St. Patrick's Day stuff to do 2016

albany st patrick's day parade

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Albany always draws a big crowd. (Though it's not on St. Patrick's Day proper.)

St. Patrick's Day is always a big holiday in the Capital Region, and it'll be here soon. It's on a Thursday this year, so many of the activities commemorating it will be the weekend before -- Saturday, especially, will be St. Patrick's Day (observed). But there will, of course, also be many festivities on the day proper.

Here are a bunch of local ways to celebrate the holiday later this month. 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 12
The 66th annual Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade (FB page) starts at 2 pm. The route usually steps off at the corner of Quail St and Central Ave, then 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 12
A long-running neighborhood tradition that has ardent fans. 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 travels south on Pearl, east on Emmett, north on Broadway, and then south again Pearl to the Legion post.

Here's a list of street closures and parking restrictions for both parades.

More events

Irish Soda Bread Competition
Saturday, March 5
The Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany is hosting its annual Irish soda bread competition, with categories this year for both home cooks and restaurants. (Be sure to read the entry rules for each category.) 10 am-noon (registration) / awards at 3 pm

Collar City Kilt Fest
Saturday, March 5
The Collar City Kilt Fest in downtown Troy, which includes a 5k, bills itself as "a race to St. Patrick's Day." The day includes the race and entertainment. There's also a "city pass" available to get discounts and free stuff at various establishments. race start time is 1 pm

St. Patrick's Day Parade Family Festival
March 12
The Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany is again hosting a St. Patrick's Day Parade Family Festival, this year in Academy Park (the park across from city hall). It's a "family friendly, alcohol free event that will showcase the culture and heritage of Ireland." There will also be music, vendors, and kids activities. noon-5 pm - free admission

Music and entertainment

March 4: Irish Comedy Tour at Proctors
"Drop a shot of laughter into a pint of boisterous, belly-laughing hooligans straight out of a Dublin pub." 7:30 pm - $35

March 10: The High Kings at the Celtic Hall (430 New Karner Road)
"Ireland's foremost folk group The High Kings." 7:30 pm - $30

March 11: Seanachie Eves: Stories with a Bark and Lilt at Irish American Heritage Museum
Traditional Irish storytelling. 7 pm - $10 / $25 per family

March 11: Hair of the Dog at The Madison Theater
Celtic rock. 8 pm - $20

March 12: The McKrells at Spa Little Theater
"This festive Irish evening will showcase musical entertainment suitable for all ages." 7 pm - $15

March 17: Hair of the Dog at Normanside Country Club
Irish-themed buffet dinner (6-8 pm) and concert (7 pm), open to the public. $45 ahead / $50 day of

Food and drink

All sorts of bars and restaurants will be hopping for the holiday, but these places will be especially active this weekend and on St. Patrick's Day.

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 favorites like shepherd's pie along with pub fare such as burgers. And it usually has a menu of Irish specials in the days around St. Patrick's Day.

The Ginger Man
234 Western Ave, Albany
Washington Tavern's sibling establishment, it usually offers Irish food specials around St. Patrick's Day.

904 Broadway, Albany
Stout also offers a variety of pub fare with a few Irish staples thrown in for good measure. Stout boasts a spacious interior and Irish-American decor. It usually has music and all-day corned beef on parade day.

O'Brien's Public House
43 3rd Street, Troy
The O'Brien's opened this Irish pub in downtown Troy in the old Trojan Hotel a few years back.

Finnbar's Pub
452 Broadway, Troy,
An Irish pub in downtown Troy that's traditionally offered a menu of Irish-influenced items.

Brown's Brewing
417 River Street, Troy
The brew pub usually has a "blessing of the bar" on St. Patrick's Day and a St. Patrick's Day-themed menu. This year on March 17 Revolution Hall is hosting a show with Get Up Jack, "six of the most energetic and charismatic performers in Irish music today" (tickets are $15 ahead / $18 at the door).

Ryan's Wake
403 River Street
This pub is just down the street from Brown's in Troy, so you can hit both spots if you're looking to mix things up a bit.

The Parting Glass
40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs
For more than three decades the Parting Glass has been known for its atmosphere, beer and craic. A few years back 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. On Saturday, March 12 Forthlin Road is playing that night ("reservations highly suggested"). That Sunday The Parting Glass is celebrating its 35th anniversary with Irish step dancers and another performance by Forthlin Road. And on St. Patrick's Day proper, it has Forthlin Road, Kevin McKrell, and Irish step dancers.

14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
Harvey's "embodies the spirit of Ireland located in the heart of Saratoga Springs." (It took over for the Irish Times a few years back.) It has Irish-themed entertainment lined up for St. Patrick's Day proper, including The Grady Girls.

Pinhead Susan's
38 North Broadway, Schenectady
An Irish pub in downtown Schenectady. Its annual St. Patrick's Day block party is Saturday, March 12, starting at 4 pm, with drink/food specials and music.

Katie O'Byrne's
State and Erie Boulevard, Schenectady
"An authentic taste of Ireland on the boulevard." It has entertainment lineup for a March 12 block party starting at 5 pm. And it'll have specials and entertainment on St. Patrick's Day proper.

(Pinhead Susan's and Katie O'Byrne's are about a three minute walk from each other.)

Corned beef and cabbage
We got an Ask AOA question a few years back about where to get corned beef and cabbage: Verdile's in Troy was mentioned multiple times.


March 5: St. Patrick's Day baking at Different Drummer's Kitchen
Deanna Fox leads a hands-on class about making Irish-themed treats: soda bread, hot cross buns, Guinness cake, Blarney Stone cookies, shamrock marshmallows, currant scones with Irish butter. 1 pm - $55

March 11: St. Patrick's Day cooking at Different Drummer's Kitchen
Deanna Fox leads a hands-on class about making Irish food: corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, Irish stew, boxty, baked beans, beer floats . 6 pm - $65

March 17: St. Patrick's Day dinner at Market Bistro
A hands-on class about cooking Irish-inspired dishes: reuben dip with pumpernickel croutons, Guinness-braised short ribs, colcannon potatoes, soda bread, chocolate stout cake with Irish cream frosting. 6 pm - $55


Irish American Heritage Museum
370 Broadway, Albany
Chartered in 1986, the Irish American Heritage Museum has a space in downtown Albany. It's 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 has a handful of events leading up to St. Patrick's Day (a few of them listed above)

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 in previous years.)

AOA is a media sponsor of the Collar City Kilt Fest

138 Washington Ave. Albany
Across the street from the parade viewing stands, the new ‘Hedrick’s at 138’ pub is housed in The Grille At 138. Many wonderful beers and liquors are served here.
The décor is friendly with lots of ‘Old Albany’ memorabilia. Saturday they will have a parade menu with corned beef and cabbage or potatoes, Shepard’s pie, and Irish stew available from 11-5pm.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


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