Ready to feel the luck o’ the Irish? Head to our city’s lively parade, enjoy fish and chips, or hit up Celtic dancing around town.
By Emma Deal
It’s time to grab your lucky green socks and shamrocks to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day 2023! From bagpipe melodies to pub crawls, Leprechaun costume contests and the best shepherd’s pie around, here are twelve ways you can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day all week long in Raleigh.
Hit the Town with a St. Pat’s Pub Crawl
For a night of fun with friends join the award-winning 17th annual Raleigh St. Pat’s Pub Crawl and get free access to participating bars. Hosted by TRI-SPORTS Social Club, the crawl includes fun St. Patrick’s Day themed merch, professional photographers to document your Leprechaun style, an official Crawl T-Shirt, five liquor shooters and bonus beer for early arrivals. Participate in a costume contest and dance your heart out at the after party.
March 18 | 3 p.m.; $25; Glenwood South, Raleigh; eventbrite.com
Head to Downtown for the Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
For family-friendly fun, head to Downtown Raleigh for the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11. Grab a spot along Wilmington or Fayetteville Streets by 10 a.m. for an hour and a half of jubilant Irish dancing, melodic bagpipe playing and intricate Irish themed floats.
March 11 | 10 – 11:30 a.m. raleighstpats.org
Build a Leprechaun Village at Wilkerson Nature Preserve
Wilkerson’s Woodland Village needs your help to build homes for the Leprechauns! Bring your kids outdoors to the gorgeous A.L. Wilkerson Nature Preserve, where they can use natural materials to build houses for friends living among the fairies and trolls. Afterwards, explore the nature play areas, hike the trails and observe the wildlife, stroll through the native plant gardens or head to the park office for exhibits and hands-on displays.
March 17 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; A.L. Wilkerson Nature Preserve, 5229 Awls Haven Drive; raleighnc.gov
Celebrate All Things Irish at Lonerider Brewery
Head to Lonerider Brewery for their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. There’ll be music, food trucks, specialty cocktails and of course green beer.
March 17 | 3–11 p.m.; 8816 Gulf Court, Suite 100; facebook.com
Laugh, Play Games and Enjoy Pub Fare at James Joyce Irish Pub
For a celebration with Celtic pub chow and open-mike laughs, visit James Joyce Irish Pub. Enjoy classic menu items like bangers and mash, fish and chips and Guinness on the outdoor patios. As an Irish-themed restaurant, James Joyce makes every week fun, so try your luck and visit on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. for trivia and prizes.
912 W. Main Street, Durham; jamesjoyceirishpub.com
Hit up Tin Roof’s St. Patrick’s Day Party
For great music, tasty food and an eclectic environment head to Tin Roof, in the heart of Glenwood South. Tin Roof has plenty of room to party with a ground level area with a bar, seating and live music stage as well as a rooftop patio with its own full bar and seating. Drink some green beer in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and jam out to music starting at 5:30 p.m. The lineup for the holiday is Great Reset followed by Cody Clark Band on the main stage and DJ Laz followed by DJ KJB on the Rooftop.
March 17 | 4 p.m.; Tin Roof Raleigh, 300 Glenwood Avenue; tinroofraleigh.com
Spend St. Patrick’s Day on a Farm
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Spring Haven Farm where kids can join in on a Leprechaun Riddle Hunt. Receive a riddle upon arriving at the farm, then find the nine hidden Leprechauns that each have a secret word to help solve the riddle. Tell your answer to any worker at the farm to win a golden chocolate coin. Kids will also be able to ride the tractor train, build unique crafts and spend an hour in the Zen Pen with the chillest baby goats on the farm.
March 8–19 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (arrive before 3 p.m. for goats); $13.50; Spring Haven Farm, 5306 Homer Ruffin Road, Chapel Hill; springhaven.farm
Visit Tra’Li’s St Patrick’s Day Tent Party
Tra’Li is full of Irish spirit all year long with an Irish menu inspired by chef and owner, Eamonn Kelly from County Galway. With formal training in Ireland followed by experience in Boston and New York, he has created a delicious menu including Irish delicacies like potato and cheese croquettes, lamb burgers, shepherds pie and apple crisps. Tra’Li’s annual St Patrick’s Day Tent Party will have Irish music to go with the food and drinks, starting with traditional Irish Music & Dance, followed by The Gravy Boys and finished by Cory Luetjen and The Traveling Blues Band.
March 17; 10370 Moncreiffe Road; traliirishpub.com
Make Some Irish Soda Bread
Celebrating the Irish holiday at home this year by baking Irish Soda Bread. This quick-to-make tradition goes perfectly with any jam, butter, meat or Saint Patrick’s Day pint. Unlike most breads, it doesn’t require yeast, but uses baking soda and buttermilk for leavening. “Our traditional Irish Soda quick bread is tender and crumbly and has a little sweetness from the raisins we fold into the dough,” says bread master Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery, who shared his recipe with us.
Make a Trip to Doherty’s
Enjoy classic Irish staples like shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash at either location of Doherty’s Irish Pub. The restaurant draws folks in for not only its food, which combines contemporary America with rustic Ireland, but its hospitality and love for community events too. Monday nights are for pub trivia, Tuesdays are music bingo, and Wednesdays are live Irish music nights! Check its site for details of their annual St. Patrick’s Day block party, which includes Irish dancers, music and bagpipes.
1979 High House Road, Cary; dohertysirishpubnc.com
Stir up a Batch of Potato Soup
Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the most Irish food of all: potatoes. If you’re planning to celebrate at home with family or friends, serve up this hearty potato soup from Doherty’s Irish Pub. This recipe is perfect for warming up from the brisk March air and can be topped with whatever each diner likes, from sour cream and green onions to bacon and cheddar cheese.
Write a Raleigh-Inspired Limerick
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, why not come up with a fun Limerick? Limericks are typically Irish, often humorous, poems made up of three long and two short rhyming lines. A few years ago, we reached out to the folks at the Redbud Writing group, a Raleigh-based organization that runs classes in creative writing, memoir, and more, to write poems about the City of Oaks in limerick style. Here’s what they wrote — can you do your own? Share it with us!
This article was originally published on waltermagazine.com in February 2023.