Think green, get your Irish on and feel lucky with the following St. Paddy’s Day specials and events.
By Jill A. Norris
Going green takes on a whole meaning as Washingtonians prepare for another celebratory day in honor of St. Patrick. Despite the fact that many people are seemingly unaware of the reasoning behind the holiday, their ignorance has not dwindled their elated spirit.
St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a day of merriment and drinking, however, neither of these aspects of the holiday truly reflect the real St. Patrick. As shocking as it may seem, St. Patrick was not even Irish! He was born in Britain around 390 A.D. and into an aristocratic Christian family. When he was 16, St. Patrick was in fact kidnapped and taken to Ireland to tend sheep and work as a slave. Seven years later, he escaped slavery but soon returned to Ireland, after a voice in his dream instructed him to. For the remainder of his life, St. Patrick worked as a priest to attempt to convert the typically Catholic Irishmen to Christianity.
The infamous three-leaf clover is considered to be a religious symbol in Ireland, representing the holy trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, Americans of all religious backgrounds sport the three-leaf clover openly as an indication of luck. Since St. Patrick’s Day holds true to more religious and spiritual values, the Irish-American way of celebrating the holiday with mass quantities of alcohol, more specifically Guinness, has only emerged in more recent years.
With so much to learn and do in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Washington offers great ways to celebrate that everyone can enjoy– from those wild college kids to grandma with her grandbabies. Here are some of Washington Life’s top picks on how to enjoy the holiday in style.
See Men Wearing Skirts
What: Washington D.C.’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Sunday, March 11. 12:00-3:00 p.m.
Where: The Parade marches along Constitution Avenue, from 7th to 17th Street.
WL’s Take: Also known as the Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this is a great event that the entire family can enjoy. In addition to men wearing kilts while playing the bagpipes, the parade will also include floats, marching bands, military, police and fire departments. To avoid parking, take the Metro to the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle stops on the orange/blue lines or the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro stop on the yellow/green lines.
Become An Irish Wiz
What: Paddy’s Day Pub Quiz
When: March 12, 8:00 p.m.
Where: Fado Irish Pub – 808 7th Street NW
WL’s Take: Put your Irish knowledge to the test with trivia night at Fado Irish Pub. This is a great way to get excited for St. Patrick’s day while learning something new and winning prizes.
Jump On The Whiskey Wagon
What: James Hobans Irish Restaurant and Bar Whiskey Dinner
When: March 13, 6:30 p.m.
Where: 1 Dupont Circle, NW
WL’s Take: Enjoy a four course dinner set with whiskey pairings. Attending the event will be the Irish Whiskey Ambassador himself
Win Some Gold
What:Irish Whiskey Public House & The Mighty Pint
When: March 17th
Where: 1207 19th Street NW and 1831 M Street NW
WL’s Take: Owned by The Wooden Nickel Company, both venues will be offering food as well as whiskey and beer specials and a fiddler and bagpiper will be the main source of entertainment. The Mighty Pint will be selling carbombs and the Irish Whiskey Public House will be holding a Pot of Gold Contest to raise money for charity. Anyone who attends both venues before noon will win a complimentary goodie bag filled with St. Patrick’s Day treasures.
Rock Out Shamrock Style
What: The National Shamrock Fest
When: March 24th
Where: 2400 E. Capitol St. NE
Cost: $24.99 plus a $4.36 service fee. Children 12 and under get in free
WL’s Take: This street festival is the largest St. Patrick’s Day party in the region and is a great way for the entire family to enjoy this holiday. A few main attractions include live music, food, drinks, entertainers, craft vendors, an Irish Village, carnival rides and games. The celebration will feature 50 live bands including Gavin DeGraw, Dropkick Murphys, Carbon Leaf and Scythian.
Put Your PJ’s On
What: P.J. Clarke’s Legendary Irish Celebration
When: March 24th, starting at 8:00AM
Where: 1600 K St. NW
Cost: Drink specials on Irish beer and liquor, including Guinness ($4), Harp Lager ($4), Bass ($4), Jameson Irish whiskey shots ($6) and Bushmills Irish whiskey shots ($6). Shots come with a free P.J. Clarke’s shot glass;
WL’s Take: An all-day celebration of all things St. Patrick’s Day culminating in a chance to win his and hers LX 150 Vespa Scooters. Kick-off the morning with Kegs & Eggs Brunch joining law enforcement officers as well as runners of the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon (runners must present bibs to receive discount) and enjoy live performances by the Culkin School Irish Dancers and a traditional Irish Pipe & Drum Band throughout the evening. Traditional Irish fare, including Corned Beef and Cabbage, Reubens, and Shepherd’s Pie are on the menu for the day as well as drink specials (naturally). Adding to the fun, catch screenings of Round 3 NCAA basketball tournament games downstairs at Sidecar, P.J. Clarke’s semi-private dining room. Be the “lucky couple” and win his-and-hers LX 150 Vespa scooters (value: $10,000) with a $20 donation to the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund— a numbered P.J. Clarke’s t-shirt comes with each donation and counts as an entry. Oh, and did we mention, Washington Redskins cheerleaders will be on hand to cheer on fundraising efforts.