9 Ways to Celebrate Your Irish Heritage this St. Paddy's Day

From wine tastings to literature to lots of music, there’s something for everyone looking to get into touch with their Irish roots.



For centuries, March 17 has marked a colorful and fun celebration in honor of an Irish saint. St. Patrick was born in Britain and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16 and though he escaped, he later returned to Ireland bringing Christianity with him, or so many believe.

Over the past thousand or so years, the Irish, near and far to the their homeland, and those of kindred spirits have celebrated the saint with lively entertainment, plenty of drink and other displays of affection and respect. Around the globe, cities turn green to mark the occasion. The Sydney Opera House has been lit up in green, the Chicago River is ceremoniously dyed green, a tradition the White House sought fit to establish—in 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama requested the White House Fountain also be dyed greenand parades are held in many cities.

While the Schuylkill won’t run green and Rocky won’t be sporting any Shamrocks, the Main Line has a host of events and reasons to don some green this St. Patrick’s Day.

A St. Paddy’s Celebration

March 15

Ardmore Music Hall welcomes The Druids and Galway Guild for an evening of great Irish tunes. The Druids is an Irish band whose gained popularity over the past few years. Joining them is Philadelphia Celtic rock band, Galway Guild. Must be 21 and over.

23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.

St. Patrick’s Day Week at Jack McShea’s

Thru March 17

Head to Ardmore’s piece of Ireland for a week of traditional Irish cuisine and entertainment. Each night, there will be folk music, dancers, specials or even Quizzo for a little extra fun.

34 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.

St. Patrick’s Menu at Doc Magrogan’s

Thru March 17

Head to Doc Magrogan’s in West Chester for plenty of Irish fare. The special holiday menu will feature Guinness steamed mussels, Guinness BBQ wings, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips and plenty more.

117 E. Gay St., West Chester.

St. Patrick’s Day at Molly Maguire’s

March 17

This Phoenixville restaurant and pub is hosting a full day of celebrations. The hosts, owners Declan Mannion and Conor Cummins, both hail from Ireland. In the morning, guests can enjoy breakfast, followed by a Celtic band. For the remainder of the day, an Irish menu will be offered, along with plenty more live entertainment, including music and Irish dancers.  

197 Bridge St., Phoenixville.

A Kildare’s-Style St. Patrick’s Day

March 17-20

Kildare’s Irish Pub in West Chester will host live music all weekend long. On St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy the Malarkey Brothers at noon, followed by the John Byrne Band at 8:00 pm. For $25, buy a VIP pass, which includes no cover all weekend, a t-shirt and free breakfast or a pint.

18 W. Gay St., West Chester.

Literature from Across the Pond

March 17

Villanova University’s 18th annual literary festival will host a reading by Glenn Patterson, a native of Belfast and author of several novels. Patterson will read from and discuss his latest novel, Gull, a fictionalization of John DeLorean’s automobile factory in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. The reading, which is open to the public, will take place at Villanova University at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing.

800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova.

St. Pinot’s Day

March 17–20

Penns Woods Winery will host St. Pinot’s Day, Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The celebration includes glasses of green wine for $5.

124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford.

Blackthorn Presents the Event in the Tent

March 19

Miss Galway Guild at Ardmore Music Hall? The band will be performing at this annual event. Other performers include Steve Moran and Matt Kelly, playing Irish classics, followed by Philadelphia’s Blackthorn. The tent will be heated, and there will be vendors and activities around the area as well.

Ridley Township Municipal Marina, 401 S. Swarthmore Ave., Ridley Park.

St. Patrick’s Day Hike and Treasure Hunt

March 20

Search for a pot of gold, or something like it, and work off the extra calories from those celebratory beers with a St. Patrick’s Day Hike and Treasure Hunt. The Schuylkill Canal Association will celebrate with a hike from Pickering Creek Inn to the Lock 60 picnic grove, where gold coins will be scattered and hidden. Irish and folk music will be awaiting hikers, and children of all ages are welcome to join in the treasure hunt with adult supervision. Register by calling prior to the event.

37 Bridge St,. Phoenixville.

 

The Luck of the Irish

  • 34.7 million U.S. residents have Irish heritage—more than seven times Ireland’s population
  • More than 450 churches in the U.S. are named St. Patrick
  • St. Patrick was believed to be born in 387
  • 83 percent of Americans say they’ll wear green on St. Patrick’s Day
  • In 2015, Americans spent approximately $4.6 billion for the holiday
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