St. Patrick's Day stuff to do 2013

st patricks parade 2010 leprechaun

From a previous Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade. (photo: Sebastien Barre)

St. Patrick's Day is a big holiday in the Capital Region -- there will be various celebrations throughout the upcoming weekend.

So, here are a bunch of local ways to celebrate the holiday over the next week. From the parades, to food and drink, to music for the time of year where everyone is Irish, if only for a day.


Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade
Saturday, March 16
The 63rd annual Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 2 pm from the corner of Quail St and Central Ave, heads down to Washington Ave on to State St to Pearl Street. Bands, pipes, drums, and lots of green.

The North Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade
Saturday, March 16
A long-running neighborhood tradition that has ardent fans -- including some who contend it's the better of the two parades. It starts at noon, so there's time to make it downtown for the larger city parade. The parade route starts at the North Albany American Legion Post #1610 (map) and then travel south on Pearl, east on Emmett, north on Broadway, and then south again Pearl to the Legion post.

Food and drink

All these places will be hopping both Saturday and Sunday.

The Parting Glass
40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs
For the past 32 years the Parting Glass has been known for its atmosphere, beer and craic. It was recently named one of the top Irish pubs around the world. The menu isn't strictly Irish, but there are a few staples including: Shepherd's Pie, Lamb Stew, and Fish and Chips. St. Patrick's Day entertainment includes stepdancers at noon, Kevin and Kate McKrell at 1 pm, The McKrells at 3 pm, and Forthlin Road at 7 pm.

The Irish Times
14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
The Times offers up an array of Irish food and drink; most notably, a traditional Irish Breakfast -- one of the few restaurants to offer it in the region. The St. Patrick's Day slate includes a breakfast buffet from 9-11 am, a lunch buffet starting at 11 am, music, stepdancers, and bagpipes.

McGeary's Irish Pub
4 Clinton Square, Albany
An Albany St. Patrick's Day mainstay, 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
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. On Saturday, there's a parade day parking lot party with Erin Harkes, the Oron Mor Pipe Band, Philip the Meatbox, and green beer.

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.

Pinhead Susan's
An Irish pub in downtown Schenectady. It has a block party planned for Saturday from 1 pm until midnight, along with music on Sunday, and corned beef and shepherd's pie all weekend. (By the way: Susan is a pinhead.)

Finnbar's Pub
A new addition in Troy, with an Irish-influenced menu from chef Josh Coletto. It has specials and events planned for Saturday and Sunday.

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.
We've heard from a few people -- including Colleen in the comments -- that Bat Shea's is closed. A phone call to their number today got a no-longer-in-service message. Update: Here's the pub planned to occupy that location. (Thanks, Colleen.)

Corned beef and cabbage
There were a handful of good answers to a recent Ask AOA question about where corned beef and cabbage.

Music and entertainment

March 14-17: Finnegan's Farewell at Proctors
"An interactive musical comedy dinner show." various times - $65 and $75

March 15: The Irish Tenors at Proctors
"Ireland's premier ambassadors of song." PBS fave. 8 pm - $20 and up

March 16: Hair of the Dog at The Parting Glass
Two shows, at 7 pm and 9 pm (reservations suggested).

March 17: National University of Ireland's Maynooth Chamber Choir at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Twenty-four singers performing Irish, European and American Choral music. 2 pm - free

March 17: Hair of the Dog at Revolution Hall
Tickets available through the Browns Brewing store. 7 pm - $15 ahead / $18 at door.

March 17: Maura O'Connell at The Egg
Known for modern takes on Irish folk songs. 7:30 pm - $24

March 17: Walt Michael & Company at Caffe Lena
Hammer dulcimer for St. Patrick's Day. 7 pm - $18


Irish American Heritage Museum
370 Broadway, Albany
Chartered in 1986, the Irish American Heritage Museum has a space 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. It's a hosting pre-parade family celebration on Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm.

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

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!

(Thanks to Elisabeth for her help in laying out the framework for this post.)

photo: Sebastien Barre


Bat Shea's is closed. There is another "Irish themed" bar going in, but I do not believe it is open yet.

I find people dressing a leprechauns on St. Patrick's Feast Day to be beyond poor taste/bad judgment; I find it racist.

This holiday has devolved from a showing of pride to nothing but debauchery and stereotypes.

There is a new place in Clifton Park called Dorothy O'Day's Irish Pub that will be celebrating all weekend. Friday starts with a live radio broadcast on B95.5 and will feature a $1.95 breakfast special, live music and giveaways by the radio station. CrushFM will also be doing a remote broadcast that same afternoon during happy hour with food and drink specials.

Saturday includes a Kegs & Eggs breakfast buffet from 10:30am to 2:00pm and then Irish classics and modern Irish inspired dishes on a limited menu until 8:00pm. Live entertainment will play all day culminating with The Audiostars starting at 9pm. ($5 cover charge starting at 7:30pm). There will be a beer tent without drink specials.

The fun continues on Sunday with more food and drink specials from noon to 8:00pm. Live entertainment will be available on Sunday as well. It'll be a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Albany and Saratoga with ample parking and space to enjoy yourself without being surrounded by the historically large and inebriated crowds downtown. A listing of events is available on their website at or by calling the restaurant at 518 557 2401. Reservations are still available for Friday night dinner and Kegs & Eggs on Saturday.

My Irish mother would probably slap someone with he temerity to dress as a leprechaun. Especially if she's been drinking.

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