Every year on March 17th, Portland Old Port turns into one giant festival of celebration for all things green! If there was any day during the year that I would pick to be in Portland, it would be on St. Patrick’s Day. The city comes alive and showcases just what Portland Old Port is all about. We dress up, we gather, and we flood our local restaurants and bars in observance of the late Saint Patrick to celebrate all things green, four-leaf clovers, and drinking (the latter evidenced by 6 a.m. bar-openings). There’s plenty to do and plenty to see, from Irish Music, to Irish Brews, Pubs and Food, as well as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Plunge. Lucky for you, we’ve laid out a personal directory of the top places to visit this Friday March 17, 2017. Take tips, write notes, or design your own personal Pub Crawl. Below is a guide to Irish hot-spots and happenings in town this St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!
Saint Patrick’s Day Plunge & Irish Breakfast-
Join RiRa Portland for their annual plunge at The East End Beach in order to raise funds for the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burns Foundation. A RiRa Portland tradition for the past 15 years. Registration is online at give.classy.org/paddysdayplunge. Those who dare to brave the icy waters of the Atlantic will gather at the beach at 5:30 am.
Doors will then be open from 6am-7am for a complimentary St. Patrick’s Day Irish Breakfast for those jumpers who want to warm up after the plunge. A live auction and raffle will begin at 7am. An award ceremony will take place directly after the raffle. Trophies will be awarded to the top individual person that raises the most money, and a second for team trophy. The top winner will win the official Plunge Cup with their business or team name!
RiRa’s Exclusive Saint Patrick’s Day-
For $50, non-plungers can also participate with entry to the pub between 6 and 7 a.m., Irish breakfast, Guinness and Guinness glass. There will be a Limited menu of Irish pub food available throughout the day, and music performances into the wee hours of the night. Entertainment begins at 9:30 a.m., and the line-up is one you don’t want to miss! Keep up-to date with live performances and updates on their Facebook Event Page.
Just on the Edge of the West End is a neighborhood favorite. This Old Irish Meeting House is packed with history, and for Saint Patrick’s Day it’s reputation for being the best Irish Pub in town has held reign. Irish-owned since the 1880s, this hometown favorite is the place to be! The annual breakfast starts at 6 a.m. with an a la carte menu and plenty of Guinness on tap. Rum Riot kicks off with a Saint Patrick’s Day set from 7a.m.-10a.m., with live music and bands continuing throughout the day. Home to one of the best corned beef Reuben in town, plenty of Guinness, and a whole lot of Erin go Braugh- get your Irish on at Brian Boru!
With events starting a full week prior and continuing right up until Saint Patrick’s Day itself, this is a spot you’re not going to want to miss on your list of Irish go-tos. With a full brunch menu starting at 6a.m. and continuing until 2p.m. you’re sure to get your fuel for the rest of the day’s events. Alongside brunch, traditional Irish fare and pub specials will begin at 6a.m. and continue to run until 2p.m. From 2p.m. onward Bullfeeney’s full Irish menu will be available all evening long. Tom and Don Celtic Duo starts the day off, with a full lineup of live bands and music on BOTH floors throughout the day. For the entire line-up visit the event page here.
For all of you early risers, and barhopping die-hards, kick-start the day from 6 to 10 a.m. with an Irish Breakfast – a Guinness plus a Jameson or Bailey’s shot for $6. Guinness cans are $4 and Irish Americans are $8 all day. Their menu will feature house-made Irish bangers, corned beef sandwiches and lamb stew.
Each year on the night of Saint Patrick’s day The Thirsty Pig transforms into a Paddy’s Pub in celebration of the beloved Saint! This year they will be featuring Boiled Dinner, Bangers and Mashed, corned beef sausages, and local stout drafts. Bull Moose has teamed up to bring you an evening of Irish Vinyl which will be playing back-to-back both Friday and Saturday. Join Them in all your glorious green gear!
Gritty McDuff’s, Maine’s Original Brew Pub-
Since 1988, Gritty McDuff’s has been creating fine, handcrafted ales and traditional pub fare. From their humble beginnings as a small brew pub in Portland’s Old Port, they’ve grown to become the brew pub of choice for Mainers and folks “from away.” From the start, Gritty’s was at the forefront of the brewing renaissance in Maine. This Friday March 17th, 2017 Gritty’s, for the first time, will be opening their doors to the public for Saint Patrick’s Day at 6a.m. Local Radio stations will be there to broadcast throughout the day starting with Q97.9 from 6-9a.m., WCYY live from noon-2p.m., and WBLM from 2-4p.m. This is a party you don’t want to miss. Drink specials will be running all day long. Jameson Caskmates Whiskey will be paired with Gritty McDuff’s Black Fly Stout for a very reasonable $10 throughout the day, and Green Jello shots will be served. There will be a special Saint Patrick’s menu featured along with breakfast offerings beginning at 6a.m.
Get Wrekd Wear will be in the Old Port with shirts to sell! Save 15% in person! Check out their official page here.