The luck o’ the Irish is with you if you’re spending St. Patrick’s Day in Grand Rapids – because we’ve got all sorts of wonderful ways to celebrate with friends and family. The Irish were among the first immigrants to this area, coming here in the early 19th century to help dig canals along the Grand River, so Irish heritage is Grand Rapids heritage. Get your green on and join in the fun!
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Grand Rapids kicks off at 11am in front of the Grand Rapids Public Library on March 11. Bring the whole family!
Irish on Ionia returns to downtown GR for the first time since 2019 – Michigan’s largest St Patrick’s Day street festival kicks off at noon on March 18 with Irish bands and dance troupes, DJs, bagpipes, food trucks, heated tents, seasonal cocktails and, of course, Irish beers!
Pubs & Breweries
You can enjoy Irish food, beer and music all year long at these Irish pubs, but they pull out all the stops for St. Patrick’s Day:
- Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub hosts an after-the-downtown-parade party on March 11 with drinks, dancing and live music, then doubles down with its annual Paddy Day’s Celebration on March 17.
- Visit O’Toole’s Public House in the Bridge Street Entertainment District for Guinness and Harp on tap, Irish whiskeys and St. Paddy specials.
- Flanagan’s Irish Pub serves up authentic Irish food, drink and entertainment throughout the St. Patrick’s weekend.
IDC in the Amway Grand Plaza will be serving its Boozy Shamrock and other specialty cocktails at the IDC St. Patrick’s Day Party, accompanied by music from DJ Cope. March 17.
St. Patrick’s Day at The Holiday Bar is a two-day celebration with live music, DJs, swag and green beer. March 17-18.
Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl includes two days of food & drink specials at downtown hotspots like the Tin Can Bar, Barrio, Dublin Hall, Flanagan’s Irish Pub, Grand Woods Lounge, The Social House and Stan’s Tacos. March 17 & 18.
GR’s Official St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl also extends for two days (March 17 &1 8) and offers exclusive food & drink specials, holiday-themed beverages and entertainment at multiple local bars.
Green beer may not be on the menu at every local craft brewery – but you’re sure to find lots of Irish-themed selections and specials throughout the long weekend. Or perhaps you prefer to celebrate the season with an Irish – or at least green – cocktail?
Entertainment & Exploration
Speak EZ Lounge throws an Early St. Paddy’s Day Party featuring Celtic music from Selkie and the Conklin Ceili Band. March 8.
American Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys come to GLC Live at 20 Monroe with their St. Patrick’s Day 2023 Tour on March 12.
Kane Brown brings his “Drunk or Dreaming Tour” to Van Andel Arena on March 16 – it’s bound to get you in the mood for a weekend of celebration.
Finish off your St. Patrick’s Day celebration dancing the night away – Emerald at Eve (in The B.O.B.) features the music of Sean Boney and DJ Dolce, direct from the Irish On Ionia street festival. March 18.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures,” goes an old Irish proverb. Van Andel Arena can help you with the first part, as it welcomes comedy legend Katt Williams for a stand-up set March 18. River City Improv appears at Midtown that same night, while Vanessa Gonzales is at Dr. Grins Comedy Club for five shows, March 16-18.
See how many green butterflies you can spot at the Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Steve McNicholas – how’s that for an Irish name? – co-created STOMP The Musical, which is being presented by Broadway Grand Rapids March 17-19.
Spend St. Patrick’s Day weekend learning, tasting, shopping and getting pampered at the West Michigan Women’s Expo, March 17-19 at DeVos Place
Travel to Emerald City – not in Ireland, but over the rainbow – as the Grand Rapids Junior Ballet Company presents The Wizard of Oz, March 18-19.
A Taste o’ the Green
Rockford’s Thought Design Learning Studio offers a St. Patrick’s Day Cooking Class featuring hands-on instruction on preparing corned beef and cabbage, Guinness stew, Irish soda bread and Irish bangers. March 17.
Spruced Studio presents a St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Workshop on March 12 – you’ll get everything you need to create your own set of holiday-themed cookies.
The Commons St. Paddy’s Day Party offers a specialty menu and live music from local musicians Dennie Middleton and Vinylicious. Come see how this “throwback” restaurant handles the holiday!
Get Out & Celebrate
Ancient Celtic communities in Ireland viewed the shamrock as symbolic of the regenerative powers of nature – so getting out into nature as winter turns to spring is another great way to celebrate this shamrock-fueled holiday.
Celebrate on Friday, recover with a run on Saturday – it’s the 39th year of the Irish Jig 5K, a USA Track & Field-certified course that is mostly flat with a few gentle hills. March 18.
Hike and bike on 60+ paved and natural trails throughout the area, and keep an eye out signs of spring rebirth.
The spring steelhead run in downtown’s Grand River begins around this time – hauling in one of these feisty, chrome-colored fish would make for a memorable holiday!