What to do in Philadelphia on St. Patrick's Day
Here are the parades, parties and bar crawls that you won't want to miss.
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Philly. From family-friendly parades to the most, ahem, comprehensive bar crawls, here are our picks for what you should be doing to celebrate this traditional Irish holiday.
» READ MORE: Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
You don't want to miss one of the oldest parades in the country, which goes around City Hall and down Market Street. There will be plenty of Irish music, Irish dancers and decorated floats. The theme for this year's parade is "St. Patrick, bless those who respond to the call of the needy."
12 to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 11, mainly on Market Street from 13th Street to Front Street, free, philadelphiastpatsparade.com
Newtown’s Irish Festival
This four-day festival features everything from live music to Irish step-dancing to face painting. For those of you who are Irish music fans, the festival is kicking off with a performance by The Galway Guild, a Philly-based band whose rock sound is rooted in traditional Celtic music.
Thursday, March 15, to Sunday, March 18, Green Parrot, 240 North Sycamore St., Newtown, free, greenparrotrestaurant.com
One of the city's oldest St. Patrick's Day traditions, the Leprechaun Run raises funds and awareness for the Philadelphia chapter of Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Runners can opt for the 5-mile run, 2-mile fun run, or the lucky 7-mile run. Awards are given to the winners of the 5-mile and 7-mile races in different age brackets.
7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 10, Schuylkill Banks Palapa, $25 for the 2-mile fun run, $35 for the 5-mile run and $40 for the 7-mile run, sopaphilly.org
St. Paddy’s festivities at Xfinity Live!
Xfinity Live! will be pouring green beer and showering partygoers with cash confetti in honor of the holiday. Stick around for live performances by cover band Bangarang in the Victory Beer Hall.
9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, March 17, Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave., free to enter, xfinitylive.com
Fado Irish Pub’s St. Patrick’s Day Party
Party all day at Fado Irish Pub, with tons of Guinness and Irish whiskey, as well as live music and rugby games. This party starts before most revelers are generally awake, so wear green and show up early with the rest of the rabble-rousers.
7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, March 17, Fado Irish Pub, 1500 Locust St., $10 cover, fadoirishpub.com
Old City St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl
If you're looking for a good bar crawl to hit up on St. Patrick's Day, look no further. This Old City crawl features more than 10 bars, as well as plenty of drink specials and free cover. This year's participating bars include The Gaslight, National Mechanics, and Silence Dogood's Tavern. There's also plenty of live music and food specials to go around, if you so happen to get hungry. (It's a marathon, not a sprint.)
12 to 8 p.m., Saturday, March 17, The Gaslight (registration location), 120 Market St., $10 for early bird tickets, $25 day of, eventbrite.com
No ride, no problem. Just take the Erin Express — a fleet of 10-plus buses that are set to run for three straight weekends in March, ending on St. Patrick's Day. The Erin Express shows up every 15 minutes to a dozen participating locations, including Smokey Joe's and Cavanaugh's Restaurant and Sports Bar. No reservations are needed — show up to one of the bars on the list found online and go from there.
Saturdays, March 10 and 17, select locations throughout Philadelphia, free to ride the bus, pay as you go for food and drinks, erinexpress-philly.com