Try to imagine St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday. We would get a paid day off for partying. Rivers of green beer would flow in the streets. And we could enjoy an even bigger hangover the day after.

There's a real campaign behind this silly idea, but it's more of a publicity stunt by beer giant Guinness. (Check out Proposition317.com.)

The Twin Cities' own Irish patriarch, bar owner Kieran Folliard, found such a lark amusing but "completely ridiculous." Fans of St. Paddy's Day don't need the government to tell them when to party, he said.

Indeed, Folliard and his brethren in the bar scene have a cavalcade of parties planned, making this year's St. Patrick's Day the most anticipated Tuesday since election season. With so many to choose from, we offer some suggestions for finding your ideal St. Paddy's Day party.

For dancing an Irish jig: With three stages of music, there will be plenty of dancing going on at Kieran's Irish Pub. The Belfast Cowboys headline the tent outside. It's a special St. Paddy's Day with this year marking the 15th anniversary of Kieran's.

1 p.m. Tue. 330 2nd Av. S., Mpls. $5. 612-339-4499. kierans.com

For real Irish drinkers: The Nomad Pub offers its annual "Break the Seal" challenge, where beer is free until someone pees. Last year, free beer flowed for two hours. Afterward: dirty limericks by the fire, cover bands and more shenanigans.

Doors open at 3 p.m. Tue. (and lock at 4 p.m. for the challenge), 501 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. Free. 612-338-6424. nomadpub.com

Not quite Irish, but close enough: The folks behind Brit's Pub welcome their Irish friends with a party in the third floor Clubhouse Bar. It has a great view of the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade (which starts at 6:30 p.m.). The Como Avenue Jug Band plays at 7 p.m. Bagpipers, too.

1110 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Free. 612-332-3908. britspub.com

For the politically incorrect: Well, you knew some nightclub was gonna do it. The Lone Tree in downtown will host what they call "midget leprechaun wrestling."

9 p.m. Tue. 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-338-1730 or lonetreeannex.com

For tent lovers: It wouldn't be a St. Paddy's Day party in Minnesota without an outdoor tent in the dead of winter. One of the biggest happens at O'Donovan's in downtown, where the Wild Colonial Bhoys play at 9 p.m. Across the river from downtown, Keegan's tent party will have music all day, too.

O'Donovan's: 700 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-317-8896. odonovans.com.

Keegan's: 16 University Av. NE., Mpls. $5. 612-252-0880. keeganspub.com.

For rocking the 'burbs: Don't want to come into the city? Don't worry. There are two locally owned Irish bars in the suburbs and both are throwing big parties. Kip's in St. Louis Park has a tent with music, while Jake O'Connor's in Excelsior has bagpipers and bands.

Kip's: 9970 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park. 952-367-5070. kipspub.com.

Jake O'Connors: 200 Water St., Excelsior. 952-908-9650. jakeoconnors.com

For pub crawlers: The Finnegan's pub crawl is always a hot ticket (two buses will visit Irish bars throughout the metro). There still might be seats left. If not, check out the after-party at Stella's in Uptown.

Info: finnegans.org.

For pseudo-St. Patrick's Day parades: If you don't think your attention span can stand the two St. Paddy's Day parades in Minneapolis and St. Paul, O'Gara's offers the "World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade" at 3 p.m. in its bar. O'Gara's will, of course, have much more planned for its 68th annual celebration, including a lot of live music.

164 N. Snelling Av., St. Paul. 651-644-3333. www.ogaras.com

thorgen@startribune.com • 612-673-7909