St. Patrick's Day Events in Washington

Want to show some Irish pride this Saturday? Here’s where to do it.

By: Erin Williams

The Dropkick Murphys will perform at this year's ShamrockFest. Photograph by Flickr user eastscene.

St. Patrick's Day is this Saturday, and Washington is offering up tons of ways to get your green on. From parades and festivals to crafts and dance lessons, these events around town will make you proud to be Irish--or at least pretend to be.

The Capital Club of Washington is hosting a Shamrock Soiree at One Lounge on Friday, March 16. Don your best "Euro leprechaun" attire and enjoy drink specials and tunes from a deejay. 10 PM. Tickets ($10 for women, $20 for men) can be purchased at the door.

The city of Gaithersburg and the Harp and Shamrock Society of Gaithersburg will hold the city's 12th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday at 10 AM. Keep an eye out for Celtic dancers and bagpipes during the two-hour parade, with family fun to follow in the Lakefront Plaza until 1 PM. The route will begin at Washingtonian Center, located at I-370 and Washingtonian Boulevard. Contact the City of Gaithersburg at 301-258-6350 or e-mail parksrec@gaithersburgmd.gov; reach the Harp and Shamrock Society at 240-447-9744.

Not one to be left out, the city of Manassas will also host its 13th annual parade at 11 AM, offering pipes, drums, dance, and more. The route begins at the crossing of Quarry Road and Prescott Avenue.

Irish music and culture head to RFK Stadium when ShamrockFest 2012 arrives on March 24. Jam to eight hours of Irish melodies from 50 bands--including Gavin DeGraw and the Dropkick Murphys--spread across ten stages. There will also be food and booze, games, carnival rides, and more. The day begins at 1 PM. Tickets ($24.99, $84.99 for VIP; prices may increase at any time) are available online through Eventbrite. Children 12 and under are free.

For those with little leprechauns in tow, the Northwest One Library will host an afternoon of arts and crafts themed around the day of green, starting at 2 PM. 155 L St., NW; 202-939-5946.

Local pub P. Brennan’s is opening at 9 AM on Saturday to celebrate. Catch a live performance from the Boyle School of Irish Dance at 3 PM, and music from local Irish musician Dominic Preston at 4 PM and duo Kenneth Hennigan and Robert Spates at 8. No cover charge.

The Irish Inn at Glen Echo kicks off an evening of live performances of traditional Irish songs at 3 PM Saturday; Irish band Lilt will perform folk music at 1:30 PM Sunday. Make reservations for Saturday dinner by calling 301-229-6600. 6119 Tulane Avenue, Bethesda.

Ireland’s Four Courts pub will celebrate its namesake country starting bright and early at 7:30 AM, complete with a heated tent, food, live music from 11 AM on, and more. There will be a $10 cover after 2.

The Auld Shebeen is filling its restaurant and cellar with music, dance, and rugby. The restaurant doors open at 10 AM, with Irish dancers taking the stage at 3 and 4 in both the restaurant and cellar, and an all-day concert from folk music performers the Flying Cows of Ventry. The cellar will kick off live music at 11 AM when the doors open, followed by a broadcast of the rugby match between Ireland and England. The 3rd Herd Boys will continue the Irish music from 4 to 8, and DJ Rhythmix will turn things up at 10. Reservations for lunch and dinner in the restaurant can be made by calling 703-293-9600; à-la-carte fare will be served all day in the cellar.

The Fighting Jamesons Irish rock tribute band will perform Friday with the Accidents and Breaking Borders at the State Theatre in Falls Church. Doors open at 8 PM. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of. 18 and up.

Tap into your inner Irish at the Smithsonian Saturday, when the Ripley Center hosts a St. Paddy’s Party. Get an introduction to speaking in Gaelic, take a Celtic dancing lesson, and be entertained by dancer Shannon Dunne and Pete Moss and members of the Bog Band. Later, kids can concoct an acid and base rainbow and plant a “grasshead” leprechaun as a souvenir. Tickets ($8) are available online. The fun starts at noon.

Irish music and art combine at Touchstone Gallery tonight, when guitarist Conor Malone plays music to complement the vibrant photos of artist Pete McCutchen. RSVP to the free event at rsvp@touchstonegallery.com. 5 to 8 PM.

Local folk and Celtic singer Loralyn Coles will give a free concert of Irish and Scottish songs and fiddle music at the Surge Community Church in McLean with string player Marcy Cochran and acoustic performer Scott Malyszka. There will be an open mike at 7 PM; the concert begins at 8. 1988 Kirby Road, McLean.

Rams Head Tavern brings the energy with its tent bash on Saturday, featuring green beer, 50-cent Guinness drafts from noon to 1 PM, and more drink specials all day long. Live music from Swampcandy, Mixed Business, and the Black Cadillacs begins at noon.