By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
St. Patrick’s Day (Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is coming up March 17! The day, a national holiday in Ireland, is celebrated unofficially in the United States as well with parades and other big community celebrations, including some close to us in Alexandria, Manassas, and Washington, DC. While you may be spending the day celebrating a meal with corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and maybe even some green drinks, the day actually began as — and still is — a cultural and religious holiday, and its history is interesting. Did you know that the real story of Saint Patrick is an inspiring tale of hardship, survival, and faith?
If you want to celebrate at home with the kids, see our Fairfax Family Fun St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest board for easy, cute, fun, and festive recipes, crafts, activities, and decoration ideas. To celebrate outside the home, here are some local family friendly St. Patrick’s Day events in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC:
Saturday, March 17, 2018: Wear Green Campfire
Meet at Cabell’s Mill wearing your best green at 5:30 pm this Saint Patrick’s Day and help find all things wearing green in the meadow, then end the evening with a campfire marshmallow roast. For ages 2 and up; $6 per person.
Saturday, March 17, 2018: Shamrock & Roll St. Patrick’s Day Block Party
Don’t miss Loudoun County’s largest outdoor St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Loudoun Station. There will be live music, a DJ, giveaways, Irish bagpipers, Irish dancers, and more. The fun goes on all day starting at 9 am. Admission is $15 for adults; kids’ tickets (until 1 pm) are free.
Saturday, March 17, 2018: St. Patrick’s Day at Ned Devine’s
Ned Devine’s in Herndon hosts an all-day event starting at 10 am to celebrate St. Patrick’s. The fun includes acoustic music and Irish dancing.
Saturday, March 17, 2018: St. Paddy’s Day Festival
Earth Fare hots a fun-filled day (11 am to 4 pm) St. Paddy’s Day Festival. This family-friendly event will include beer and Irish cheese pairings, Irish themed samples, fish cutting, vendor demos, giveaways, and kids’ activities.
Saturday, March 17, 2018: Jimmy’s Party in Herndon
Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon hosts the 20th annual St. Patrick’s Celebration, a daylong event featuring Irish food specials, prizes, and performances by the Irish Elvis (other entertainment geared to adults continues late at night).
Saturday, March 17, 2018: St. Paddy’s Day Peas and Potatoes
St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional day to plant potatoes. Learn the origins of this staple and its importance to Ireland. Listen to tales of leprechauns, sample spuds, and plant peas and potatoes at Green Spring Gardens Park on March 17 at 1 pm. Fees are $6 per person.
Saturday, March 17, 2018 Green Donuts at Krispy Kreme
Not really an “event,” but an annual tradition is the re-appearance of the green donuts at Krispy Kreme at participating locations (some to check with locally are the shops in Alexandria and Manassas) on March 17.
Sunday, March 18, 2018: Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The City of Alexandria, VA, hosts the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade at 1:30 pm. Arrive early for pre-parade fun, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, for the Fun Dog Show. Please note: this event typically takes place before St. Patrick’s Day, but was rescheduled from March 2 because of the wind storm.
Washington, DC, St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Washington DC St. Patrick’s Parade takes place along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets., featuring dozens of participants including marching bands. You can get to the parade from three Metro stations; for details or parking information see the event website.