Murphys Irish Day, a Charming Gold Country Must

The beautiful village will have the merriment, the music, and great vino, too, on St. Patrick's Day Eve.

Jim Last

A LIVELY ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVITY? We know them in the big cities, the parades that go on for blocks, the huge concerts in the park, the ginormous pub crawls that seem to include a stop at every tavern in the zip code. But there are numerous ways to celebrate your shamrockian spirit, of course, and for those revelers who prefer a small-town scene, one that has some Irish roots, some Gold Country lore, and several primo vino spots, it has to be Murphys. The charming hamlet welcomes visitors throughout the calendar, thanks in part to its history — it's just a short scoot off Highway 49, that fabled street o' gold — and to its quality clutch of tasting rooms and eateries. But right around St. Patrick's Day, the goings-on get mighty, mighty green, as they will on...

SATURDAY, MARCH 16: That's the 2019 date for Murphys Irish Day, a daylong lark that includes a pancake breakfast, oodles of booths selling crafts and such, and a parade that's straight out of a movie, if the movie was set in a village as picturesque as Murphys. Listen for "the swirl of bagpipes" at 11 in the morning, which signals that a whole procession of ponies, vintage cars, marching bands, and more are about to saunter, with pomp, sound, and dash, through the heart of the town. It's free to see, of course, but you'll want money, and a designated driver, if you plan to visit all of those wine-lovely spots. Of course, a lot of other people will be in town to do just that, so don your green hat early, and arrive early, and, if you can, stay a night or two in this marvelous Mother Lode location.

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