St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 each year, to honor the anniversary of it’s namesake’s death. St. Patrick, who was born in Roman Britain, came to Ireland as a slave during his teenage years. He escaped slavery, converted to Christianity and spent time in Ireland as a missionary. Patrick served as a bishop in the country, and after he died, he was named Ireland’s patron saint. Mythology concerning his life became intertwined with Irish culture, particularly a legend about him using the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
St. Patrick’s Day has been observed as a religious holiday in Ireland for more than 1,000 years. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t happen until 1762, and it happened in New York City. Irish soldiers who were part of the English military marched through New York City as a way to celebrate their Irish culture. Irish pride grew in the United States in the upcoming years as more Irish people immigrated to the country. St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in other areas of the world including Russia, Japan, Singapore, Canada and Australia.
While the best-known tradition of St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green, that wasn’t always the case. Before green became the color associated with the holiday, blue was worn to celebrate Saint Patrick, a Christian missionary, saint and bishop of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day is recognized as the traditional religious feast of St. Patrick on March 17 of each year. Stories tell of St. Patrick using the shamrock, a three-leafed plant with one stalk, to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to a nonbeliever. The shamrock became an iconic image of Ireland when the country named it its national flower and emblem.
Ireland closes its banks, stores and businesses to observe St. Patrick each year, recognizing St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday. In the United States, beer is turned green, corned beef and cabbage is pushed out by restaurants and parades are held all throughout the country.
Here is how you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day across the Denver metro area.
Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: According to the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade website, the best place to catch the parade entries full performance is south of 20th Avenue on Blake Street.
When: March 16 at 9:30 a.m.
The scoop: One of Colorado’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations takes place in downtown Denver during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Around 450,000 people attended the parade last year, and the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade is anticipating seeing high attendance again, according to Elizabeth Price, the parade’s spokesperson. There will be dancing, music and parade floats.
“It’s great for the whole family, and there’s fun giveaways and treats for kids. There’s just so much to see and do,” said Price.
St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Olde Town Arvada
Where: 7307 Grandview Ave., Arvada
When: March 16 from noon to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission
The scoop: You and the family can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the heart of Arvada. Olde Town Arvada will feature food, beverages, artisan and craft vendors, a kids zone, street performances and live music from Angus Mohr, Big Paddy and Ponder the Albatross. Joe Hengstler, the executive director of the Olde Town Business Improvement District, is encouraging attendees to park south of Grandview in between old Wadsworth and Vance Street. Hengstler called the Olde Town Arvada St. Patrick’s Day Festival one of the top destinations for St. Patrick’s Day on the Front Range.
“The historic streets of Olde Town Arvada provide the perfect backdrop to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with fun for all ages. In addition to great entertainment, craft vendors, and of course beer and wine booths in the festival area, Olde Town has plenty of one of a kind shops, bars and restaurants to explore and experience,” said Hengstler in an email.
Highlands Ranch Community Association St. Patrick’s Day 5K
Where: 9352 Dorchester St., Highlands Ranch
When: The 5K starts at 9 a.m. on March 16. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
Cost: 5K run and walk is $45, and the youth 5K run and walk (ages 12 and under) is $25. Prices will increase after March 14 at 11:59 p.m.
The scoop: The Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) St. Patrick’s Day 5K goes through neighborhoods, the Marcy Gulch Trail, Fido’s Field at Foothills Park and wraps up on Dorchester Street. Patrick Gojan, the race series director for HRCA, said race participants are encouraged to bring their pets. Race participants receive a T-shirt, pint glass, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, a race bib, a beer and a post-race party.
“Grab your friends and family, your best Irish costume and join us as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” said Gojan.
Kegs & Eggs
Where: Jackson’s at 1520 20th St., Denver
When: March 15, doors open at 7 a.m.
The scoop: At this year’s Kegs & Eggs concert, Jukebox the Ghost, the Mowglis and Morgxn will be performing at Jackson’s. In the past, bands like 30h!3, Dirty Heads and the Fray. The event is a 21 and up show.
St. Patrick’s Celebration at Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse
Where: 6995 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge
When: March 15 - March 17
Cost: Prices vary
The scoop: Once a year, Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse adds a special St. Patrick’s Day touch to its menu by offering corned beef and cabbage and Shepard’s pie that is made with Colorado lamb. The Wheat Ridge establishment is planning on rolling out two special beers, brewed by its head brewer who has an Irish background. Guests can try a Geata Dubh, an Irish dry stout style beer, and Grafton St. Red, an Irish red ale style beer.
“The biggest attraction is our food. We’re not doing any live music, but this is really good Irish food that we do once a year,” said Eugene Kahng, owner of Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse.
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