeth Park Series
Concerts in the Columbia

Although I have not lived in the Columbia neighborhood in more than a decade, I still spend quality time there. As a dedicated walker who prefers sidewalks to trails, my wanderings take me through many of Bellingham’s neighborhoods, but it’s the narrow streets and historic homes of the…

more »
John Van Deusen
Coming full circle

From time to time—not constantly, but every now and again over the past few years—I’ve found myself wondering what John Van Deusen has been up to.

It’s not like I’m obsessed with the guy or anything. But the Anacortes musician and I do have some history. More accurately, I have some…

more »
Events
Today
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Fatal Attraction

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Noises Off

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

The Emperor of the Moon

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Chuckanut Writers Conference

10:00am|Whatcom Community College

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Sin & Gin Tours

5:30pm|Downtown Bellingham

Keys for Kids

5:30pm|La Conner Flats

Off the Charts!

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Fool Me Twice

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Lynden Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Padden Triathlon

8:30am|Lake Padden Park

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Sumas Community Days

10:00am|Sumas City Park

What's the Point?

10:00am|Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

Imagine This! Home and Landscape Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

York Community Farm Celebration

11:00am|York Community Farm

Jelly and Sorbet Class

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

The Art of Bonsai

11:00am|Azusa Farm & Gardens

Farm to Glass

12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Japanese Touch

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Bellingham Beer & Live Music Festival

2:00pm|North Bellingham Golf Course

High Tea

3:00pm|Majestic Inn

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Summer Moments Party and Potluck

5:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Run Like a Girl

5:30pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Tiny TED Talks

7:00pm|Point Roberts Library

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Tomorrow
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Noises Off

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Off the Charts!

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Gardens of Note

10:00am|Mount Vernon

Vaxxed Bus Stop

10:00am|Civic Stadium, Bloedel Donovan

Forest Walk

11:00am|Fairhaven Park

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Local efforts step up to protect Salish Sea orcas

12:00pm

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

La Conner Live!

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Peace Weavers

4:00pm|Village Books

Refugee Support

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Monday
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Pakistani Cuisine

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

Lester and Hyldahl Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab