For those of us of Irish descent, St. Patrick's Day offers an upside, and a downside. The downside is that the holiday inevitably turns a lot of favorite watering holes into amateur hour, with unseasoned partiers treating the day as if it were New Year's Eve. Thankfully, the upside typically beats out the negative aspects easily. And that is certainly the case this year thanks to a confluence of activities that can fill you with the Irish spirit for a solid 24 hours.

It starts Friday night, with the always excellent Flogging Molly headlining a show at the Saltair that also includes Mariachi El Bronx and DoNots on the bill. The show is part of Flogging Molly's 9th annual Green 17 tour, a yearly jaunt of 17 shows leading up to St. Patrick's Day. The fact that we get Flogging Molly's show on the eve of Salt Lake City's St. Patrick's Day Parade, making for a perfect excuse to get the party started on Friday night--and recover Saturday morning at the Gateway's parade scene. Flogging Molly's show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and is $25.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, and runs through the heart of the Gateway mall. It's always fun to see the sauced-up floats and even more-sauced-up announcers call the action at the parade. And the follow-up siamsa--a Guinness-soaked party thrown by the state's Hibernian Society, takes place at the Gateway Grand Hall. It starts at 10:45 and runs all day.

And talk about convenient--later Saturday night at The Depot, L.A.-based Irish rockers Young Dubliners headline a show that also includes the local Celtic-flavored sounds of Swagger. A perfect capper for an Irish-themed weekend. The show starts at 8 p.m., and costs $25 at the door.