March 13 2014 12:00 AM

St. Patty’s Day 2014 will be a quieter affair … probably

Freezing temperatures and a highly undesirable Monday time slot point toward a lower-key St. Patrick’s Day 2014. Those fair weather Irish lads and lasses with their green beer and obscene T-shirts have class and/or work this year, most likely putting a dent in bar traffic and binge drinking. (Either that, or a whole lot of flex days will not so mysteriously be racked up early next week.)

St. Patrick’s Day is not, of course, all about drinking irresponsibly.

It’s a cultural celebration of a vital segment of America’s immigrant population, and this year is a good opportunity to think about that. So why not take some time to reflect on Irish traditions?

If you’re looking for something a little more culturally enriching, look to Lansing’s neighbor to the west: Grand Ledge. Since 2002, Grand Ledge has dedicated the weekend before March 17 to Irish-themed events. What started as a neighborhood festival has morphed into a citywide celebration of Gaelic culture, including mid- Michigan’s only St. Patrick’s Day parade.

From 6 p.m. to 11 Friday, the Grand Ledge Opera House, 121 S.

Bridge St., will host Irish music food and drinks ($5 at the door). An Irish stew contest gets things rolling at 11 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall, 721 N. Clinton St., followed by the downtown parade at 2 p.m. and more festivities at the Opera House.

For a full list of Grand Ledge events, check out Or if you prefer to celebrate with dyed light beer and novelty plastic leprechaun hats, read on for a full listing of local events and specials.