PITTSFIELD

Here in the U.S., it seems to be the season of green beer, Shamrock Shakes and poorly imitated Irish brogues on radio commercials.

Yes, St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is already upon us.

Historically a religious affair, the holiday is now widely observed around the world with traditional to touristy to outright tacky, but festive affairs.

Here in the county of Berkshire, where many have Irish roots, you can find all sorts of entertainment and edibles, from traditional fiddle tunes and Irish stew to whiskey, dance parties and rock and roll.

Be safe, have fun and sláinte mhaith!

TONIGHT

INISH, the Irish-Gaelic dance troupe of Williams College will host the first of two 10-year reunion concerts and performances, beginning at 8 p.m. The show is $3 and is open to the public at CenterStage of the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance on Main Street in Williamstown.

Friday

As part of its St. Patrick's Day weekend of gigs, the Irish-contemporary JP Murphy Band will strike a chord beginning at 8 p.m. at The Freight Yard Pub in North Adams.

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INISH dance and music troupe will perform an encore of its 10th anniversary reunion concert at 8 p.m., followed by a post-performance céilí (social folk dance). The show is $3 and is open to the public at CenterStage of the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance on Main Street in Williamstown.

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Mill Town Tavern in Dalton will host a St.


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Patrick's Day Party featuring the band Blackwater.

Saturday

Year-round Irish-named taverns Matt Reilly's Pub in Lanesborough and O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield will be celebrating all weekend long with specials and a festive atmosphere, and perhaps a leprechaun or two.

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Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Irish fiddle music played by classically trained violinist/fiddler Eileen Markland, beginning at 3 p.m., and followed by a specially prepared "Shamrock Tea." Tickets are $30 per person. Reservations can be made by
calling (413) 637-3206.

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The Olde Heritage Tavern in Lenox will start with a soft celebration of St. Patrick's Day with live music and specials.

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The Fundraising Committee at St. Agnes Parish in Dalton will host a special St. Patrick's Day corned beef dinner at 5 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Tickets are $10 each, and include a meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, soda bread and a crème de menthe parfait dessert.

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Saints Patrick and Raphael Parish of Williamstown will host its annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner Dance at the Williams Inn. A cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and dancing follows with DJ Jim Moran from West Springfield. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children for this family-friendly event.

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary will host a St. Patrick's Eve Dinner and Dance from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy a traditional Irish dinner, music by the JP Murphy Band, raffles games and more. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children.

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Rock bands Smartass and WYKYD will play a St. Patrick's Day party at the ITAM Lodge in Pittsfield. Doors open at 8 p.m., music goes from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Flavours of Malaysia in Pittsfield says to "enjoy St. Patrick's Day weekend with some killer blues" Doors open 8 p.m. for this age-21-and-up event, featuring Robin O'Herin Gospel Blues with Andy Taylor from 8:30 to 9:30, followed by T Bone Daddy until 1 a.m. Tickets are $5.

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Wildcard will take the stage from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Bogies Steak and Ale in Great Barrington. Jim Reynolds will be joined by fellow musicians Tommy TenBroeck, Tommy Filiault, and Matt Sermini.

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The Mohawk in North Adams will host a Celtic Pride Pre-St. Patrick's Day Party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with music by Rebel Beat Sound System.

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The JP Murphy Band strikes it up at 9 p.m. at the Purple Pub in Williamstown.

DJ Snake's St. Patrick's Day Latin, Hip Hop Fusion Party will fire it up, for people ages 21 and up, at 9 p.m. at Chameleons nightclub in Pittsfield. (I wonder if the deejay will play a mashup of The Pogues vs. Paulina Rubio.)

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The Artery Lounge in North Adams is hosting a St. Patrick's Glow Party for the 21-and-up crowd. Get there early or there's a $5 after 10 p.m. DJ Keo Beatz will be spinning and MRJZ Photography will be capturing the moments.

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Whiskey City is taking over the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield, beginning at 9:30 p.m. There is a $5 cover.

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Casey's Billiards in Pittsfield is going all out this year, starting at 9:30 p.m. with a foam pit and foam cannon and dancing with a deejay for this age 21 and up event. There is a $5 cover.

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Rascals Grill in Adams will host a St. Patrick's Day Party and deejay from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

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Static will host a rockin' St. Paddy's Day Dance Party at The A (GEAA) in Pittsfield, beginning at 10 p.m.

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The jam band B.A. Dario will host a groovy Saint Patrick's Day Eve Party at Fiori in Great Barrington, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. There is a $5 cover.

Sunday

Rascals Grill in Adams will rebound with a more casual party of green food and drink during the day.

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Celtic band Rakish Paddy will play The Freight Yard Pub from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in North Adams.

The group said it will also play extended St. Patrick's Day celebratory gigs on Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. in the Lion's Den in Stockbridge, and next Thursday (on my birthday) at 8 p.m. at Patrick's Pub in Pittsfield.

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The JP Murphy Band continues its streak at noon at the Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield.

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Patrick's Pub in Pittsfield will open just for the occasion at noon on Sunday, with all-day specials in honor of its namesake. There will be giveaways throughout the day and at 6 p.m., the JP Murphy Band plays live.

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It's the moment the Olde Heritage Tavern in Lenox has been waiting for all year. Opening with a full Irish breakfast and possibly some bagpipes, they'll feature two sets with an Irish band called O'Keefe at 3 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. "I've tried to get them for the past 6 years and now we have them," says pub owner John McNinch.

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Don't let the Polish fool you. The PNA in Adams will host a St. Paddy's Day Bash beginning at 1 p.m.

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Dave Bacon & The Swingin' Shillelaghs will come out to play on St. Patrick's Day at Jacob's Restaurant in Dalton. The group, including Vinnie Brandi and Jeff King, will be jamming from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Water Street Grill in Williamstown will host a St. Paddy's Day celebration with Irish food, special cask brews and prize giveaways at night.

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St. Patrick's Day turns a different shade at the Dream Away Lodge in Becket with the Misty Blues Band, beginning around 8 p.m. Dinner beforehand includes a special entree of free corned beef, for as long as it lasts.

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Mission Bar & Tapas in Pittsfield will host "Lily Pads & Rainbows," an evening of music with Benny Fingers and The Berkshire Mountain Rambler, beginning at 7 p.m.

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Rumpy's Tavern in Lenox will feature an evening of karaoke.

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Rob Sazone will host a rockin' St. Paddy's Party at the Lion's Den in Stockbridge around 8 p.m.

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Get your green on with Chris Merenda & The Wheel at 9 p.m. at the Gypsy Joynt in Great Barrington.

Sunday, March 24

"Masters of the Fiddle," musicians Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, will bring their Celtic charm and worldly skill to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $67.

Thursday, March 28

Hillcrest Education Centers Inc. will host its 12th annual Robert "Bees" Prendergast St. Patrick's Reception, with guest of honor Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo. There will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a buffet, auctions, a raffle and live Irish music from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Country Club of Pittsfield. RSVP by Friday at www.hill
crestec.org or call (413) 499-7924, Ext. 133 for details.

To reach Jenn Smith:
jsmith@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6239
On Twitter: @JennSmith_Ink