Thousands of green-shirted spectators will descend on Corktown this Sunday for the Detroit St. Patrick's Day Parade. Fifty-five years later, the city's annual tradition to celebrate Irish history and heritage hasn't faltered ... and it also happens to be one of the best places to find men in kilts.
The march down Michigan Avenue takes place, as usual, a week before the Irish holiday. It begins at 2 p.m. when marchers, high school bands, floats, clowns and more begin stepping at 6th Street, continuing down Michigan to 14th Street. Organized by the United Irish Societies, the theme for this year's parade is "Detroit Irish: Proud of Homeland, Heritage, & Heroes."
Last year's parade drew a crowd of 65,000.
Before the parade begins, runners will compete in a 5K with a little bit of history of its own. The Cork Town Race runs along Michigan as well, and has been around for more than 30 years. Ahead of the noon race, there's a quarter mile for youth athletes at 11:30 a.m.
Corktown's past -- the historic neighborhood began as a mostly Irish community -- makes it the perfect setting for the parade. But while Sunday's afternoon festivities are a family event, the neighborhood's many, many bars make it an ideal spot for more riotous celebrations. In fact, one of the reasons for holding the parade separate from the holiday is to give restaurants and bars along Michigan Avenue another day of busy business. So drink up!
Check out what Corktown's popular bars have going on for parade day in the slideshow below, and happy almost St. Paddy's day!
PJ's Lager House
<a href="http://www.pjslagerhouse.com/">PJ's Lager House</a> 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 961-4668 One of Detroit's best bars to catch a show, that happens to also serve some of the best under-the-radar grub, will be going full steam during the St. Paddy's Day Parade. Beyond their normal menu, they'll be serving corned beef tacos -- a fun twist on an Irish classic. Stone Clover plays in the morning and Bill Grogan's Goat, a band mixing "solid Detroit rock with traditional Celtic melodies," plays in the early afternoon.
Nemo's Bar And Grill
<a href="http://nemosdetroit.com/">Nemo's Bar and Grill</a> 1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 965-3180 Nemo's is a classic Michigan Avenue spot. On St. Paddy's, the Balduck Mountain Ramblers will be performing. Nemo's will have a tent outside and be serving Irish stew, corned beef sandwiches and more. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23056733@N05/2656545794/">by jodelli</a>.</em>
Mercury Burger Bar
<a href="http://mercuryburgerbar.com/">Mercury Burger Bar</a> 2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 964-5000 Mercury's Burger Bar doesn't have any Irish specials going on, but they're open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with great beers on tap and a great parade location.
McShane's Irish Pub And Whiskey Bar
<a href="http://mcshanespub.com/">McShane's Irish Pub and Whiskey Bar</a> 1460 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 961-1960 McShane's, also on Michigan and prime for parade watchers, will have a tent outside where they'll be barbecuing along with serving Irish food and keeping beer on special and whiskey flowing all day. The live entertainment starts in the afternoon and continues into the night, including a performance by the Stone Clovers.
<a href="http://www.gaelicleagueofdetroit.org/">Gaelic League</a> 2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 964-8700 It's hard to imagine a more appropriate to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than the Gaelic League. Though they're a club, they're open to the public (with a $10 cover on parade day) and home to some of the most welcoming staff this side of town. They'll have food and live entertainment.
Slow's Bar BQ
<a href="http://slowsbarbq.com/">Slow's Bar BQ</a> 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit 313) 962-9828 Slows Bar BQ will likely be jammed, but there's a reason people crowd in. Beyond the newly extended selection of beers on tap, with plenty of Michigan-made brews, they're offering a limited menu while they're open Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/LjsLounge?fref=ts">LJ's Lounge</a> 2114 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI. (313) 962-0013 On Sunday, no-frills LJ's will be doing more of the same-old -- and that's not a bad thing, whether you're daunted by the line at Slows down the block or are craving a simpler spot.
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/corktowntavern">Corktown Tavern</a> 1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 964-5103 Corktown Tavern is a Michigan Avenue staple. On parade day, they're touting the "biggest party" on the Avenue, with a performance by the Kreelers and the Reefermen.
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Caseys-Pub/115762125119981">Casey's Pub</a> 1830 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 963-2440 Casey's Pub is yet another prime spot on Michigan Avenue to celebrate.
<a href="http://www.sugarhousedetroit.com/">Sugar House</a> 2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit (313) 962-0123 A relative newcomer to the Corktown bar scene, the Sugar House, open Sunday evening, feeds off Slow's Bar BQ traffic, and feeds them artfully concocted craft cocktails. No Natty Ice specials or Irish stew here, but it's the only place in Detroit, we believe, where you can order drinks like a "Ceremonies out of the Air": Brugal Extra Viejo, Nux Alpina walnut liqueur, jasmine syrup, lemon and yuzu bitters, shaken and served up in a coupe. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/76732991@N03/7217465326/">by Tom Parr23</a>.</em>
St. CeCe's Pub
<a href="http://www.stceces.com/">St. CeCe's Pub</a> 1426 Bagley, Detroit, MI. (313) 962-2121 St. CeCe's is a few blocks away from the parade, but worth the mini trek, especially if you've never seen the interior of this gorgeous bar. Get there early for brunch -- they'll be starting at 9 a.m. and going "until it gets too crazy," likely before noon. Then they'll submit to the drinkers, with a full bar inside and a tent with a beer truck outside.
Nancy Whiskey's Pub
<a href="www.nancywhiskeydetroit.com">Nancy Whiskey's Pub</a> 2644 Harrison St., Detroit (313) 962-4247 Nancy Whiskey's has been around since 1902, managing to weather Prohibition with a speakeasy. Out of the traffic on a residential street north of I-75, the homey bar isn't just for oldtimers -- they get packed. And their St. Patrick's Day Parade party has quite a reputation. The Codgers, an Irish band, will be playing in the afternoon, they will have fresh corned beef all day long and, of course, plenty of Irish whiskey.
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donovans-Pub/192470477465165?rf=109274839112990">Donovan's Pub</a> 3003 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit (313) 964-7418 You've got to step it a little past Michigan Avenue to check out Donovan's, and even then, you might be fooled by the lackluster exterior. But the bar, one of the best dives in Detroit, makes up for it with cheap beer, great service and amazingly festive decorations for every holiday. They'll be open during the parade and just might be a little less packed than some of the spots in the thick of things.
Green Dot Stables
<a href="http://greendotstables.com/">Green Dot Stables</a> 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit (313) 962-5588 Green Dot Stables is in the psuedo-neighborhood Corktown Shores, and this is only their first year officially open for St. Paddy's. But if their daily crowds are any indication, the bar, with mouthwatering sliders at great prices and drinks to match, will be full to the brim with revelers.
Also on HuffPost: