It seems like the month of March has just begun, but many people have already started looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and events throughout Detroit. A holiday most often associated with drinking to luck for the coming year, there are actually a variety of activities and events in the city…and a fair amount of green beer and Guinness too.
In fact, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron saint of Ireland who in 432-435 A.D. returned to Ireland to minister and baptize Irish Christians. In traditional Gaelic, the Feast of Saint Patrick is “Lá Fhéile Pádraig” and is held on March 17 because it is the recognized day of St. Patrick’s death. So from almost 1700 years ago, we say “céad míle fáilte romhat” or a hundred thousand welcomes!
The Detroit neighborhood most associated with St. Patrick’s Day is, not surprisingly, Corktown. The city’s oldest neighborhood so-named because many of the original inhabitants hailed from County Cork in Ireland. This year, Corktown celebrates St. Patty’s two weekends in a row.
On March 11, Corktown will host the 60th Annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade at 12:30 p.m. The parade assembles at 11:30 a.m. on 6th Street and Michigan Avenue. The parade will include marching bands, pipe & drum bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, novelty groups and much more.
To fully celebrate all that Corktown has to offer, arrive early for the Corktown Races. The big race is the 5k at 10:00 a.m., but there is something for everyone. Run the Emerald Mile for a shorter distance or the Dublin Double where runners participate in both the Emerald Mile and the Corktown 5k race. For kids, there is a quarter mile run at 9:30 a.m. The St. Patrick Parade Corktown Races have become one of the largest 5k events in Michigan, attracting over 8,000 participants with proceeds from the races supporting the Saint Patrick’s Senior Center.
Whether you stick around after the races and parade or come back the next Saturday on March 17, Corktown is the most popular destination to celebrate. Three historic Detroit bars are also the most popular for St. Patty’s Day.
Nancy Whiskey – Detroit’s. Oldest. Party. located at 2644 Harrison Street.
Nemo’s “A Detroit Classic” located at 1384 Michigan Avenue.
Corktown Tavern located at 1716 Michigan Avenue.
Downtown Detroit also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with the most popular spot being The Old Shillelagh at 349 Monroe Street in Greektown. How do we know The Old Shillelagh is excited about this pot-of-gold holiday? There’s a countdown clock on the website ticking down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the party.
Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit will host Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey at LCA from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on March 17. New to Downtown Detroit this year, the event includes happy hour food, drink specials and a local DJ starting at 3:00 p.m. No cover charge. Must be 21+ to celebrate.
Not everything in Detroit on St. Patrick’s Day weekend will be about the holiday, however; the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is also in town March 16-18 at Little Caesar’s Arena. If music is more to your liking, El Club at 4114 Vernor Highway in Southwest will host Steve Lehman & Selebeyone at 9:00 p.m. This jazz and hip-hop show will also incorporate Electronica and Senegalese rap for a fun and innovative experience.
So, whether or not you plan to run in the race, attend the parade or visit one of Detroit’s historic pubs, Detroit is the place to find some luck.
How do you plan on celebrating this year? Let us know in the comments below!