Better ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

st patricks parade 2010 leprechaun

From the Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade a few years back.

By Elisabeth Draper

Last St. Patrick's Day was a memorable one, to say the least, but for all the wrong reasons. It's a great holiday -- just one better celebrated without destruction, arrests, and bunch of other regrettable behavior. The celebration shouldn't leave an unsightly pockmark on a city and region with a proud Irish history.

So, to help reset the course of St. Patrick's Day in the Capital Region, here are a bunch of local ways to celebrate the holiday. From music, to food and drink, dance, history, and shopping, use this guide to make the most of the time of year where everyone is Irish, if only for a day.


Things to Do

Irish American Heritage Museum
370 Broadway, Albany
Chartered in 1986, the Irish American Heritage Museum recently opened its doors in downtown Albany. Dedicated to telling the story of the nearly 40 million Irish Americans who claim Irish ancestry. The museum's collections and exhibits explore Irish American's contributions to history and culture.

The Irish in Albany Tour
March 10 and 14
A guided trolley tour of the city and guided tour of the Irish American Heritage Museum ending with a meal and a pint at McGeary's Pub in downtown Albany. $40/per person.

The North Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 17
A long-running neighborhood tradition that has ardent fans -- including some who contend it's the better of the two parades. It starts at 11 am, so there's plenty of time to make it downtown for the larger city parade. The parade route starts at the North Albany American Legion Post #1610 (map).

Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 17
The 62nd annual Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 2 pm from the corner of Quail St and Central Ave, down to Washington Ave on to State St. (It's a new route this year -- which is actually the old route.) Bands, pipes, drums, and lots of green.

Capital District Celtic Cultural Association
430 New Karner Rd, Albany
Established in 1998, the CDCCA is dedicated to preserving Celtic culture in the Capital Region. Classes in Celtic music, dance, language, as well as lecture series and study abroad opportunities.

Irish Dance Lessons
OK, maybe not for day of, but maybe a few lessons before. Or for next year?
+ Farrell School of Irish Dance
+ Boland School of Irish Dance
+ Clar School of Irish Dance

Music and Dance

March 9: Hair of the Dog performs at Stout
904 Broadway, Albany, 8pm

March 10: Susan McKeown Underground at Proctors, 7:30 pm - $23-25
Grammy award-winning vocalist and BBC Folk Award nominee from Dublin brings her strong and unique vocals to Schenectady.

March 10: Hair of the Dog performs at the Parting Glass,
Two shows: 7 pm and 9:30 pm - $13 cover (reservations recommended). 40-42 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs.

March 11: The Parting Glass 31st Anniversary Celebration
Irish music and dance - 12-3 pm.

March 14: Celtic Woman "Believe" at The Palace
7:30pm, $33, $63

March 16: Enter the Haggis, the Egg, Albany 8pm, $24
Toronto-based Celtic rock band is touring to support their new album, "White Lake."

March 17: Hair of the Dog performs at Revolution Hall, Troy, 8pm $13, $15
Tickets available through the Browns Brewing store.

All these places will be hopping on St. Patrick's Day.

The Irish Times
14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
The Times offers up an array of Irish food and drink; most notably, an all-day traditional Irish Breakfast -- one of the few restaurants to offer it in the region.

The Parting Glass
40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs
For the past 31 years the Parting Glass has been known for its atmosphere, beer and craic. The menu isn't strictly Irish, but there are a few staples including: Sheppard's Pie, Lamb Stew, and Fish and Chips.

McGeary's Irish Pub
4 Clinton Square, Albany
An Albany St. Patrick's Day mainstay and home to Tess Collins and her devotees, McGeary's offers a mix of Irish-American pub fare and a healthy beer selection. This is a hotspot for food and drink after the parade.

Washington Tavern
250 Washington Ave, Albany
Another Albany staple and historically Irish-owned pub, the Washington Tavern also serves a mix of Irish-American pub fare (and pizza) and offers a respectable beer selection.

904 Broadway, Albany
One of Albany's newest bars in the Warehouse District, Stout also offers a variety of pub fare with a few Irish staples thrown in for good measure. Stout boasts a decent selection of draft beers, a spacious interior, and Irish-American decor -- worth stopping in for a pint.

Anna O'Keeffe's Pub
138 Washington, Ave, Albany
Open since 2009, Anna O'Keeffe's boasts a solid selection of Irish beers and whiskey and is located along the parade route. The first Thursday of the month they also have Irish music and drums.

Bat Shea's
95 Ferry St., Troy, NY
Bat Shea's opened in December 2011. Shea's offers the Irish draft beer staples (Guinness, Smithwick's (pronounced "smit-ticks"), McSorely's, and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale.

Stock up for the holiday
If you're looking for a few St. Patrick's day gifts or something to wear to your celebration, you might find it at one of these shops.

Tipperary at Tara
3956 Route 2, Brunswick

The Counties of Ireland
77 Third St., Troy

Lennon's Irish Shop
164 Jay St., Schenectady

Celtic Treasures
465 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Other ideas? Please share!

Elisabeth is @elisdraper on Twitter

photo: Sebastien Barre


Friday, March 16 - 10:00pm - East Greenbush
The AudioStars will be performing live at The Sports Grill for a Pre St. Patrick's Day bash! $5 at the door. (21+, kitchen staying open late)

If you happen to be running errands at Northway Mall/Target Plaza on St. Patty’s Day, stop into Empire Wine and Liquor Outlet. They will be giving away Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes made by the 4 & 20 Bakery.

From Erin Harkes newsletter:
"Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with The Erin Harkes Band AND the Oran Mor Pipe Band! For you Capital Region folks - Right after the St. Patrick's Day Parade on St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) we will be playing with the Oran Mor Pipe Band at Stout! Make this your hangout for your after the parade festivities. We will be playing from 2-7, taking turns and playing together for some amazing music. If you've never seen this mashup before, you will be amazed."

Marche @ 74 State is offering a $10 all-you-can-eat corned beef & cabbage buffet from noon to 6 on the 17th. Their 2nd story bistro bar windows offer an excellent view of the parade without one having to be in the thick of it. Also, starting at 4pm there will be live Irish entertainment.

Anyone know of any kid-friendly places that will offer live Irish music? We don't mind a little revelry, and it could even be in a bar-type setting... but nothing that is a drunken mess. Thoughts?

The Hellions of Troy Roller Derby will be having their season opener against Assault City Roller Derby (Syracuse, NY) on March 17th at Rollarama in Schenectady. Doors open at 7, whistle at 8. What better way to celebrate St. Patty's Day than with some always- electrifying roller derby action?

@ Irish Wifey: my post above yours should be good for kids.

Why did I have to born Dutch?
We're so boring.

Where is the best place to park to watch the parade in Albany?

Hi there. Comments have been closed for this item. Still have something to say? Contact us.

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine