St. Patrick’s Day 2023: Celebrations in Minneapolis and St. Paul
By Darby Ottoson | The Current
Hooley is Irish slang for a lively party, usually with music and this upcoming weekend has a whole lot of St. Patrick’s Day hooleys to choose from.
Though Ireland has observed the holiday for centuries, the St. Patrick’s Day parties we know today — complete with parades and green beverages galore — evolved here across the Atlantic.
What started as a way for Irish immigrants to publicly celebrate their heritage has since evolved into festivities for everyone to enjoy on March 17.
St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
In the great Twin Cities competition, St. Paul can claim slightly more Irish lineage than Minneapolis and has the parade to prove it. Starting at noon, a wave of decked-out floats, Irish dancers and bagpipers will stroll from Rice Park to Mears Park as part of Minnesota’s largest St. Pat’s parade. Post-parade, the merriment continues at the Ballpark Hooley, which starts at 1 p.m. within CHS Field, and features festive food and drink options.
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12 - 4 p.m., Rice Park to Mears Park, $10 or free for youth under 5
Plus: The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association will put on its own parade at 6 p.m. in Columbia Heights, as will the City of Hopkins, which claims to host the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Irish Celebration at Landmark Center
Within the large castle-like Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul, you’ll find a full day of family-friendly festivities and cultural learning. Traditional Irish musicians, dancers and vendors are all on the lineup at the cultural center, conveniently located right next to the starting point of the St. Paul parade.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m, Landmark Center, $5
March 19: Sundays at Landmark: An Irish Day of Dance
Kickin’ It Irish at Celtic Junction
The Celtic Arts Center — home to resources like a public Irish library, Irish language classes and regular concerts — is celebrating the holiday with a run of performances of Kickin’ It Irish. The show features 20 world-renowned dancers moving their feet to the tune of a six-piece live band, that includes Dublin’s Cormac O’Sé on the accordion as well as Todd Menton from Boiled in Lead, the local Celtic-punk-folk band founded in the 1980s.
1 p.m., Celtic Junction, $30 or free for youth under 18
St. Patrick’s Day at Finnegans Brew Co.
Finnegans pulls out all the stops for St. Patrick’s Day with Irish dance and live music performances scheduled every hour from noon to close. The brewery will host three food trucks to choose from, along with some Irish fare battered with Finnegans’ own brew. The party continues through the weekend, wrapping up around 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 19.
11 a.m. - midnight, Finnegans Brew Co., free
Paddy’s Day Celebration at O’Shaughnessy Distillery
Basketball fans can find March Madness games playing all day at O’Shaughnessy Distillery. Whiskey fans, photo booth fans, and corned beef slider fans will find their fix here as well. Irish dancers take the stage from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., in between live music sets from Loreweavers and Summerbabies.
1 p.m. - 11 p.m., O’Shaughnessy Distillery, free
Green Cider Launch Party at Sociable Cider Werks
For a chance to be the lucky winner of the “meat and shenanigans raffle,” swing by Sociable Cider Werks. Sociable is bringing back its Green Matcha cider (a collaboration with NE Tea House) as well as live music from three different bands, starting at 6:30 p.m. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you try to win that corned beef. The following day, return for drag brunch, DIY Floral Arrangements and more live music.
2 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sociable Cider Werks, free
St. Patrick’s Day at The Dubliner
Complete with a picture of JFK hanging on the wall and Irish dance lessons every Wednesday night, The Dubliner is a long-standing Irish institution. St. Patrick’s Day here starts off with a four-hour Irish trad session, which means a bunch of musicians sitting in a booth and jamming together. Live music continues until close, with sets from Jim McGowan and Release the Craicen, and picks back up again the next day at 3 p.m.
10 a.m. - midnight, The Dubliner Pub, free
Though wholly unrelated to St. Pat’s, you can repurpose your green apparel this Friday at First Avenue’s Shrek Rave, kicking off at 9 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, you can also find a good time — or good craic — at your nearest Irish pub. Twin Cities options include: Shamrocks (St. Paul), Patrick McGovern’s (St. Paul), Joe & Stan’s, (St. Paul), Half Time Rec (St. Paul), Dan Kelly's (Minneapolis), O’Donovan’s (Minneapolis), The Prodigal (Minneapolis), Morrissey’s (Minneapolis) and Kieran’s (Minneapolis).
If pubs aren’t your scene, you can support the Twin Cities’ only Irish coffee shops, Claddagh, and its smaller sister shop, Wee Claddagh.
Take some time in the days ahead to prepare a soundtrack for your weekend shenanigans, complete with Irish tunes from classic bands like The Cranberries and Thin Lizzy, as well as up and coming musicians such as Fontaines D.C., Lankum, Anna Mieke, Just Mustard, The Mary Wallopers, Ezra Williams, and Aoife Nessa Frances.
Find daily live music roundups, IRL and online, on The Current’s Gig List. Sláinte!