A Guide to St. Patrick’s Day 2015 in Downtown Tucson

March 11, 2015

The green beer will be flowing this weekend at Playground.

The green beer will be flowing this weekend at Playground.

by Joshua Levine

If lovers of Downtown Tucson nightlife view St. Patrick’s Day as a valid and sincere opportunity to connect (or reconnect) with certain traditions of old-world Irish culture or simply as a chance to cut loose and consume holiday-themed beer, the outcomes of both scenarios typically lead to the same destination: St. Patrick’s Day is always a celebration.

While not every bar and nightclub in the Downtown area is hosting an event specific to St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, March 17, the ongoing expansion of this part of the city provides a remarkable and diverse selection of beer and cocktails. And the establishments that are explicitly celebrating the holiday have made those celebrations more lavish and exciting than ever. Below are some of your St. Patrick’s night options.

Playground Bar & Lounge

Over at 278 W. Congress Street, Playground is wasting no time getting to the festivities — starting at 4 p.m. on the holiday, there will be food and drink specials until closing time. This means, among other drinking options at the bar, the perennial St. Patrick’s Day favorite of green beer is three bucks, while a Guinness will leave your wallet four dollars lighter.

Playground is also hosting the rollicking high-energy take on traditional Irish music by 3 Penny Balladeers. Featuring members from local bands like El Camino Royale, this five-piece act always gets the blood pumping this time of year. (Note: due to the band’s musical style, the majority of their performances occur this time of year.)

Admission is free.

Club Congress

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Club Congress will have four days of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!

Without a doubt, the biggest club celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this year will be the four day blowout over at Club Congress, on 311 E. Congress Street.

Starting on Saturday, March 14, the event will feature all sorts of entertainment, food and drink.

Saturday will see local all-star cover band the Zsa Zsas performing its irreverent rock and pop music on the stage, while acclaimed Tucson-based artist Joe Pagac will be the host of all of the evening’s entertainment, which begins at 9 p.m. (admission is $3; free if you’re wearing green clothing). The scope of fun Pagac will be presenting promises to be outlandishly fun: According to Congress’ website, alongside the photo booth will be appearances by “a ton of DJs, the World’s Largest Leprechaun and bagpipes” for what organizers call “a night of Irish-themed shenanigans.”

The following night, Sunday, March 15 offers Celtic-flavored karaoke at 10 p.m. Admission is free for those dressed in green and $3 for the less festive.

King Congress, the Hotel Congress mascot, in the 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

King Congress, the Hotel Congress mascot, in the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Monday, March 16 continues the fun with DJ Sid the Kid spinning his usual array of ‘80s and ‘90s dance tunes with a St. Patrick’s Day countdown as the clock strikes midnight. As you may have guessed, it will cost $3 to get in the door unless your attire is green.

Finally, on Tuesday, March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — Club Congress will have the Official Great Guinness Toast out on the plaza at 10 p.m. The Toast will be bookended by live music and Irish food specials from The Cup Cafe, while inside the club will feature stand-up comedy from The Switch. Admission on this night is free to all.

Covert Celebrations

Though not officially hosting Sr. Patrick’s Day-themed events, it’s hard to go wrong in Downtown Tucson when looking for variations of the official holiday drink — beer, green or otherwise — at such spots as La Cocina, R Bar, Borderlands Brewery and World of Beer, among many other options.

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day from all of us here at the Downtown Tucson Partnership!

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