Gaithersburg has always done St. Patty’s Day right. Good parades, good dancers, great music, and great times! With all the fun and excitement, it’s hard to narrow down what there is to do, who’s participating in St. Patty’s Day events, and which events you want to go to. But don’t fear, we have figured out everything Gaithersburg has to offer for the holiday, and we’re here to share that information.

The Parade

For all information parade, check out our recent post about it! Not one of Gaithersburg’s St. Patty’s Day Parade’s has let us down, and we’re sure it won’t this year. Festivities start at 10 a.m. when the parade starts at the Rio Washingtonian Center and tours the streets of Gaithersburg.

The parade will feature bagpipers, Celtic dancers, equestrian unites, antique cars, and so much more. After the parade, there will be live music on the lakefront plaza until 2 p.m.

The Pubs

Of course we can’t forget the pubs on this Irish holiday! There are several pubs around town with St. Patty’s Day specials, but two big ones are Union Jack’s and Old Town Pour House.

Union Jacks

Union Jack’s is doing it’s annual Shamrock & Roll event over the weekend of St. Patty’s Day. On Saturday the 16th, The Reagan Years, Amish Outlaws, and Donuts for Dinner will be performing all day starting at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, their festivities start at 9 a.m. with Freddie Long, The Tolerators, and Vertigo Red headlining. There will be a free Irish Breakfast from 9-11, and different kinds of drink deals including $1/$2/$3 Guinness specials and $2 Killians and Irish whiskey shots.

Old Town Pour House

St. Patrick’s Day starts on Saturday at the Old Town Pour House with Kegs & Eggs at 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Tickets to the event are $40, which includes green Miller Lite, a breakfast buffest, bloody Mary’s, and mimosas. You can buy the tickets here.

They are also having Irish food specials throughout the week from March 12-18, featuring corned beef reuben, shepherd’s pie, and corned beef poutine.

The Celebrations

Besides the parade and the pubs, there are a lot of other special things going on in Gaithersburg for the holiday.

Our Lucky Pub Run

On March 12, this pub run visits three local bars to sample what they have to offer. The run is being hosted by Fleet Feet, and they’re asking for a $20 donation to run. All proceeds go to the Kentlands Community Foundation.

The run starts at 6:30 p.m. and starts at the Fleet Feet Gaithersburg store. Be there, or be square! Buy your tickets here.

St. Patrick’s Theme Zumba

Wear green to this Zumba class! Join ZES Janae Smith and Socrate Fuego for an hour and a half of St. Patrick’s theme Zumba at Spotlight Studio.

Registration is at 11:30 a.m. and the event starts at 1 p.m. You can get your tickets now for $15 here, or you can pay $20 at the door if you’re not sure yet.

Irish Arts Celebration

On Friday, March 15, Arts on the Green is hosting an Irish Arts Celebration to show some love to the Irish culture before St. Patrick’s Day. There will be music, dancing, and, of course, a cash bar featuring traditional Irish beer. Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased here.

Musical guests include The Bog Band, which is a group of young musicians who love traditional Irish music and dance, and Monica Harwood, who performs contemporary arrangements of Irish classics. Other performances include Kristin Ferragut, a poet who truly captures the magical world of leprechauns and fairies, and the Ring of Kerry Dancers, a nonprofit organization that promotes traditional Irish practices in dance, music, literature, and art and keeps them alive today.

Irish Fun Facts

Beyond the traditions and fun goings-on of St. Patrick’s day, the Irish culture is still alive and present in Gaithersburg. Approximately 2.6% of Gaithersburg is Irish according to City-Data. Montgomery County is one of the most diverse counties in the country, and Gaithersburg sits at number two on the most diverse cities. Here are more fun facts about the Irish and Saint Patrick’s Day:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, who died on March 17, 461.
  • Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish: he was born in Roman Britain and kidnapped and brought to Ireland for slavery. He eventually escaped slavery, but later came back as a bishop and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
  • The three leaf clover, or “shamrock,” is what St. Patrick used to explain the Trinity.
  • Chicago started dyeing it’s river green in 1962, and the tradition still carries on today.
  • The first St. Patty’s Day parade was in America in the 1760’s in New York, and it is now the largest and oldest parade celebrating the holiday.
  • There are more than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades across the United States, the biggest of which are in New York and Boston.
  • One in ten American’s have Irish ancestry.

Luck of the Irish

Along with everything else going on, the Rio Washingtonian Center is holding a raffle for one lucky person to win a “Luck of the Irish VIP prize package” that features a reserved parking space for the parade, seating in the viewing stand, and lunch for four at Union Jack’s RIO! If you’re feeling lucky, text GREEN to 444222 to enter. The contest ends on the 13th, so enter now!

Shamrock Shoe Stickers at the Gaithersburg St. Patrick's Day parade

Posted by Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers on Saturday, March 17, 2018