Okay, we’re just going to say it: Everybody is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Shake off the winter grays, put on your favorite green shirt, green shoes or green hat and get ready to celebrate with the rest of Indianapolis.
Indy’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is actually a whole-week event full of fun, laughter and a lot of green beer. Here’s where you can go to join in on the festivities:
The Greening of the Canal
Every year, the White River Canal turns green to usher in the weeklong celebration. This year, the canal will “magically” change color at 5 p.m. on March 12. Sponsored by the Hoosier Lottery, this annual event features free entertainment including Gaelic music, Irish dancers and award presentations by some of the state’s most notable individuals. There will also be plenty of food trucks around, which is a huge bonus if you’ve missed the fair food that’s usually around all summer in Indy.
Indy Irish Fest: the Silver Anniversary Concert
The Irish Fest is celebrating 25 years of existence with an early St. Patrick’s Day concert on March 7. Held just outside the Storefront Theatre, the music kicks off at 7 p.m. when The Drowsy Lads take over the stage.
The Drowsy Lads are a traditional Irish band that won the distinction of being named “Best Irish American Band of 2018” after the release of their fourth album, and they haven’t slowed down since. You may not be able to go all the way to Ireland to celebrate, but you can take in plenty of Irish melodies and dance tunes right here in Indy. The Drowsy Lads even make use of many traditional Irish instruments including the bodhran, Uilleann pipes and whistle in their music.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Tent Party
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t officially until Tuesday, March 17, but that won’t stop the party from getting started in downtown Indy on March 13. The 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off promptly at 11:30 a.m., once again courtesy of the Hoosier Lottery. School bands and athletes will be marching, there will be colorful floats all competing for attention and awards and — maybe best of all — a tent party to follow. Most of Indianapolis will be there, so grab a shamrock or two and get ready.
Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl and Costume Contest
You were promised green beer on St. Paddy’s Day, and Indy aims to deliver! Grab some friends and get tickets now to the March 14 “Crawl With Us” bar crawl that gives you complimentary drinks and prizes, a custom badge and lanyard and access to specials in pubs and bars all around Broad Ripple Avenue.
Since the Crawl With Us event is being held simultaneously in different parts of the nation, you’ll be part of something truly special: A joyous celebration of life no matter where you are. Just remember to put on your St. Patrick’s Day best (and don’t be afraid to get creative) for the occasion, because there’s a $500 prize going out to the participant with the most fabulous costume. (This might be the time to call in favors from the wee folk, if you’ve got any owed to you.)
Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant
Maybe pub crawls aren’t your thing (or your days of hitting every bar within walking distance of your starting point are just over), but that’s no reason not to celebrate like you’re Irish to the bone. Head over to the Wholesale District for some fun shopping and then finish your night at the historic Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant for an evening filled with food and high spirits. If you decide to celebrate over the holiday weekend, you can even catch Alex Camp live on Saturday, March 14.
Howl at the Moon St. Paddy’s Day Fest
If you just want to flat-out celebrate the day, you won’t find anyplace better than Howl at the Moon. Featuring green beer, Jameson shots and Car Bombs, plus literal buckets of fun on March 17, you can also take to the dance floor and try to swing an Irish jig (or just freestyle it like we’ll be doing).
Howl at the Moon bills itself as a “total entertainment experience,” and we have to agree: There’s no way you’ll be bored while you’re there.
Where Else Can You Go?
While the details are still pending, many of Indy’s finer establishments have traditionally rolled out the green carpet to welcome guests on St. Patrick’s Day. You can expect the Rathskeller to offer Irish fare and music, or head over to Gallagher’s Irish Pub for some bagpipes and folk tunes. And Tomlinson’s Tap Rooms have been known to feature deals on Irish Reds and play host to Irish sing-alongs for the night.
Many local places are just firming up their plans for the holiday week, so check with your favorite watering hole often to see what’s on tap.
One thing is for sure, there’s never any reason to be bored in Indianapolis, at any time of the year. If you’re interested in learning more about relocating to the area, find out how we can help.