But Denver didn't get lucky with WalletHub, that prime purveyor of factoids, which recently announced its “Top 20 Cities for St. Patrick’s Day” — and this town didn't even make the cut. We can understand falling behind Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston, with their large Irish communities, but how does the relatively small burg of Naperville, Illinois, rate fifth? And how was the Mile High City edged out by Overland Park, Kansas, which clocked in at a respectable nineteenth? Denver finally shows up a sorry thirtieth.
Maybe the problem is this city’s emphasis on good craft beer, which could mean that Denver doesn’t enjoy the same 819 percent increase in Guinness consumption on St. Patrick’s Day that the rest of the country does. (According to wallethub.com, 152.5 percent more beer is sold overall.) Or maybe it’s that while, on March 14, the city will again paint a green stripe along the parade route and turn Blake Street into Tooley Street for the celebration, few current residents remember the late Dale Tooley, longtime Denver district attorney, who left politics after losing the 1983 mayoral race to Federico Peña.
Despite Denver’s sad WalletHub showing, however, residents will be out in force on Saturday, March 16, when the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts off at 9 a.m. at 20th and Blake/Tooley streets, then winds its way past an assortment of bars where many of the parade participants will be found drinking later that day...and no doubt the next.
Undeterred by the Wallethub snub, Denver City Council issued a proclamation on behalf of the 57th anniversary of the parade, which has always been run by volunteers, on March 11. "We hope for a warm wind at our backs as we celebrate the Irish culture in the great state of Colorado," it proclaims.
And the celebration won't end with the parade. Those celebrants who’ve skipped the bars — or at least sobered up — can join in the 31st annual Runnin’ of the Green, a 7K charity run that starts in front of Union Station at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 17 (registration opens at 8 a.m.). Find out more at rotg.org.
Finally, a consolation prize, so you won't be crying in your green beer: In its list of "Best Places to Go for St. Patrick's Day," vacationrenter.com rates Denver at fifth, citing not just the parade, but such "authentic Irish pubs" as Scruffy Murphy’s, the Irish Rover and Pints Pub.
We've served up our own photos of ten notable Irish pubs in town; see it here.