The Luck of the Michigander: Seven Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Michigan
From the pubs to the dance floor to the ski hills
By Alexandra Dailey | March 11, 2023
Each year, people all over the North gear up for the holiday of green: St. Patrick’s Day. And for 2023, we’re all feeling extra lucky because St. Patrick’s Day takes place on a Friday—ideal for all the shindigs featuring stout and songs, merriment and mirth. Open up your calendars; here are seven can’t-miss events occurring across northern Michigan this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
1. Lake Ann Brewing Co., Lake Ann
Friday, March 17, 3-6pm
For some afternoon fun, head to Lake Ann Brewing Co.—known for its stellar weekly music lineups—to hear live music by Rigs and Jeels. Veteran musicians Dane Hyde and Rick Willey, accompanied by local singer and dancer Katie O’Connor, are ready to put you in the Irish spirit while you relax and enjoy a drink.
“The trio offers a fresh spin on classic Irish tunes and popular favorites,” says Matt Therrien, owner of Lake Ann Brewing Co. “Rigs and Jeels will be followed by The Jameson Brothers, and The Stone Oven will be offering corned beef and cabbage as well. We expect it will be a good crowd.”
2. Ethanology Distillation, Elk Rapids
Friday, March 17, 3-7pm
Stop by Ethanology Distillation in Elk Rapids for some good company, good food, deep laughs, and great drinks. Event partner and Ethanology neighbor Ames St. Cafe will host an Irish food pop-up with grilled Reubens and traditional Irish side dishes, and local bard Jim Ribby is set to tell Irish stories in the oral tradition. Plus, starting at 7pm, professional comedians Ken Witzgall and Bill Bushart will take the stage to end the night with a laugh. (Note: There’s a $5 cover for the comedy show.)
3. Seasons of the North & Burt Lake Brewery, Indian River
Friday, March 17, 7-10pm, $10/person
This year marks the first St. Patrick’s Day event that Seasons of the North Winery and Burt Lake Brewery of Indian River have ever hosted, featuring live music by Melissa Behring and Jake Tobias. “We’ve never hosted a St. Patrick’s Day event before,” says Sarah Kolb, event coordinator for the dual winery-brewery. “We wanted to give our off-season a little kick and thought this would be the perfect time to do so.”
During the celebration, Behring and Tobias will perform unique acoustic versions of classic rock and soul favorites while attendees enjoy light snacks, wine, and beer, with green beer upon request in honor of the day. Limited tickets are available at seasonsofthenorth.com.
4. Treetops Resort, Gaylord
Friday, March 17
Spend St. Patrick’s Day at Treetops Resort in Gaylord and ski over their giant green Treetops logo on the slopes, specially placed in honor of the Celtic holiday! Legends on the Hill—one of Treetops’ on-site restaurants—will feature Irish favorites all day with corned beef and great beers. After a day on the slopes, those 21 and up can dance the night away from 9pm to 1am at Hunter’s Grille with a shamrockin’ DJ.
5. Karma Taproom, Gaylord
Friday, March 17, 8-11pm
Gaylord’s downtown wind-down hotspot is Karma Taproom, and they’re ready to celebrate St. Pat. If you purchase a $10 St. Patrick’s Day mug, you’ll also receive a bracelet that gets you special discounts and bigger pours for the night, plus money for a taxi ride home after spending the evening with Karma. In addition, Darrell Boger will be performing live (rock and soul) throughout the night.
6. 2023 Fifth Third Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K
Saturday, March 18, 9am
The 13th annual Fifth Third Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K is running a brand-new course this year! Starting on Lake Avenue in Old Town Traverse City, the race concludes at Brady’s Bar for a fun after-party, and all participants who are 21 and up get a free beer. (Cheers!) Each racer receives a T-shirt and accurate timing, and prizes are offered for top finishers and best Irish costumes. Bonus: The race course is stroller and dog-friendly. Register at leapinleprechauntc.com.
7. St. Patrick’s Day Community Ceili, Cadillac
Saturday, March 18, 2-4pm
Put on your dancing shoes and participate in a community ceili at Up North Arts with the Northern Lights Irish Dance Academy.
“Ceili, in Gaelic, means to gather, but in this case, we will be gathering to dance several group dances,” says Gina Dewery, owner of Northern Lights Dance Academy. “This is a free event for all ages to come and learn a real historic Irish folk dance.”
Dewey will teach attendees the dance steps while the Irish dance troupe dancers assist. As a special treat, the Northern Lights Irish Dancers will perform, and attendees can enjoy complimentary cookies and lemonade. “We also have prizes to win to boost the Irish spirit,” adds Dewey.