St. Patrick's Day in the US capital is a time of celebration. In Washington, there's something for everyone to enjoy - whether you're interested in the culture and heritage of Ireland or just want to have a few drinks with friends at a local pub, you've got a day to remember ahead of you.
Let’s discover the best ways to celebrate and schedule St. Patrick's Day in Washington. DC.
Join the parade action
Why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion by attending DC’s biggest parade of the year?
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held on the Saturday nearest to March 17. It begins around 11am at Freedom Plaza and follows along Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House. Thousands of spectators line the streets to join in the celebration and cheer on the participants.
The parade features live music and performances, traditional Irish folk dance and colorful floats that fill the streets of downtown DC with excitement and fun. You can also enjoy (and participate in) Irish pub crawls, art shows, costume contests and more.
If this seems like the kind of thing that would get you excited, don your best green gear and get ready for a day of fun, music and a whole lot of Irish pride.
Attend DC’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day festival
The local St. Patrick's Day Festival is a weekend-long celebration of Irish culture with plenty of music, food and fun.
Once you’re there, you'll find live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and more. Traditional Irish music performances from groups like the Irish Folk Music Society and the Dubliners are also sure to add some musical magic to the air. You’ll also find several vendors selling traditional jewelry clothing and more.
Embark on an Irish pub crawl
What can be a more authentic way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day than a pub crawl around the city? Get ready to savor delicious Irish food and drinks – you’re sure to have a ton of fun exploring local Irish pubs.
Grab your friends and get ready to embark on a wild night of fun.
First stop, The Dubliner – this Capitol Hill favorite serves classic Irish entrees like shepherd's pie and fish n' chips. You’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of specialty drinks. If you’re looking for the full Irish experience, why not try your first Guinness?
The next stop on your pub crawl should be at P.J. Clarke's. This beloved establishment has been the talk of the town for over 50 years. Here, you can enjoy signature crab cakes and classic cocktails.
Whether you're looking for a traditional Irish feast or a fun-filled night out with friends, a pub crawl may just be the kind of experience you’re looking for.
Indulge in the magic of Irish cuisine
Want to make the occasion special with some homemade food? From a traditional shepherd’s pie to bangers and mash with a modern twist, you can treat your friends and family to the finest classics on any Irish menu.
And you can wash it down with a pint of Guinness. If a stout isn’t your thing, why not try an Irish whiskey?
St. Patrick's Day 5K, half and full marathon
If you’re looking to get in a good sweat and support a great cause at the same time for St. Patrick’s Day, sign up for the annual St. Patrick’s 5K, Half and Marathon. The proceeds from such fun events are donated to charities like the National Brain Tumor Society.
Taking part in a St. Patrick's Day 5K race is a fun and active way to celebrate the holiday in DC. These events typically feature a festive atmosphere with green decorations, music and food. You can also take the opportunity to explore the city (especially if you’re not from here), enjoy the beautiful weather and participate in physical activity with friends and family.
Popular St. Patrick's Day race events in Washington, DC, include the Potomac River Run and the Luck of the Irish 5K.
Depending on your fitness level, you can choose between the 5K, half or full marathon courses.
All routes start at the Washington Monument and take runners through some of DC's iconic landmarks, such as the US Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian Institution.
Make sure to register early on to ensure your spot in this memorable event.
Decorate 'big ass' cookies at D.C.'s favorite bakery
Baked and Wired, among other bakeries, offer Green Rice Krispie snacks, chocolate cupcakes with Jameson Ganache and Bailey's buttercream icing and more on St. Patrick's Day.
But if you don’t feel like chowing down the first delicacy you see, why not take matters into your own hands by attending their cookie decorating event?
You'll receive two massive cookies and all the tools (and professional help) needed to create confections worthy of being sold at DC's best cupcake shop.
Let your inner artist sprout.
You can visit the Irish Ambassador's residence
Cultural events at the Irish Ambassador's residence in Washington are sure to give you all the cultural warmth, music and fun you can expect out of St. Patrick’s Day.
Experience Irish culture to its fullest and celebrate this special holiday with the local community.
Overall, your Irish cultural yearning shall not go unfulfilled if you schedule things right and get the most out of what the city and the occasion have to offer.