As Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, it’s time to break out your favorite Irish attire, dust off the shamrock decorations and get ready for some serious celebrating. Washington state is chock full of festive events and Irish pubs for you to explore this holiday! Gather your friends together and start planning because this year’s Irish-themed celebration will be one to remember. Our INNSiders gathered a list of various Saint Patrick’s Day events around the state for you to enjoy. As you might expect, the Seattle area offers some of the most exciting experiences, so those looking for a larger-scale festive celebration should plan a trip to the Emerald City.
In historic downtown Oak Harbor, the Whidbey Irish Wildlife Society presents a Saint Patrick’s Day parade event every year. After the parade there will be live music, plenty of entertainment and a classic Irish dinner for purchase. Additionally, another annual event – celebrated for over 15 years – takes place in Coupeville just a short 15-minute drive from Oak Harbor. Its loyal hosts, The Shifty Sailors, perform sea shanties at the party where dinner, drinks and other live entertainment are provided with your ticket purchase. Stay and explore the incredible and ruggedly beautiful haven of Whidbey Island on the Puget Sound, just north of Seattle. Its pristine beaches, lush hills and green farmland makes it an outdoor enthusiast’s dream and a perfect getaway any time of the year. Experience a new perspective from high atop cliff tops at Deception Pass State Park or explore seafront towns like Coupeville and Langley for boutique shopping, delicious cafes and stunning art galleries. With so much nature, splendor and small-town charm, Whidbey truly has something for everyone and our inns provide comfortable and hospitable accommodations.
“Leave ordinary behind — experience extraordinary.” That’s Port Townsend’s fitting slogan. This charming seaside town has an unforgettable and soothing aura that will leave you fantasizing about your permanent relocation. Enjoy your Washington state Saint Patrick’s Day celebration at Elks Lodge with an evening of dancing and live music from the Elderberries, and spend the rest of your weekend soaking in the fascinating history of the area, its art, breathtaking views and its culinary delights.
Get ready to heat things up at the La Conner Fire Department's Saint Patrick's Day Dance! This annual event is 21+ and a fantastic opportunity to dance and support a great cause — the La Conner Volunteer Firefighters Association. Located in Skagit County, Washington, where the iconic, world-famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is held each spring, this small town boasts a lot of personality.
The bustling Seattle metropolitan area is where all the action is this coming Saint Patrick’s Day. There are numerous Irish Pubs in Seattle for classic celebrations, imbibing in distinct Guinness beers and fun-filled events to honor all things Irish throughout the month.
One establishment you might remember from our Spookiest Haunted Places in Washington State article, Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, is popular this holiday for its Guinness and shepherd’s pie. This iconic restaurant hosts a festival every year with activities starting early in the second week of March. Located in Seattle’s Post Alley, revel in the live Irish music, dancing and much more. Their menu features a wide range of traditional dishes and beer true to Irish roots. Learn more about the 13-day festival here.
This holiday has always been celebrated in the Pacific Northwest region, but the official Saint Patrick’s Day parade event in Seattle has been around since the early 1970s! One year after its conception, the Irish Festivities Committee began organizing the parade and arranged a Proclamation Luncheon. There, local politicians declared the week before Saint Patrick’s Day as Irish Week. The festivities kick off before Saint Patrick’s Day and the agenda begins with welcoming Saint Patrick to the city as he arrives in South Lake Union. The annual parade begins around Westlake Park and travels toward the Seattle Center for closing ceremonies. This extravaganza is enormous and very special. The festivities happen rain or shine, so come prepared!
Another longtime Seattle tradition is the Saint Patrick’s Day Dash. What began as a race between local bars for fun in 1980, now welcomes about 17,000 runners for the city’s biggest single-distance race. “Race” is used very lightly here, as participants are accepted at any pace. Begin at the beautiful Seattle Center around 9 a.m. and stay for the afterparty featuring tons of fun and traditional Irish entertainment. Learn more about this incredible event or register here. This Saint Patrick’s Day event is a wholesome and fun party you won’t forget.
For all the party people out there, the 6th annual Saint Patrick’s Day crawl is going to be a whirlwind of fun. Bar hop and enjoy drink specials, delicious food and a fun afterparty in the midst of beautiful Seattle. More information and ticket purchasing here.
Get more information here about Seattle’s history with Saint Patrick’s Day and Ireland! For instance, you’ll learn fun facts like “due to Seattle's northern state climates, like Ireland, the city received many Irish immigrants. So many that Seattle and Galway are sister cities.” Additionally, in an essay by John Keane, President of the Irish Heritage Society, he shares that, in 1982, — 10 years after the Seattle Saint Patrick’s Day parade was officiated — “the first official visit of a representative of the Irish Government to Seattle occurred when the Consul General from San Francisco participated in the Irish Week Proclamation Luncheon. We have now progressed to the point that in 1998, an Irish Government Minister, Sile De Valera, participated in Seattle's Irish Week celebrations and Saint Patrick's Day Parade.” You don’t want to miss this week-long extravaganza of Irish culture in the Pacific Northwest!
If you find yourself in any of these incredible Washington cities celebrating Irish culture this March, you deserve to wind down at one of our local inns, where hospitality is held to a high standard for all guests.