There are many fun holidays we celebrate throughout the year, but few are so looked forward to as St. Patrick’s Day. We know how to do it right around here, too – instead of just a few pubs that celebrate the day, St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle is actually celebrated over several weeks. You can run in a race, watch a parade, try Irish food, and of course, have a pint or two.
Ireland is very special to me – my grandfather was born and raised there, and I’ve been able to visit multiple times to learn more about this country. In fact, I love Ireland so much that I started a second website called Wander Around Ireland if you want to plan your own trip there! Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to get there for St. Patrick’s Day every year, which is why I researched all the best things to do on St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle for 2023.
With that, let’s dive into how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2023 in Seattle.
What to Do for St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle for 2023
St. Patrick’s Day may be on Friday, March 17th, 2023, but the festivities and celebrations in Seattle begin well before then. Leading up to the cultural and religious holiday, Seattle hosts a number of multiple-day events, with the likes of Irish Week and Irish Festival Seattle taking center stage.
Irish Week is the longest of the two festivals, stretching over three weekends from March 4th to March 18th, a day after St. Patrick’s Day. On the other hand, the Irish Festival Seattle is much shorter, stretching across only two days, March 11th and 12th.
Whether you were born in Ireland, are an Irish descendant, or are just an enthusiast, you’ll find that joining the St. Patrick’s Day festivities is one of the top things to do in Seattle.
Here’s a rundown of all the best St. Patrick’s Day activities in Seattle you can enjoy before and on the day.
Seattle Irish Week Events
To kick off an epic three-weekend festival, Irish Week begins on Saturday, March 4th, with a competitive Irish Soda Bread Contest. Although soda bread did not originate in Ireland, the popularity of this four-ingredient staple came after nearly a million lives were lost during the Great Famine from 1845 to 1852. Today, soda bread is a celebrated dish in Irish homes, so you won’t want to miss this event when looking for what to do in Seattle for St. Patrick’s Day.
The following weekend, March 10th to 12th, brings an assortment of festival formalities and an in-depth dive into Irish history, tradition, music, dance, and more. On March 10th, you’ll learn about the history of St. Patrick and how he was brought to Ireland by Irish pirates in 400 AD through a re-enactment at 5 pm in Lake Union Park.
March 11th and 12th events run parallel to the Irish Festival Seattle, so be prepared for a busy weekend. While the exciting St. Patrick’s Day Dash starts bright and early at 8:30 am on March 12th, I’ll talk more about this event and more later.
Irish Festival Seattle Activities
The Irish Festival in Seattle takes place on March 11th and 12th at the Armory Food & Event Hall. This annual event aims to promote Irish cultural activities, language, and Gaelic games in Seattle, similar to how the Oktoberfests in Washington promote German heritage.
During the festival, you’ll get exposed to a plethora of activities. Irish tunes will play, perfect for step dancing and doing the Irish jig. You’ll find visual arts exhibitions, traditional Irish food, and a lively marketplace to explore. You can also trace your roots at a genealogy workshop -– how cool is that?
St. Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle
The Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Dash is hosted on Sunday, March 12th, 2023, at 9 am, and has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1980. It started out as a fun race between local bars, and today, it hosts about 17,000 runners across different age groups.
The fun run is the biggest single-distance race in the city and covers about four miles from start to finish. One of the more active winter activities in Seattle, the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle starts at the Seattle Center. The running route is somewhat of a loop, with the path starting and ending in the center, after winding along the streets of Seattle.
Don’t let the word “race” frighten you. In fact, the mood is easy-going, and the participants (a.k.a dashers) wear Irish regalia and run (or walk) down the streets with nothing but joyous cheers.
Other activities you can do or watch on the day include:
- Kids’ Leprechaun Lap
- Costume contests
- Award ceremonies
- Post Dash Bash
After crossing the finish line, the real party begins. The Post Dash Bash welcomes you with music, food stalls, freebies, Irish entertainment, and a Guinness Beer Garden! I’m looking forward to this, so if you go and see me there, please say hello!
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Seattle
The Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Parade dates back to March 11th, 1972. After nearly 51 years, this event is still the best way to celebrate Irish culture in Seattle. This annual burst of cloves, leprechaun hats, and kilts bring together thousands of spectators.
The Seattle St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2023 is a mile-long procession of live music, dancers, Irish bagpipers, wolfhounds, pirates, trumpeters, and drill teams. This march is on Sunday, March 12th, 2023, at 1 PM at the intersection of 4th Avenue and James Street and ends at Westlake Park on Pine Street.
The weather is hit or miss during this time of the year, so it may or may not be a rainy activity in Seattle. Regardless, you can duck inside one of the many restaurants nearby to warm up after.
St. Patrick’s Day Mass for Peace
St. Patrick’s Day activities are a bit more conventional than on the days leading up to March 17th. In previous years, the Mass for Peace was hosted from noon at St. Patrick’s Church on 2702 Broadway East, but the venue and time for 2023 are yet to be announced. You can check for updates here.
Join in on the mass readings and prayers from the Mass of St. Patrick, as they do in Ireland at noon. Note that the prayers and songs at the mass will be in Gaelic (i.e., Irish).
Irish Genealogy Workshop
As the glorious Irish Week comes to an end, there’s one more activity you should not miss.
A genealogy seminar hosted by local specialists on Saturday, March 18th will allow you to track your heritage. This is held at The Fairview Church (844 Northeast 78th Street, Seattle, WA 98115) and goes all day, starting at 9 am.
You’ll be exposed to subjects like Irish Genealogy Research and Irish Quaker Immigration, and you’ll receive plenty of other helpful resources.
If you arrive unsure about your lineage, you’ll step away from this workshop armed with the knowledge to help you find your historical family records from past generations.
Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Restaurants, Bars, and Irish Pubs
Having Irish food and drinks is one of the best parts of the holiday, in my opinion, so here are some places you can visit for a fun Seattle St. Patrick’s Day.
Conor Byrne Pub
Conor Byrne Pub is one of Seattle’s oldest bars. The authentic Irish watering hole offers a repertoire of live music, from folk to the blues. On St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll catch some live performances from artists like Evergreen Irish Step Dancers.
The variety of drinks also follows suit, with options like Irish coffee, Guinness beer, and Jameson whiskey on the menu.
Address: 5140 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub
This family-owned Irish pub goes all out for St. Patrick’s Day. In addition to the usual traditional Irish grub, draft beers, and trivia nights, Shawn O’Donnell’s offers a fun lineup of live music, dancing, Guinness giveaways, and face paintings.
They’re also a kid-friendly bar and restaurant so you can bring the whole family.
Address: Pioneer Square, 508 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant
You’ll find Chieftain in a casual neighborhood in Seattle, which you’ll enjoy if you don’t want the crowds of downtown. This quirky bar greets you with a striking red facade, but on St. Patrick’s Day, green is the color of the day.
The taproom is great for watching sports on the big screen, but you won’t have time for that on St. Paddy’s Day as live music, dancers, drums, and bagpipes will be on full display.
Address: 908 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Kells Irish Restaurant and Bar
Tucked along Post Alley in Pike Place Market, Kells is one of the best Irish bars in Seattle. This family-owned restaurant gives you a cozy feel with traditional meals made using ingredients sourced from the family’s Oregon farm. I absolutely love coming here for lunch when I’m downtown and getting a pint of Guinness, Irish soda bread, and the veggie pasty.
That said, it’s one of the best St. Patrick’s Day pubs in Seattle, so you’ll either want to get here early on the big day or visit earlier in the week before it gets crowded. You’ll also enjoy a range of beers from some of the best breweries in Seattle and an expansive whiskey collection.
If you love posting on the ‘gram, this is a very Instagrammable place in Seattle.
Address: 1916 Post Alley between Stewart and Virginia Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Owl N’ Thistle
Owl N’ Thistle is a casual Irish pub located downtown, which is one of the best places to stay in Seattle. Here you’ll find a range of food from fish n chips and classic cheeseburgers to Irish meals like hearty Guinness beef stew and homemade soda bread.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here kick off with live music and a selection of beers on tap.
Address: 808 Post Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Finn MacCool’s Irish Public House
This laidback Irish bar in the University District is the perfect palace to get drinks, burgers, and great happy hour specials. Finn MacCool’s hosts taco trivia Tuesdays, live sports matches, and karaoke Thursdays.
In March, the pub usually runs a month-long St. Patrick’s menu with special drinks like “Get Clover It” and “If It Ain’t Brogue, Don’t Fix It.”
Address: 4217 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
The Old Pequliar
This casual Seattle pub offers nothing but an authentic experience with its Irish tavern aesthetic, hearty dishes, and wide range of pints, whiskeys, and cocktails. On St. Patrick’s Day, they go all out with specialty drinks made from Jameson, Guinness, and Irish coffee. You can also taste a few delicacies ranging from Irish nachos to corned beef sliders.
Address: 1722 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
T.S. McHugh’s is an old-school Irish bar in lower Queen Anne serving grub food and a selection of beers.
The bar transforms into a pub in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day with a menu consisting of Irish potato skins, corned beef, and cabbage. Along with an assortment of Irish drinks. The whiskey is especially popular, so you’ll have a range of 31 single malt Scotches to pick from.
Address: 21 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109
Other Things to Do for St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle
There’s never a shortage of St. Patrick’s Day activities in Seattle. After the parade and the jam-packed lineup of live music performances, dancing, and seminars, there’s still plenty to do during one day in Seattle.
Have a look at the other things you can do on St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle.
St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawls
Bar crawls are a major way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle. With well over 1,000 bars, bistros, and pubs dotted across Seattle, you’ll have an abundance of organized bar crawls to pick from.
Most people will tell you how exciting bar hopping is, but St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls offer an unforgettable experience. For example, Seattle’s Official St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl happens over two days. This weekend bar crawl offers free access to the best bars in town, a custom wristband, exclusive drink specials from March 17th, and live DJs at select bars on March 18th.
Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl is another popular club-hopping experience. Going on its sixth year, this March 18th event offers you food and drink specials, one or two drinks included in your ticket, and a professional photographer to capture the epic moments. The best part of this pub crawl is the epic after-party waiting for you at the end.
Dates: March 17th and 18th
St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Boat Party
Experience St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle, cruising along the winding channels of Lake Union and Lake Washington. This annual event offers you a floating nightclub experience with drinks, great music, a club-like dancefloor, and a photographer.
The boat party has a DJ who’ll be rocking all genres of music, from hip-hop to R&B, reggae, and EDM. After three hours of cruising, the fun doesn’t end on the water, as there’ll be an after-party at Stage Seattle. Tickets for 2023 are not yet on sale, but you can expect to pay around $15 to $75.
Date: March 18th
St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Night Market
Eat, drink and have a Shamrockin’ good time on March 18th at Seattle’s Vegan Night Market hosted at The 101, a gorgeous event space on 101 South Jackson Street. Shop vegan delicacies from 45+ of the best local restaurants, pop-ups, and grassroots businesses.
There’ll also be an opportunity to give back with a huge raffle aimed at supporting the Rooster Haus Rescue, which protects and rehabilitates abused and neglected farm animals. You’ll also find a photo booth and costume contests with participants of different ages.
Note: You are welcome to bring your dog to this market, but it must always be on a leash.
Date: March 18th
Shamrock’n The Harbor 5K / 12K Fun Run
If the Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Dash doesn’t quite satisfy your running urges, the Shamrock’n The Harbor 5K and 12K Fun Run is your next best bet.
The race starts at 8:30 am on March 18th, along the scenic Cushman Trail Park in Gig Harbor. This is a family-friendly event, so participants of all ages are welcome, and ticket prices range from $35 to $45.
This fun run/walk is a great way to detox after a weekend of parading, drinking, and Irish jigging around town. Gig Harbor is about 45 mins to an hour away, making it a perfect day trip from Seattle.
Date: March 18th
Leave a comment below and let me know what you plan on participating in for St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle in 2023!