Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is technically a religious day meant to remember the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron Saint of Ireland, and celebrate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

However, you mention St. Patrick's Day to most people, especially here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (home to the most Irish American citizens in the U.S. with 22.5% of the population) and you might not hear about church, or even religion. What you WILL likely hear is green beer, green clothes, green beads, and even green hair.  We eat Corned Beef and Cabbage, and drink as much as our belly's, or significant others, will let us.  Filled with traditions and fun, it's a celebration like no other.

I've worked at an Irish themed restaurant for ten years now, and ventured out for many a St. Patrick's Day in my youth, and even for a Guinea, I take the proper pour of a Guinness pretty seriously (if you didn't know there was a proper way to pour a Guinness, you're definitely doing it wrong).

Here are my top picks of places to hit up this St. Patrick's Day

5. Ken's Bowl 

With three games of cosmic and bowling with shoes for only ten bucks and bountiful two dollar green beer flowing, Ken's is an affordable stop and fun for all ages. You might not want to take your kids to a packed bar, so this is a great alternative.

4. Bousquet Mountain

Throughout my childhood I remember Brodie Mountain had the ultimate St. Patrick's Party, green snow, skiers dressed up as leprechaun's and of course the slush jump. Since Brodie is no longer, Pittsfield's only ski resort, locally owned Bousquet Mountain has taken on the task of providing skiers, and non skiers, with St.Patrick's Day shenanigans, including keeping the famous slush jump alive. Only the bravest of skiers dare to clear the puddle of slush at the base of the mountain, and with predicted temperatures in the mid 20's for Saturday, those who don't will be in for a chilly ending.

3. O'Laughlin's Pub

Fondly known as 'O's' by the regulars, this a true Irish bar, where even the curtains scream we love Ireland. With Guinness on tap, along with other great craft beers and corned beef everything coming out of the kitchen, this place is packed from wall to the wall.  It's definitely not for the faint of heart, but the fun is worth it, from giveaways to green beer, and if you're lucky might even catch a leprechaun sighting (No, really, they have a leprechaun)

2. Olde Heritage Tavern

My favorite spot in Lenox any time of the year, The Heritage is a blast on St. Paddy's day. Home to arguably the best Guinness pour in Berkshire County, the crew at 'The Taj' hosts a fun St. Patrick's day with some pretty cool corned beef specials, including beer battered corned beef bites, Ruben roll-ups, and even a corned beef caesar salad. If corned beef isn't your thing, you can give their Guinness BBQ wings a try.

1. Patrick's Pub

Clearly I'm a little partial, as I've worked here for ten years, but ask anyone in The Berkshires, Patrick's Pub in downtown Pittsfield is a staple for March 17th.  Open from 11:30 in the morning to 11:30 at night for 12 hours of fun, including drink specials, green beer, giveaways and of course, properly poured Guinness. Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, Bangers and Mash, Chicken and Dumplings and Irish Stew with be available Friday and Saturday, and you can enjoy your meal with live Irish music from The Kelly Boys starting at 4 pm.  My favorite part, the staff and customers are decked out to the nines in their St. Paddy's day best.

Regardless of where you head for St. Patrick's Day, please get there and home safely!



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