Corned Beef and Parade are Old Town Traditions


All prepped for last year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade – (left-to-right) Liv Poulos, Gary Moffat, Spencer Smith!

Over my 15 years in the Historic District, I’ve come to align with a tradition launched decades ago by patrons of Old Town’s notorious “Bermuda Triangle,” the drinking circuit linking three iconic watering holes: the Shanghai, Happy Hour and the California Club (the last joint standing). Each year, at precisely 5:17 p.m., a pathetic excuse of a parade would step off from the top of Lincoln Way and wind down High St. and then into Old Town on Sacramento St.

Some years the procession of classic cars, an antique fire engine and rat vehicles would amount to just a dozen random entries, honking with partiers decked out in green, demonstrating along the route to a terminus of hot corned beef and cold beer queued up in Old Town.  In the last couple of years, though, the event has exploded, attracting upwards of 50 vehicles or more.

While gentrification of Old Town’s version of a St. Patrick’s Day parade might horrify the founders of the event, I’m confident they would appreciate seeing all the smiling faces all along Lincoln Way.  So, don’t miss this year’s rendition on Friday afternoon, with the first car rolling off at 5:17.


Then join us at Carpe Vino and enjoy our regular menu or Chef Alexander’s annual St. Patty’s celebration featuring authentic Irish staples, perfect for a three-course dinner::

–Braised beef, barley and ale soup with root vegetables and Irish Cheddar, $9.

–House corned beef and cabbage with glazed carrot, champ potatoes and whole grain mustard, $23.

–Spiced Guinness stout cake with Bailey’s whipped cream, $9.

BTW, we recommend you stop by the California Club to hoist a brewski. It’s the last vestige of authentic Old Town and we love the joint.