Give it a whirl: You take your chances on St. Patrick's Day night: The many celebrations taking place in taverns and clubs are dangerously likely to be elbow-to-elbow with decidedly unsprightly--and possibly unsightly--green-beer guzzlers. If that sounds somewhat less than fun, reserve your ticket and head up to the Boulder Theater for a taste of the real thing. A party with step-dancing kicks off the evening at 5:30, followed by traditional Irish music phenoms Dervish, who take the stage at 8. The Boulder, a cool art-deco palace, is located at 2030 14th St., Boulder; tickets are $15.75. Call 786-7030 or 830-TIXS.
On the serious side, you can eschew beer altogether but still get your shot of Celtic culture tonight at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. University of Montana professor David Emmons gives a slide-illustrated talk, The Irish in America's West, 1850-1950, at 7 as part of the museum's Lure of the West lecture series. Admission is $6.50 ($5 for Colorado Historical Society members); call 866-4686 for reservations.
All that glitters: Though still in the planning stages, Boulder's Women of the West Museum is hard at work establishing a presence in the region by sponsoring a three-part lecture series at the Chautauqua Community House. The first, Gold Rush Women: Unknown and Unsung Tales From Alaska to the Yukon, with authors Clair Rudolph Murphy and Jane Haigh, is based on their book of the same name, a colorful tome that brings to life the resourceful women--madams, merchants, innkeepers, wives and others--who made the dangerous, laborious and frostbitten trek north during the turn-of-the-century gold rush era. Murphy and Haigh will autograph copies of the book after the 7 p.m. presentation; admission is free. The community house is located on Morning Glory Drive, above 9th and Baseline Rd. in Boulder; call 541-1000 for details.