14 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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Courtesy of the U.S. National Whitewater Center

Charlotte’s known for being a melting pot of transplants, but everyone will be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Whether you’re grabbing a beer with friends or kicking off the festivities with a run, the Queen City will be painted in green with these celebrations:

(1) Green River Revival and Color Me Green 5k at the U.S. National Whitewater Center

Where: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
When: Sat., March 16. 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Color Me Green 5K Trail Run: $35+. Green River Revival: free

Celebrating its tenth year, the Green River Revival will entice guests who wish to be Irish for a day. Start off the morning with yoga and the Color Me Green 5K Trail Run before enjoying a bite and live music beside the green river.

(2) 23rd Annual Charlotte St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival

Where: Parade: starts at North Tryon Street. Festival: South Tryon between 3rd Street and Stonewall Street
When: Sat., March 16. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Cost: free

Join thousands of spectators Uptown for the annual St. Paddy’s Day parade, which kicks off at 11 a.m. with musical groups, schools, cheerleading and drill teams, as well as police, fire, and elected officials. After the parade, Irish music and dancers, bagpipers, and traditional Irish culinary delights will entertain crowds at the Charlotte Goes Green Festival.

(3) Rich and Bennett’s 19th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl

Where: 300 N Brevard Street (ticket pickup)
When: Sat., March 16. 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cost: $25

Dubbed the “World’s Largest Pub Crawl,” this St. Patrick’s Day tradition will paint Charlotte green. The keepsake t-shirt acts as your admission to over 35+ participating bars, and custom koozies will keep celebratory drinks cold. Get tickets here.

(4) St. Patrick’s Day Run on the Greenway with Dunkin’ Donuts

Where: 701 South Kings Drive (Dunkin Donuts)
When: Sat., March 16. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Cost: free

Coffee, donuts, and free swag will motivate runners with a 1 or 3-mile run at the greenway near Freedom Park. Refuel with a cup of complimentary coffee after the race featuring the Explorer Blend, which is exclusive to Charlotte. Other samples include Irish Crème Coffee and Mint Brownie Square. Space is limited; sign up here.

If you’d prefer to run in your favorite spot, let the luck of the Irish guide you during a virtual race. The first annual Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Mile Run/Walk allows participants to set their pace and compete with runners across the country. Tickets start at 29+. Register here. Or, join the 2019 Luck of the Irish 5K. Ticket proceeds benefit the National Hemophilia Foundation, so you’ll run for a cause! Tickets start at 20+. Register here.

(5) 7th Annual Celtic Festival

Where: 201 South College Street
When: Sat., March 16 – 17. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: $10 adults, $9 seniors, free for ages five and under

Authentic music, traditional Irish and Scottish dancers, and Celtic warriors will entertain guests at the Historic Latta Plantation during the Celtic Festival. Sample traditional flavors from food trucks, sip a craft beer in the beer garden, or purchase goods from weavers, spinners, and artisans. Tickets must be purchased at the gate.

(6) Lucky Charms Eating Contest

Where: 201 South College Street
When: Sat., March 16. 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

If speed-eating cereal is your sport of choice, head to Carolina Ale House to compete for a prize. The first three individuals to finish a bowl of Lucky Charms will receive a CAH gift card. Enter here.

(7) Shamrockin’ South End #rocktherailtrail

Where: 200 East Bland Street
When: Sat., March 16. 1 – 8 p.m.
Cost: free

Gather friends for an Irish stroll along the Rail Trail. Registration is free, and includes a bandana and map with food and drink specials at participating South End venues like Tavern on the Tracks, Gin Mill, and Mac’s Speed Shop. Check out the full list and register here.

(8) Leaping Leprechauns at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve

Where: 2900 Rocky River Road
When: Sun., March 17. 2 – 4 p.m.
Cost: free

An afternoon of family fun awaits at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, where leaping leprechauns will share facts about resident wildlife! Call 980-314-1119 to register.

(9) Shamrockin’ The Village

Where: 14825 Ballantyne Village Way
When: Fri., March 15. 4 – 11 p.m.
Cost: free

Head to the Ballantyne Village to enjoy Irish food and drink features, games, giveaways, and live music in the courtyard with performances by Parks Brothers, U-Phonik, Ceol Na Gael Irish Pipe Band, and Ghosts of Bannockburn Acoustic.

(10) St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Decorating Class

Where: 8356 Charlotte Highway
When: Fri., March 15. 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $20

If you’re spending the holiday with little ones, kick off the weekend at The Southern Olive to prepare and decorate themed gluten-free cookies. Admission includes supplies, four cookies to take home, and cookie decorator instructions. Register here.

(11) 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Block Party

Where: 8356 Charlotte Highway
When: Sat., March 16 – Sun. March 17. Begins at 8 a.m.
Cost: free

Galway Hooker Irish Pub will host the area’s largest block party, complete with Irish dancers, bagpipers, live art, and not-to-be-missed “sexy” leprechauns on stilts. Fun fact: the pub was originally located in Ireland, but was deconstructed and shipped over to its current home on Lake Norman.

(12) St. Paddy’s Day at the Vineyard

Where: 11685 Reed Mine Road
When: Sun., March 17. 12 – 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission. $13/person for paired tastings (includes souvenir glass)

Don your favorite green gear and take a quick drive to Rocky River Vineyards for an Irish celebration. Festivities include a clover hunt for a chance to win a wine tasting gift certificate and bites from A Worthy Dog food truck from 1-4 p.m. Wine tastings will be paired with food throughout the day. They begin at 1 p.m. and continue every 30 minutes. Space is limited; register here.

(13) Brewery Celebrations

Head to your favorite watering hole for a St. Paddy’s Day celebration. A few picks:

The Suffolk Punch: bagpipes, corned beef hash, Irish Dry Stout release, color changing cups. Sat., March 16.  10 a.m. – midnight. Free.

Sugar Creek Brewing: Irish Red Ale release, live Irish music, proceeds dedicated to charities in the city. Sat., March 16. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Free.

Sycamore Brewing: live music, spring oyster roast in the beer garden, Irish food truck, special beer releases. Sat., March 16. 12 – 10 p.m. Free.

Cabarrus Brewing: birthday + St. Paddy’s Day celebration includes live music and samples of soon-to-be-released Irish Red Ale. Fri., March 15 – Sun., March 17. Starts at 4 p.m. Friday. Free.

(14) St. Patrick’s Day on Main

Where: 157 Main Street, Rock Hill
When: Sat., March 16. 4 – 9 p.m.
Cost: free

Join the St. Paddy’s Day celebrations on Main Street in Old Town Rock Hill. Live Irish music, a kids’ play zone, photo booth, and food selections including funnel cakes will make the celebration a success.

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