16 Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parties, Bar Crawls, and Events
Your guide to a festive weekend.
It’s been two years since this city has had a full-on St. Paddy’s Day celebration, and I fear we are not ready. Do we still own any green clothes we don’t mind getting dirty? Will we remember how to march in a parade? Or honk at a parade? And what about pub crawls — what if we’ve forgotten how to paint shamrocks on our cheeks and then smear that paint in a public barfing/making-out session in the middle of Sansom Street? Do we still know how to say “Brittany come on”? Or “Sean, you are peeing right now”?* There’s only one way to find out. It’s 2022 and we’re doing St. Paddy’s Day again, Philly.
How’s that old saying go? Everybody tolerates a parade? Something like that. Well it goes double for Philly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade — the second oldest of its kind in the country. While the banjos and fiddles march by playing “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover” and “Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” get yourself a plastic derby or some other green single-use souvenir and dance on the sidewalk like nobody’s watching. Even though they definitely are. As a child I was dragged many times to this jubilant, working class parade, and those sense memories stay with me to this day. Free, Sunday, March 13th, starts 11 a.m. at 16th and JFK Boulevard, goes clockwise around City Hall then down Market, ends at 6th and Market Street. TV coverage noon-3 p.m., on CW Philly 57.
Generally speaking, when columnists write their post-St. Paddy’s Day articles about privilege, they’re thinking of the pub crawls and the roving bands of merry mischief-makers they sometimes let loose on the streets like a ravenous river-dancer on a Knights of Columbus roast beef banquet. Or something. If you don’t want to end up in a viral video/police report/photo beneath a headline that says “Philadelphians Are A Mess,” then try to behave yourself out there. Drink water. Don’t block traffic. Make sure you stop to grab some food. Don’t fight a parking kiosk or put a green derby on the Harriet Tubman statue. (I am genuinely worried somebody will do this and I hope that my putting this fear out there into the world means it can’t happen.) Okay, with all that in mind, here are some St. Paddy’s Pub Crawls taking place this year, typed with crossed-fingers.
The Shamrock Crawl, Saturday, March 12th and Thursday, March 17th, noon-2 a.m. Wristband gets you into Lucky Strike, JJ Bootleggers, Paddy Whacks, O’Neals, a couple Cavanaugh’ses and more. Apparently if you go to The Black Market (203 South Juniper Street), you’ll get a free shot of their “D8 THC Green Lemonade” and a “Midnight Mint 30mg D8 THC edible green gold dusted LUSTRE chocolate.”
Official St. Patrick’s Bar Crawl, Saturday, March 12th, 1-9 p.m., $10-$40. Ticket/wristband gets you entry into Woody’s, GloBar, Voyeur, Pulse and more, plus reduced price drinks, also a costume contest and “on-site staff guiding the crawl”; the “official” aspect is sus.
St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, Saturday, March 12th, noon-8 p.m. Say it with me: Wristband gets you into clubs/bars in Philly ($15.95-$70, Xfinity Live, Paddy Whacks, Cavanaugh’s, Green Room, etc.) or West Chester ($9.95-$50, Saloon 151, Rams Head, Barnaby’s, etc.). “Plenty of green swag for everybody” like t-shirt, beads and glasses. Also you can win a TV, headphones, and bluetooth speakers somehow.
Kiss Me, I’m Irish: Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, Saturday, March 12th, 4-10 p.m. & Thursday, March 17th, 6-11 p.m., $20. Wristband grants entry to/drink specials at Raven Lounge, Drinker’s Pub, Down Nightclub, Hard Rock Café, more. Note: Someone’s Irishness is not, you know, a reasonable factor in determining consent or kissability.
Official Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, Thursday, March 17th, 5-11 p.m., $10.99. Ticket grants entry to Howl At The Moon, Top Tomato Bar & Pizza, McGlinchy’s, Bru Craft & Wurst and more. Wait a minute, I thought the other one was “official.”
Shamrock Stroll, Saturday, March 19th, noon-8 p.m., $15.99. Ticket gets you into the usual suspects: Howl At The Moon, Top Tomato, McGlinchy’s, Finn McCool’s, etc.
For more pub crawls, even though they’re all very similar, here’s this.
MUSIC, PARTIES AND MORE
St. Paddy’s unWINEd Weekend, March 11th-13th, $10, Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley. The Yardley farm hosts a family-friendly weekend of foods, drinks, music and dance. Includes performances by Celtic Pride, the Nicholl Irish Dancers and more.
Shamrocks & Shenanigans, Saturday, March 12th, 9 p.m., free until you buy something, Xfinity Live, 1100 Pattison Avenue. This multifaceted celebration of greenery at Xfinity Live features silent disco at 1100 Social, karaoke at Broad Street Bullies Pub, bull riding and buckle bunnies at PBR Philly. Good tells me a buckle bunny is “a woman who is a follower or devotee of rodeos and cowboys.”
Poguetry: Songs Of The Pogues, Saturday, March 12th, 8 p.m., $35. This show featuring Spider Stacy & Cait O’Riordan pays tribute to the lovably abrasive Irish punks. The Lost Bayou Ramblers open.
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of the Swell Season, Monday, March 14th, 7 p.m., $49-$75, Merriam Theater, 250 South Broad Street. The veteran Irish folk duo won hearts (and an Oscar) for playing music and themselves in the 2007 movie Once.
Barleyjuice, Thursday, March 17th, 8 p.m., $25, Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville. Philly musician Kyf Brewer and his long-running Celtic rock band use bagpipes, mandolins, guitars and more to liven up old Irish favorites.
Night of 1000 Kates: Gather the Banshees, Saturday, March 19th, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25, Underground Arts, 200 Callowhill Street. The annual celebration of Kate Bush (a British-born singer with Irish roots) features more than 70 artists performing music, theater, dance and more. Livestream available.
Seamus Egan Project, Saturday, March 19th, 8 p.m., $22-$32. The longtime Philly singer and songwriter — who fronts the band Solas and co-wrote Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” — plays music inspired by his Irish roots.
Celtic Woman: Postcards from Ireland, Wednesday, March 23rd, 8 p.m., $39.50, The Met, 858 North Broad Street. The all-female Irish ensemble plays a mix of folk, new age and Celtic music that straddles the line between traditional and spooky.
Fintan O’Toole, Wednesday, March 23rd, 7:30 p.m., $10, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street. The Dublin author discussed his new book, We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland.
*I can make these jokes because I’m half-Irish.