Deadwood Magazine

Never mind what they wear under their kilts – just enjoy their music.

            Bagpipers wail their way down Deadwood’s historic Main Street Thursday, March 17, leading the 2 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day parade. Spectators quick on their feet can grab up their share of the 1,000 wooden nickels tossed out along the parade route and redeemable for one dollar at participating locations throughout the city.

            After the parade, bagpipers play in downtown casinos that serve Mulligan stew, corned beef and cabbage and other Irish specialties, accompanied by free-flowing poteen (or the green beer American version thereof).

            At the Franklin Hotel, Deadwood’s quintessential Irishman Bill Walsh hosts Finnegan’s Wake and serves Irish beer, imported directly from the Emerald Isle, in Durty’s Nelly’s Irish Pub and Callahan’s Sports Bar.

The city’s open container law is lifted after 5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and the citywide celebration continues through the weekend.

            There are only two kinds of people in Deadwood on March 17 – the Irish and those that wish they were.

The Northern Hills town has enthusiastically celebrated the feast day of  Erin’s patron saint for at least 125 years, observing traditions brought in by immigrants fleeing the Irish potato famine.

            Youngsters in the 1950s may have ignored mother’s advice about eating yellow snow, but wisely heeded a March 17 parental caution: “Don’t eat the green snow.”

            If the conditions were right, Deadwood city workers were out early the morning of St. Patrick’s Day spreading streets with a chemical mixture that flowed orange from the trucks, but turned a vivid shade of green as snow melted in the morning sunshine.

            The “Leprechaun’s walk” was another tradition that continued well into the 1990s. Huge green footprints mysteriously appeared on city streets and sidewalks sometime during the night and occasionally the imprints even went up sides and windows of downtown buildings.

            For more information about St. Patrick’s weekend in Deadwood, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 800-999-1876.


Cead Mile Failte

            The Scottish & Irish Society of the Black Hills holds its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Rapid City on Saturday, March 19.

The downtown parade starts at 2 p.m. and the St. Patrick’s Feast and Ceili

(kay′ lee) is held that evening at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 717 Quincy Street.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by a traditional Irish meal prepared by society members and served buffet style at 7 p.m.

            Originally the way traditions, history and community values were passed on from generation to generation, the ceili is an informal family gathering with dancing, singing and storytelling.

            This year’s ceili will offer performances by String Thaw, Terry Rathbun and David Love on pipe and drum, and impromptu contributions from dinner guests.

            The public is invited to the dinner and ceili, but tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at Black Hills Celtic Shop, 523 Seventh Street.

            Formed in 1998, the Scottish and Irish Society welcomes anyone with an interest in Celtic heritage and traditions. For more information, visit the organization’s web site ( or call 605-388-0281.                                                   DM



            A flavorful vegetable dish, colcannon is usually served at dinners hosted by the Scottish and Irish Society of the Black Hills. It can easily be made at home, either on the stovetop or in the busy housewife’s favorite appliance – a slow-cooker.

 1 lb. potatoes, sliced

2 medium parsnips, peeled & sliced

2 medium leeks

1 lb. kale or cabbage

½ tsp. mace

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 cup milk

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. Pepper

2 tbsp. butter

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped


Stovetop method: Cook potatoes and parsnips in water until tender. While they are cooking, chop both white and green tops of leeks and simmer in the milk until soft. Steam kale or cabbage, chop fine and keep warm. Drain potatoes and parsnips, mash with mace, garlic, salt and pepper. Add cooked leeks and milk, then blend in kale and butter.

Slow-cooker: Layer vegetables, starting with potatoes, before leaving for work in the morning. Drain, blend with milk and butter and garnish with parsley just before serving.

TIP:  An Irish blessing adds extra flavor to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. You might like to borrow one of these:

    “May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.”

    “May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.”


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