Parades, pubs and pipes: St. Patrick's Day events kick off this week across Florida
From the Panhandle to South Florida, the Sunshine State is celebrating St. Paddy's Day
While St. Patrick's Day and Florida aren't often mentioned together, the Sunshine State is full of things to do ― and the state has historical ties to the celebration.
While reading centuries-old Spanish documents about St. Augustine, a Northeast Florida city, history professor Michael Francis found a document that said the city's residents processed or paraded along the streets in honor of St. Patrick on March 17, 1601.
St. Augustine residents continue to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a parade.
And across Florida, people will partake with music, Irish dancing, Irish food and drinks, pub parties, highland games and more. Here are some of our favorite festivities.
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St. Patrick's Day is big in St. Augustine, and the celebrations kick off downtown at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, with a parade. Expect excessive amounts of green clothing and accessories, men in kilts, big crowds and bagpipes.
Also starting Saturday morning, the St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival will open its gates at Francis Field at 25 W. Castillo Drive. The event will feature major Celtic bands from the U.S. and beyond, Highland games, food, vendors workshops and more, according to the event website. The festival is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 12 and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 13. General admission tickets are $15. Admission is free for children 12 and younger and for active duty and retired military.
For parade and festival information, go to celticstaugustine.com. — Sheldon Gardner, The St. Augustine Record.
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The Mighty St. Patrick's Festival is back at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs in Orlando March 11-17.
Top Irish bands, flown in for the occasion, will play and Irish dancers will perform while guests sample a huge range of Irish whiskeys, local craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails while choosing from the chef’s selection of authentic Irish dishes, including fresh-caught fish with chips.
Starting March 11, reservations are encouraged. On St. Patrick’s Day only, March 17, Raglan Road will open at 10 a.m. with a $20 cover charge for guests 18 and older; (first-come, first-served — no reservations on this day only); younger patrons may enter for free.
More information is available at raglanroad.com. — Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
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McGuire’s 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K returns to downtown Pensacola on March 12. This is no ordinary run — it’s one of Pensacola’s biggest parties of the year, bringing an average of 10,000 to 13,000 people downtown, concentrated around the East Gregory Street restaurant.
In addition to prediction and speed awards, the coveted Best Costume Award for individual, team and sharpest military formation will also be awarded. The run starts and finishes at McGuire’s Irish Pub, where the massive after-party will be hosted. A party wristband is included in race registration. For more information, visit mcguiresirishpub.com. ― Lisa Nellessen Savage, Panhandle Region executive editor
The 23rd annual St. Patrick's celebration at Meg O'Malley's Irish Pub in Melbourne stretches over six days, with music, food, dancing, running and a parade.
Irish Week festivities kick off March 12 with a St. Patrick's Street Fest in historic downtown Melbourne. The day begins with the Shamrock Shuffle 5K at 8:30 a.m. The festival starts at 9 a.m., with a full array of arts and crafts vendors, Irish food and food trucks, dancers and bagpipers.
The 32nd annual downtown Melbourne St. Patrick's Parade, presented by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Meg O'Malley's, begins at 9 a.m. with floats, pipe and drum bands, school groups and marching bands.
Meg O'Malley's will host musical performers and Irish fun through the week, culminating with a St. Patrick's Day celebration that includes an Irish breakfast buffet, plus music and dancing that continues until well after midnight.
Meg O'Malley's Irish Pub is at 812 E. New Haven Ave., downtown Melbourne. More information is available at megomalleys.com. ― Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
Culhane's Irish Pub — owned by four genuinely Irish sisters — has two locations in the Jacksonville area, and they don't hold back when it comes to St. Patrick's Day celebrations. They'll set up a tent outside both the Atlantic Beach and Southside pubs to handle all the folks lining up for corned beef & cabbage, Guiness Irish stew, Lucky Charm Jell-O shots, shepherd's pie and bangers & mash. Pipe & drum groups, Irish dance troupes and Emerald Isle musicians provide music all day long, and the Southside location has Irish karaoke, drunken potato bowling, Bingo and Irish beer pong on the schedule. — Tom Szaroleta/The Florida Times-Union
As St. Patrick's Day parades go, other Florida cities are, well, green with envy over the one in Naples. More than 40,000 annually flock to this Southwest Florida town for its 1.6-mile route in the heart of the city that is four or more rows deep of parade watchers along each side of the street. The parade — which began in 1976 — is the largest privately funded St. Patrick's Day parade in Florida. It annually features more than 120 units, including marching bands, bagpipers, Irish dance studios and around two dozen university alumni groups. This year's parade — the first since 2019 — begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, and lasts about 2½ hours. — Dave Osborn, Naples Daily News
4-11:45 p.m. March 17; Shamrock Pub, 2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; 941-952-1730; faceook.com/shamrockpub
On the eastern edge of downtown Sarasota, Shamrock Pub has been throwing its annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party for more than a decade. The open-air event will feature food, beer and music, including performances by Blue Skye Pipe and Drums, Sassy Lassies — Irish Dancers, Andy Thomas, bagpiper William Howard, Tuff Son and Wild Root. This event will benefit Sarasota City Soccer Club. — Jimmy Geurts, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Noon March 17; Clancy's, 6218 Cortez Road West, Bradenton; 941-794-2489, clancysirishsportspub.com
Going strong now for more than two decades, Clancy's hosts the biggest St. Patrick's Day bash in Manatee County with the festivities kicking off this year at noon March 17 with a three-hour set by Eric Von Band followed by the Irish Dance Academy of Sarasota dancers from 3 to 3:30 p.m. There will then be authentic Irish music by Paul & Jeffrey from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. along with bagpipers and the annual "capture" by Bradenton's Crewe of De Soto. Busline 13 will be Clancy's final band, performing from 7 to 10 p.m. There's also a $50 prize for best Irish costume and the menu includes corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, hot dogs, hamburgers and Irish coffee from the full-liquor bar. Must be 21 to attend and there's no cover charge. — Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
9 a.m. March 17; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115; celticray.net
Celtic Ray celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with genuine Irish libations (no green beer, they warn in advance) and a menu including first-rate Irish food such as fish and chips, Guinness stew, chicken curry and corned beef platter. Clover's Revenge will perform from 1 to 3 p.m., Paul Duffy from 3 to 6 p.m., and Champ Jaxon Band starting at 7:30 p.m. The event will be outdoors, with street closed off. — Jimmy Geurts, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Noon (parade); 1 p.m. (festival) March 12; Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-243-7452; stpatsdelray.com
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Delray Beach celebrates St. Patrick's Day with the city's annual parade and festival featuring floats, fire engines, first responders, elected officials, motorcycles, pipes and drums, marching bands, Irish heritage societies and more. The St. Patrick's Day Parade will travel down Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach from the Intracoastal Waterway to Northwest Fifth Avenue from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 12. The St. Patrick's Day Festival is 1 to 7 p.m. March 12 at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. The family-friendly event will feature live music, food trucks, vendors, games, pipes and drums and more. — Eddie Ritz, Palm Beach Post