Roundup: Traditional And Alternative St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations In Philadelphia

Cheers to St. Patrick's Day! (Photo via Shutterstock)

Feel the luck of the Irish all throughout Philadelphia this weekend and beyond.

There’s a lofty lineup of events set to happen over the next week in honor of the Irish holiday. Whether you’re looking to listen to live Celtic music, indulge in a big Irish meal, or sip on a cold pint of Guinness, there is something for you.

Grab your green attire this weekend, and head out in the name of St. Patrick.

Check out our roundup of happenings on and around St. Patrick’s Day, below.

Arts and Attractions

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: Acclaimed Celtic fiddler, Natalie MacMaster will be performing at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. Beginning at 7 p.m. in the main lobby, McDermott’s Handy and Friends will be playing tunes upon guest’s arrival. Tickets are available online.

The John Byrne Band and Guests at World Cafe Live: Kick off your St. Paddy’s Day weekend Friday, March 15 with a concert at World Cafe Live. Head out to the University City music spot for a rockin’ Irish concert — The John Byrne Band and Guests Play the Music of Shane MacGowan and the Pogues. Tickets are $11, and the show begins at 8 p.m.

The Leprechaun Run: On Saturday, March 16 the annual Leprechaun Run will take place at the Navy Yard (venue change!). Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while benefitting a good cause — all proceeds go to Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Walk-up registration is available on the day of the event. The Leprechaun Run encompasses two races — a five-mile run and a two-mile fun run which is perfect for walkers and runners. The annual Leprechaun Run is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

The Irish Memorial: Penn’s Landing’s Irish Memorial has planned its annual commemoration on Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to noon. The memorial honors the millions of Irish who suffered during the Irish Potato Famine, and honors the Irish-Americans who immigrated to America. The memorial is located at Front and Chestnut Streets.

Rock it to the St. Paddy’s Day Funk at World Cafe Live: On St. Patrick’s Day itself, head to World Cafe Live for its Rock it to the St. Paddy’s Day Funk event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the party will go on until midnight. Guests are encouraged to wear green and their most Irish top hat. The night will even entail a leprechaun costume contest. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, advance tickets are available here. Starting at 6:30 p.m., music will take over the event as six bands, ranging in music type from rock to hip-hop, take the stage.

Laurel Hill Cemetery: Take a tour of the historic and expansive Laurel Hill Cemetery this St. Patrick’s Day. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, listen to the stories and learn about the legacies of some of the notable Irish and Irish American buried at the cemetery. After the tour, stop by Laurel Hill’s historic gatehouse for beer, snacks and music. Advance ticket purchase is requested, tickets are available online.

Burning Bridget Cleary at World Cafe Live: Listen to the Celtic sounds of Burning Bridget Cleary at the band’s St. Patrick’s Day show March 17. The performance will take place upstairs at World Cafe Live at 8 p.m. Show attendees will receive a free download of the group’s new single, The Ballad of Tim Evans.

Kimmel Center: Celtic music will fill the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. Esteemed flutist, Sir James Galway will be performing his Legacy Tour for all to hear. In addition to performing the classic sounds of Mozart, Debussy and Bizet, Sir James Galway and his team of talented musicians will perform traditional Irish songs in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, making for an artful way to celebrate. Tickets range from $25 to $65.

Food and Drink

Shake Shack: Shake Shack has a pretty tasty offering in honor St. Patrick’s Day. Now through March 17, stop by the restaurant for a special Irish-themed dish: When Irish Fries Are Smiling. For $4, indulge in some serious crinkle-cut fries loaded with horseradish cream, scallions and topped with applewood smoked bacon.

The Piazza at Schmidts: The Piazza will transform into a craft beer enthusiast’s haven on Saturday, March 16. The all day event will feature more than 50 craft beers just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Tickets are available at the event, and in advance online. Certain piazza-area bars will be participating in a bar crawl as well. Stop by Max’s Brew Bar, Kings Oak or Gunners Run for indoor activities. Max’s Brew Bar will also be hosting earlier events beginning at noon. The outdoor festivities begin at 5 p.m. and will include live music and lots of craft beer.

Devil’s Alley: On both March 16 and 17, Devil’s Alley is providing guests with lots of Irish-inspired food and drink. Feast on an Irish stout brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including Irish Car Bomb french toast served with Guinness ice cream and Jameson caramel sauce, stout-braised sausage hash, green eggs and ham, and more. Yum. St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Devil’s Alley will not skimp on drinks, either. Imbibe $5 Jameson shots, $6 Guinness pounders and $8 Irish car bombs.

Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House: University City’s Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House is making sure guests get their Guinness fix on St. Patrick’s Day. All day long, Guinness pints will be available for $5. Guests who take advantage of the Guinness deal can also score oysters for $1 a piece.

Smokin’ Betty’s: On Sunday, March 17, Smokin’ Betty’s will be serving up drink and brunch specials in honor of the Irish holiday. Head over to the Midtown Village restaurant first thing for free Brooklyn Brewery and Jameson giveaways while supplies last. All day long, drink from the discounted menu including $4 Brooklyn Brewery drafts and more. Pair your drinks with tasty brunch specials such as shamrock pretzels, corned beef burgers, corned beef hash and Shepherd’s Pie.

Philadelphia’s St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl: More than 15 bars across the city are participating in bar crawls over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Tickets are available online and feature many different St. Paddy’s Day bar crawl packages.

McCrossen’s Tavern: McCrossen’s Tavern is hosting a Totally Awesome Pairings Dinner featuring Irish Whiskey a few days after St. Patrick’s Day. The event is on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m., and is perfect for those looking for more Irish celebration after the holiday is technically over. For $40, guests will enjoy four courses, a selection of cheese and Irish whiskey pairings. Reservations are requested.

Fado: Start St. Patrick’s Day off with pints and pancakes at Fado. The pub is opening early at 7 a.m. to serve guests breakfast and brews. Pancakes will be served until 10 a.m. The celebration continues after 10 a.m. Starting at noon, there will be live music and Irish dancers. Tickets for the event are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. The cover includes pints and pancakes from 7 to 10 a.m. (!!!)

For more ideas on where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, check out our top picks for Irish pubs in Philadelphia.

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

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