Revelers both Irish and not will gather Thursday to celebrate Ireland's patron saint, Patrick, who died 1,555 years ago this week. In Sarasota, you'll find plenty of bars slinging green beer and restaurants serving cabbage and corned beef to the green-clad masses. Here are a few of the day's top celebrations:
1. St. Patrick's Day Block Party at The Shamrock
The Shamrock is way more than just a top-notch beer bar; it's one of Sarasota's best hangouts, period. For its eighth annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party, the downtown bar will offer live music, a limerick contest and dance performances outdoors from 4 p.m. till late at night, plus food from Nancy's Bar-B-Q, Polpo Pizza Co. and the food trucks Chefs2U and Ri...Quisimo. Click here for details.
2. 40th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration & Limerick Contest at The Crow's Nest
For four decades, The Crow's Nest in Venice has been honoring St. Patrick with a limerick contest. Jack Nelson of Venice won last year's top prize with these lines: "Snowbirds help Venice to thrive / So we need to keep them alive / We love 'em all dearly / And welcome them yearly / We just wish they’d learn how to drive." Well said. The restaurant will also serve green beer, corned beef and cabbage and lamb stew. Click here for details.
3. St. Paddy's Day Special Menu at Gecko's
All six Gecko's Grill & Pub locations are offering up a special menu Thursday, featuring shepherd's pie, lamb stew and corned beef and cabbage, with the cabbage sourced directly from Sarasota's Honeyside Farms. To top it off, bartenders will be pouring specialty Jameson-based cocktails. Click here for details.
4. Annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party at The Gator Club
Main Street's Gator Club will set up a stage outside at 6 p.m. and entertain the masses with Irish dances, bagpipes and live music till 1 a.m. Food comes courtesy of Busted Chef and Patellini's Pizza. Click here for details.
5. No Green Beer! at Growlers Pub
For the curmudgeons out there, Sarasota's Growlers Pub is throwing an anti-St. Patrick's Day party, promising no green beer and banning all green clothing and accessories. Don't expect bagpipes or jigs, either. DJ Imminent will be spinning instead. Click here for details.