It’s almost that time of year again when we raise a glass to celebrate St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland and, by extension, Ireland and Irish culture worldwide! Whether you’re looking to drink green beer and dance all day, enjoy authentic Irish food in a cozy pub, or celebrate Irish culture with music and song, Portland’s Old Port has what you’re looking for. Here’s a roundup of some of this year’s biggest events.
1. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sponsored by the Irish American Club of Maine, this annual event features Irish dancers, multiple pipe bands, and the Portland Hurling Club, as well as a number of local community organizations. This year the party kicks off at the Fish Pier on Commercial Street at noon.
2. Bull Feeney’s: Kegs, Eggs, and Boiled Dinner
This famed Irish pub and restaurant is ringing in St. Patty’s with all-day food specials and music starting with a traditional Irish breakfast and bagpipe music at 6:00 a.m. continuing all day until 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Other highlights include the Maine Public Safety Pipe & Drum Band at 12:00 p.m. and 90s rock cover band Hello Newman at 10:00 p.m.
3. Ri Ra: Portland Plunge, Boghat, and Bagpipes
Start your day off right with Irish and American breakfast specials and live music. The pub opens early at 6 a.m. to welcome the brave souls coming back from the Portland Plunge that takes place on the East End Beach at 5:30 a.m. For the rest of us, local Irish traditional band Boghat kicks off at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Maine Public Safety Pipe & Drum Corps at 10:00 a.m. (This is also a perfect place from which to watch the parade!)
4. Oasis: Green Beer
This Wharf St. institution comes alive on St. Patty’s Day with green beer all day and DJ Roy spinning the latest hits starting at 9:00 p.m. Come and get your dance on!
5. Rosie’s: All-Day St. Patty’s Day Celebration
Although not technically an Irish pub, Rosie’s cozy atmosphere will instantly evoke the feeling of lunching in an Irish country pub. Enjoy $4 Guinness, $7 Car Bombs, $0.99 Miller High Life, and an all-day St. Patty’s Day menu.
6. Brian Boru’s Public House: All-Day Music and Food
Things kick off early with Rum Riot’s traditional Irish music at 7:30 a.m. (doors open at 6 a.m.) and all-day food and drink specials. Later in the day, jam out to Irish punk group the Pubcrawlers (1-4 p.m.) and the Jason Spooner Band (5-8:30).