St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) falls on Friday this year, and that opens up a lot of possibilities at the end of the rainbow.
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a chance to celebrate the patron saint of the Emerald Isle along with Irish pride.
But St. Patrick’s Day has a long history in the United States as well. In fact, the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade wasn’t held in Ireland — but in Boston in 1737, according to Ireland.com.
While most local St. Patrick’s Day parades were scheduled for the weekend before the Irish holiday, there are still tons of chances to dress in green, raise a pint and say sláinte (cheers)!
Kegs and Eggs: D.C.-Area Bars Open Early on St. Patrick’s Day
Across the Pond (Northwest D.C.): Doors open at 7 a.m. Friday so you can celebrate on Dublin time. Sip on $2 pours of Guinness from opening until 10 a.m. when you buy a Kegs n’ Eggs wristband ($25 in advance or $40 at the door). The bar will offer free entry, bagpipers and Irish dancers.
Bar Louie (various locations): You can throw back $3 green beer, $4 Jameson sidecars (with a purchase of any beer), $5 Guinness draughts and $8 Irish old fashions on Friday at most Northern Virginia locations of Bar Louie. Check with your local outpost for exact details.
Boundary Stone (Northwest D.C.): The neighborhood pub will open at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day along with live music and a variety of festive specials from Chef David Bacot. All dishes, including a full Irish breakfast and corned beef and cabbage, are available now through March 20. They’ll also open early on Saturday to show the Six Nation matches, including Ireland vs. England.
Brew Republic (Woodbridge, Virginia): Head over to Brew Republic for beer deals, Irish food and live music at the Shamrock & Shenanigans St. Paddy’s Day Celebration. Snag deals on beers by arriving early — select brews will start at $1 per pour when the bar opens at 9 a.m., but the price will go up by $1 every hour until it’s full price. Pitchers of green Patriot 212 Helles Lager will go for $18 all day. The band Whiskey Driven will perform from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Dubliner (Northwest D.C.): If you’re looking for traditional Irish pub fare and live music, check out The Dubliner. Across from Union Station, the 42-year-old pub offers classics including an Irish Reuben and corned beef sandwich. Dubliner is set to host live music beginning at 9 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day.
Kelly’s Irish Times (Downtown D.C.): Another classic Irish pub near Union Station is Kelly’s Irish Times, set to kick off festivities at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and noon on the following Saturday (there’s also a comedy show on Thursday). The cozy environment makes you feel like you just stepped off the streets of Dublin — the Guinness on tap and fish and chips help, too.
Kirwans on the Wharf (Southwest D.C.): The Wharf’s staple Irish restaurant will open at 11 a.m. on Friday. Live music and dancers will perform until 1 a.m.
metrobar DC (Northeast D.C.): Wear your Irish sweater to the metrobar DC with a heated, enclosed deck and fire pits to keep you cozy. They will offer themed specialty cocktails and buckets of beer starting at noon. Grab specials for St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness all day and night, plus music from the Mike Tony Scoglio Band starting at 7 p.m.
Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub (Old Town Alexandria): Live music will begin at 10 a.m. Friday and restart at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Ned’s Irish Gastropub (Herndon, Virginia): Come to the pub starting at 9 a.m. for its Kegs & Eggs event, then stay for live music from 10:30 a.m. until 1 a.m., Irish dancers, green beer and traditional Irish fare.
St. Patrick’s Day Events: Bar Crawls, Parties and Festivals
Guinness Open Gate Brewery (Open starting 10 a.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Baltimore, free entry): The Irish Village, housed in a heated tent, offers food stalls, entertainment and more — plus, it’s free to enter. Throughout March, Open Gate has St. Paddy’s-themed live music, beer dinners and tours on tap.
St. Patrick’s Day Party @ THRōW Social DC (Friday, 1 p.m., Northeast D.C., free entry before 5 p.m., $10 after): Sham-rock all day long at THRōW Social’s St. Patrick’s Day Party. Beginning at 1 p.m., enjoy drink specials, food, DJs and games. Private cabanas are available if you have a large group. It’s free until 5 p.m., then expect a $10 cover charge.
St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Shipgarten (Friday and Saturday, McLean, Virginia): Music, green beer, green eggs and kegs: Shipgarten has everything you need to celebrate St. Paddy’s. Live music is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday, and the first 50 customers will get free swag. On Saturday, keep the party going with beer sampling, a whisky pop-up experience, games, live music from 12:30 to 7 p.m. and a streamer toss at 4 p.m. The Saturday event is only open to those aged 21 and up — come back Sunday for a family-friendly party featuring Disney princesses and Darth Vader.
Shipgarten specials include $5 green beer and shots of Jameson, Bushmills and green tea, plus $10 plates of Irish food.
BabyCat Brewery St. Patrick’s Day Party 2023 (Friday, 3 p.m., $20, Kensington, Maryland): This St. Patrick’s Day Party will take over the brewery’s parking lot with music, food, family fun and — you guessed it — beer. The party will feature live music from Stringtown and Vinyl Fever, and their website hints at a possible visit from a leprechaun. Dish & Dram will also smoke a pig and briskets. Limited tickets will be available at the doors of the event. Kids under 12 can go for free; people aged 12 to 20 will pay $5 and adult tickets will be $20.
Denizens St. Patrick’s Day (Friday to Sunday, Silver Spring and Riverdale Park locations): Not only can you pick up $5 pints of green PGC Lager, Cool Breeze Stout and Big Red Norm Red Ale, plus $8 Jameson shots, but a portion of proceeds will benefit the Montgomery County Humane Society or Prince George’s Pitties Animal Rescue.
Eko House Whisky Tasting (Friday, 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., Rockville, $15): Sample whiskies at this Nigerian restaurant, then enjoy half-off whiskey drinks all night.
St. Patrick’s Day Crawl (Friday, 5 p.m., $19.99) and St. Paddy’s Shamrock Stroll (Saturday, noon $22.99): Get up to half-off drinks and 20% off select food specials, plus live music at some venues, at the Hard Rock Cafe, Howl at the Moon, Proper 21, Yard House, Penn Social and Penn Quarter Sports Tavern.
Kiss Me, I’m Irish: Washington DC St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl (Friday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, 2 p.m. until late, starting at $20): This bar crawl includes stops at Sudhouse DC, The Alchemist, Bar Pilar, Cafe Saint-Ex, District Sports Bar, Desperados and Voodoo. You can purchase tickets in advance for Friday ($30 plus fees) or Saturday ($25 plus fees). On the day of the bar crawl, you can pick up your wristband and map of participating locations at Sudhouse DC.
Lucky to Laugh Comedy Jam (Friday, 7 p.m., DC Comedy Clubhouse, $15): The 14th St. comedy joint will offer a lineup of local comedians in honor of the lucky day. Enjoy some laughs, drink specials and maybe even a pot of gold if you win the raffle.
Ireland at The Wharf (Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., The Wharf): Keep the craic going on Saturday with Ireland at the Wharf. Follow the Piper Parade (starting at noon at Kirwan’s Irish Pub) to the District Pier for an afternoon of pipe and drum bands, Irish dancers and a Guinness beer garden. The event is free and family-friendly.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Kids
Arts and Crafts Class (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Fair Oaks Mall Fairfax, $15): Kids will love taking a trip over the rainbow to this St. Patrick’s Day art class. Expert instructors will guide the children through a variety of St. Patrick’s Day-themed projects, including painting, drawing and crafts.
St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Hunt (Friday, 10:30 a.m., Colesville, $6): Spend the morning of St. Patrick’s Day at Maydale Nature Classroom with the whole family. Search for leprechauns and hunt for pots of gold — best of luck!
Mommy/Daddy & Me Cooking Class (Saturday, Arlington, $75 per child, parents free): Bring your little chef to a culinary celebration of all things green! The step-by-step class will include clover chips with guacamole, shamrock bark with pretzels and green candy. You’ll get recipes to bring home.
Shipgarten St. Patrick’s Family Festival (Sunday, McLean, free): Day three of Shipgarten’s weekend festival is dedicated to fun for the whole family. The festival will be hosted by Princess Merida from “Brave”, Darth Vader and Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog”. Activities will include crafts, face painting and two moon bounces. St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials will also be available for purchase.
Irish Food Specials and Deals for St. Patrick’s Day
Patty O’s Cafe Dinner (Friday, $195 per person, Washington, Virginia): The Inn at Little Washington, D.C.’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars, and chef Patrick O’Connell will continue their tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at its outpost, Patty O’s Cafe. Eat a four-course menu of classic Irish dishes including Guinness beef stew and Galway Bay steelhead trout. Guests can all while enjoying lively music.
Titan Hospitality Group Restaurant Specials (Friday to Sunday): Smashing Grapes (Annapolis, Gamrbills), Blackwall Hitch (Annapolis, Alexandria) and Blackwall Barn (Gambrills), all under Titan Hospitality Group, will offer corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips in celebration of St. Patrick’s day. Guinness, Jameson and Irish coffees will be available for a lucky $7.
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