Did you know nearly 700,000 Tennesseans are of Irish ancestry? It’s no wonder there are so many fantastic family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activities held in cities across the state every March.
So if you’re Irish — or even if you’re not — you can plan to attend an event that highlights the culture and heritage of the Emerald Isle. Here’s a look at some of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day events in the state for you and your family to enjoy.
The 42nd Annual Silky O’Sullivan St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held along Beale Street on Saturday, March 12. The parade features floats, bands, dancers, cars and bead and candy throws. The free event is appropriate for all ages.
Learn about the Scots-Irish who rest at Elmwood Cemetery with the “Luck of the Irish” Walking Tour on Saturday, March 12 at 10:30 a.m. A guide will teach visitors about a former mayor, the city’s founder and other notable Irishmen and women who are buried in the historic cemetery. The cost is $15. To register, call 901-774-3212 or visit the cemetery’s website.
Learn to dance a jig at the Music City Irish Fest, located on Demonbreun Street, starting at the Musica Roundabout. Irish bands and dance troupes will perform throughout the day and vendors will sell Irish wares and offer dance and music lessons. This celebration of all things Irish is free and open to the public on Saturday, March 12.
The East Nashville St. Patrick’s Day Festival runs from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Kids can enjoy a parade and “little leprechaun” contest early in the day, and parents can take in some tunes by Irish folk bands in the afternoon. The festival will be held at East Park. The event is free, but VIP tickets include lunch, and souvenir glasses are available for purchase.
Learn about more family fun activities in Tennessee.
Rock City transforms into “Shamrock City” on two weekends in March (March 12 & 13 and March 19 & 20). The entire family can enjoy Irish jig lessons, strolling musicians, Irish foods, Celtic dance performances, green fudge and much more during this ninth annual celebration. Shamrock City festivities go from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all four days. Tickets are required.
A fun event for all ages, the St. Chatty’s Day Parade winds through Chattanooga’s downtown from Market Street to Coolidge Park. The parade will be held on Saturday, March 12 beginning at noon and features more than 40 participants.
Celebrate at Home
Can’t make it to one of these events? Don’t worry! Have fun at home with these family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activities! Here are some ideas to consider:
- Serve up an Irish feast featuring traditional foods like potato leek soup, soda bread and apple cake.
- Listen to music by popular Celtic bands like The Chieftains, Gaelic Storm, The Clancy Brothers or The Dubliners. Or watch a video of Irish step dancing by groups like Rhythm of the Dance or Riverdance.
- Organize crafts and activities for kids of various ages. Make a leprechaun puppet from a paper bag, create a rainbow using Washi tape or play a St. Patrick’s Day-themed word game.
Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about the Irish culture together as a family. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a community event or stay home and host your own Irish festivities for family and friends.
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