Happy St. Patrick’s Month! Ann Arbor is a great one-stop shop to celebrate the occasion, offering a road race, live Irish music performances and local breweries and pubs offering wide selections of craft Irish ales and stouts (and green beer of course) to raise your spirits heading into spring. Sláinte!
Leapin’ Leprechauns!… for the Gold(en Cause)!
Check out the Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K Run and Walk, held in downtown Ann Arbor. This event, sponsored by Conor O’Neills and Running Fit, donates proceeds for University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Save-A-Heart Fundraising Program. All finishers will receive medals, with custom logo pint glasses provided to the first 2,345 finishers and race t-shirt for the first 2,000 entrants. The race can bit a bit hilly and, as always, dress for the weather!
Pot o’ Gold: $40 for 5K Race/Walk, $25 for Kid’s Kilometer, $20 for Kid’s Dash.
When: 9:45 a.m. Sunday, March 9
Ann Arbor resident John Walsh, third from left, organizes a group of local runners to participate in last year’s Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K race behind Conor O’Neills prior to the race. John has been organizing a group for the charity race each year since 2007.
Fiddling Fiddles and Banjos
Local quartet Kevin and the Glen Levens from “the hills of Ann Arbor” offers Celtic, bluegrass and Americana originals featuring Kevin Devine on vocals, guitar and accordion; Laura Oeschger on piano, vocals, mandolin and dulcimer; Jerry Hancock on bass; and Brent Oeschger on drums, guitar and banjo. This performance will take place at Old Town Tavern on W. Liberty and Ashley St.
Pot o’ Gold: No Cover.
When: 8:00 p.m. Sunday, March 9
The seven-member band Ghost City Searchlight features traditional Celtic and American folk songs strung together with deeper storytelling messages with Tommy Coupar on vocals and guitar; Dave Brandt as lead guitarist, on banjo and mandolin; Jesse Miller on accordion; Sian Miller on vocals; Casey Lee on fiddle; Rick Dempsy on drums and Joe Sleep on bass. Takes place at Arbor Brewing Company on E. Washington between Main St and Fourth.
Pot o’ Gold: No Cover.
When: 6:00 p.m. Monday, March 17
A Wee Bit o’ Brews
Arbor Brewing Company – Will be opening at 7 a.m. and will offer a special breakfast menu and morning happy hour until 11 a.m. There will be five stouts on tap: Michael Faricy Irish, Blackheart Sweet, St. Pats Strong Stout, Steamroller Russian Imperial and my favorite, the Espresso Love Breakfast made with a fine balance of malts and bitters made from oatmeal and 100 percent fair-trade coffee from Ugly Mug Café and Roastery in Ypsilanti, MI.
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company – Opens at 11 a.m. with current tap selections featuring the County Cork’s Irish Stout, Steelhead Red, Victor’s Gold and Amarillo Shamrock Irish Red Ale from the rotating menu. You can enjoy your brew with a special menu featuring traditional Irish fare on St. Patrick’s Day. Limited-edition pint glasses will be available for $5 with re-fills at a discounted price.
Ashley’s – Michigan’s premiere multi-tap offers over 70+ taps including Battle Creek, Michigan-based Arcadia Ale’s St. Bridget’s Irish Red and Bellaire, Michigan-based Short’s Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout. Specials will also be available on Guinness and their 30th anniversary brews from their 1984 opening on S. State Street right across from U of M’s central campus. Beginning at 6:30 a.m., a breakfast buffet will be served along with $3 green Labatt’s and $10 t-shirts.
Bill’s Beer Garden – Enjoy an outdoor drinking experience with a season-opening St. Patrick’s weekend. Open from 5 to 11 p.m. and offers over a dozen tap brews including Traverse City’s own Right Brain CEO Stout, Bell’s Best Brown Ale and New Holland Dirty Water Beer.
Now that I am registered for the Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K to kick off my first road race of the season, it’s time to dust off my running shoes and hit the road! Follow me as I take on St. Patrick’s Day adventures in the Ace Deuce @xcrunner2211
– By Alfred Lim, Contributing Writer