Happy St. Patrick's Day, Fort Lauderdale! Time to put on something green, hit the beach, grab some brew, and dance an Irish jig. You're not Irish, but it doesn't matter.
This is a holiday when drinking heavily is actually encouraged. And it's a holiday that can be great if done right, especially in our neck of the woods at this time of year, when this holiday clashes with spring breakers. It's people pretending to be Irish and beach bros coming together for frivolities and good-time shenanigans!
But there are some things you should know before you get out there and celebrate (i.e., drink until you pass out) today. So we've gone ahead and compiled a list of dos and don'ts for Fort Lauderdale. Some of it is basic, common-knowledge stuff; some of it is holiday-related. All of it will help you survive this March 17 like a total pro.
1. Do forget the green clothes, use sunscreen: Traditionally, this holiday is celebrated at night, in the bars. But we’re on to you, Fort Lauderdale. You look for any excuse to get your drank on early and often. And we have killer beaches. So don’t forget about them UV rays. It’s the most basic of rules when hitting up the beaches and Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale on any holiday. Bring your sunscreen or buy some at one of the many stores that line A1A. The last thing you want is to spend St. Patrick’s Day having a grand ole time without protection and the rest of your week looking like a lobster who just walked directly off the surface of the sun and then die of skin cancer months later. That would be a total bummer.
2. Do go to Exit 66 and the Elbo Room: There are plenty of bars and establishments to hit up for St. Patrick’s Day. But you can’t do any kind of holiday where drinking is the main credo without visiting two of the biggest icons in Fort Lauderdale. Exit 66 is Fort Lauderdale’s vision of ’60s-infused Americana, but with hot babes in tight green bikinis. The Elbo Room, which has been a staple ’round these parts since the 1930s, is the classic after-the-beach kind of hangout where you can chill down some cheap booze with your pals, and meet the cool-ass locals who make this their regular spot.
3. Do go to Maguire’s Hill 16: Once you get the regular bars out of the way, get your Irish-wannabe ass over to Maguire’s Hill 16 to do it right. The place has an all-day St. Paddy’s Day shindig going on under a tent. These guys get things started bright and early, kicking off at 8 a.m. with a traditional Irish breakfast and then going all day with Irish music and, of course, beer.
4. Do sing an old Irish folk song or two: Yes, it’s kinda melancholy, and you’re not really Irish. But what the hell. It’s the one time of year you get to pretend you’re from another country. So grab one of those boot mugs full of beer and sing a song that’ll depress the hell out of everybody. IT’LL BE GREAT.
5. Do check the Beach Webcams: Hot tip: The beaches are hella packed during holidays like this, even on weekdays. So do yourself a favor and go here to keep an eye on which beaches are more crowded than others, which have more bros than gals, and which have people fighting and starting a riot.
1. Don't forget the sunscreen: Again, don’t be that person. Sunburns lead to blisters and peeling and giving you raccoon-face, which is a good look for anyone who wants to be endlessly derided and ridiculed until he or she spews green puke.
2. Don't overdo it: Green vomit on the streets of our beloved city is not a good look. It’s gross, and it’s completely uncool. But mostly, it’s gross. So pace yourself. You don’t have to drink every single shot that’s handed to you. OK, you do. But still, be careful.
3. Don't leave your garbage all over the beach: This is a problem anytime we have a big event ’round these parts. Look, we get it. St. Patrick’s is all about booze and food and throwing around the Frisbee with your bros and talking with a horrible Irish accent that actually sounds Scottish and Jamaican because you suck at it. But go ahead and do all that. Knock yourself out. Go to town. But clean up after yourself, you damned slob. Bring a garbage bag with you that you can throw all your green paper plates and green plastic cups into and then toss it in a dumpster in an alley on your way back to your car. Don’t just assume you can use the garbage cans lining the beach, because at this time of year, they’re overflowing with crap and turn into giant piles of garbage Jenga waiting for that last piece to make it topple over. Don’t be a douche. Be cool and keep the beach clean.
4. Don't go to Hollywood North Beach Park: For some reason, this is the one place that gets packed the fastest and then doesn’t let up until the festivities are over. Unless you’re into crowds and parking headaches, this is the last place you want to find yourself during this time of year. There are plenty of other places to park yourself for the day. Log onto those webcams and find a better alternative where there aren’t 50,000 people playing paddleball.
5. Don't attempt to speak with an Irish accent: You’re not Irish, so don’t do it. Also, don’t imitate the Lucky Charms leprechaun. It’s lame, unoriginal, and annoying. You’re already insufferable enough when you’re sloshed. No need to make things worse by trying to sound like an Irishman. You end up actually sounding like Scotty from Star Trek and look like a tool.