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Don't Limit Your St. Patrick's Celebration to Just One Day

This past Saturday, one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day events in the area occurred. The city of Alexandria held its annual parade, complete with bagpipes, floats and enough Irish joy for every attendee. But if you missed the parade, don’t worry, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t for another two weeks, on Saturday, March 17th and there are a number of other local ways to celebrate.

The next big event, the National St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will be held this weekend. On Sunday, March 11th, Constitution Avenue will be shut down, in the heart of the city, in a tribute to the Irish holiday. The parade kicks off at 7th Street and runs for ten blocks down to 17th.

This event, which runs from 12-3 p.m., includes the best parts of every parade, with floats and marching bands and since this is in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, plenty of bagpipers. The theme for this year’s parade has a culinary twist: “Feed the Soul – Nourish the Palate.” And they’ve chosen the perfect Grand Marshal to honor that theme, Cathal Armstrong, owner of Restaurant Eve.

The best place to catch the entire spectacle is in the grandstands, from 15th to 16th Street on Constitution. Tickets to the grandstand cost $15 each. Of course, like most parades, you can also view the action for free anywhere else along Constitution Avenue.

While parades are enjoyable, it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some Irish spirits, which is what a good deal of us have come to associate the holiday with. And in this city, there are plenty of places to do that.

One spot that is embracing the holiday is the relatively new Logan Tavern on P Street in Logan Circle. Their St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be 13 hours long, from 11 a.m. all the way to midnight. The day will kick off with a traditional Irish breakfast, and partiers who manage to stay with entire day will be rewarded with an Irish-themed dinner at night, including a beer-based stew. Of course, there’s nothing saying you have to stay all 13 hours to enjoy the cuisine. Just pop in whenever you would like to sample the food as well as new spins on old Irish cocktails.

An even newer bar that’s sure to be packed with people is Irish Whiskey Public House, which just swung open its doors last month. The three-story spot, at the corner of M Street and 19th, will be pouring Smithwicks, Guinness and Jameson all day for anyone that would like to partake. But get there early. It’s expected to be one of the most crowded bars in the city.

Now, if drinking from sun up to sun down doesn’t sound appealing, there are other ways to participate in the holiday. For example, what if you’d like to get some exercise first before beginning your revelry?

Then the Four Courts Four Miler is the perfect event. Kicking off at the popular Courthouse Irish Bar, the race will take you through the hills of Rosslyn, beginning and ending at the front door of the bar. It’s $40 to register. For that entry fee, runners are rewarded at the restaurant afterward with food and drinks.

Once the evening of the 17th ends, the holiday celebrations usually are over. However, in D.C., that’s not the case, as one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day events doesn’t take place until the following Saturday. Shamrockfest, which in this area has become synonymous with the green holiday, is on Marsh 24th this year. The event is as big as ever, with famous bands such as Gavin DeGraw, Dropkick Murphys and Carbon Leaf taking over the parking lot of RFK Stadium in Southeast D.C. for the entire Saturday. Purchase tickets in advance to get the best price. They’re selling for just $24.99 now, and the price almost always go up as the event nears.

And then relish in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for longer than almost anyone, even the Irish.

– David


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