St. Patrick's Day stuff to do 2017

albany st patrick's day parade

The big Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade is the Saturday before this year -- almost a full week ahead of the holiday.

March is starting, and that means St. Patrick's Day -- always a big holiday in the Capital Region -- will be here soon. It's on a Friday this year, so there are events stretched across two weekends.

Here are a bunch of local ways to celebrate the holiday. 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 11
The 67th annual Albany St. Patrick's Day Parade (FB page) starts at 2 pm. The route 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 11
A long-running neighborhood tradition. It usually 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.

Irish American Heritage Family Festival
Saturday, March 11
The Irish American Heritage Museum is organizing a festival for parade day in Academy Park in Albany (it's the park across the street from city hall) from 11 am to 4 pm. "The Museum and City will be hosting a family friendly, alcohol free event that will showcase the culture and heritage of Ireland. At the same time, the Museum is hoping this will draw families to Downtown Albany to enjoy the parade festivities and all that is Irish in a fun and safe environment." 11 am-4 pm -- free admission

More events

Irish Soda Bread Competition
Saturday, March 4
The Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany is hosting its annual Irish soda bread competition, with categories this year for home cooks. (Be sure to read the entry rules.) "The Museum's staff and Board of Trustees welcome everyone regardless of heritage to a wonderful cultural event and hope this competition inspires people to learn about a very unique part of Irish culture and life, especially as we approach St. Patrick's Day when interest in all things Irish peaks. " 10 am-noon (registration) / awards at 2 pm

Collar City Kilt Fest
Saturday, March 18
The Collar City Kilt Fest in downtown Troy is centered around includes a 5k kilt run. 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

Music and entertainment

March 3-5: A Night of Irish Theatre at the Irish American Heritage Museum
A production of two one-act plays: Spreading the News by Lady August Gregory and How He Lied To Her Husband by George Bernard Shaw. various times -- $10

March 9: Téada at Old Songs
"One of Irish traditional music's leading export, Téada is driven by a fascination for the timeless, expressive force of music inherited from previous generations of musicians." 7:30 pm -- $25 / $5 age 12 and under

March 11: Kevin McKrell at Spa Little Theater
"This festive Irish evening will showcase musical entertainment suitable for all ages." 7 pm - $15

March 11: Hair of the Dog at Celtic Hall
"Join us for a rousing good time immediately after the Albany, NY, St. Patrick's Day Parade." Celtic Hall is at 430 New Karner Road. 5 pm

March 11: Get Up Jack at The Parting Glass
Six-piece band. 8 pm -- $12

March 12: Parting Glass 36th Anniversary
Step dancers, art show, music from Forthlin Road, corned beef and cabbage.

March 15: Songs & Stories of Donnybrook Fair with Kevin Mckrell and Jeff Strange at The Parting Glass
7 pm -- $10

March 16: Hair of the Dog at Proctors
"[A] pre-Saint Paddy's Day celebration." 7:30 pm -- $30

March 16: The New McKrells at The Parting Glass
8 pm -- $10

March 17: Get Up Jack at Revolution Hall
"Get Up Jack is a joyous retro-romp by six of the most energetic and charismatic performers in Irish music today." 8 pm -- $15 ahead / $18 at door

March 17: Hair of the Dog at Normanside Country Club
Normanside is in Bethlehem. 7:30 pm -- $20 ahead / $25 day of

March 18: Hair of the Dog at The Parting Glass
8 pm -- $13

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. It usually has music and all-day corned beef on parade day.

O'Brien's Public House
43 3rd Street, Troy
The O'Briens 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. (Brown's Revolution Hall next door is hosting a show with Get Up Jack that day -- details above.) It's just down the street from Ryan's Wake so you can hit both spots if you're looking to mix things up a bit.

Ryan's Wake
403 River Street
A bar with some classic interior touches. It's 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
A few years back it was recently named one of the top Irish pubs around the world. And it has a lineup of Irish-themed music and entertainment leading up to St. Patrick's Day (see above). On the holiday proper it has multiple live music acts and step dancers lined up.

14 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
Harvey's "embodies the spirit of Ireland located in the heart of Saratoga Springs."

Pinhead Susan's
38 North Broadway, Schenectady
An Irish pub in downtown Schenectady. Its annual St. Patrick's Day block party is Saturday, March 11, starting at noon, with music acts and drink/food specials. block party admission $10

Katie O'Byrne's
State and Erie Boulevard, Schenectady
"An authentic taste of Ireland on the boulevard." It has block party lineup for March 11 starting at 6 pm with music. And it'll have a special menue 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.)

Cooking class: St. Patrick's Day at Market Bistro - March 17
A hands-on class about cooking traditional Irish dishes: Irish stew, Colcannon, Irish soda bread, Irish apple cake with custard sauce. 6 pm - $60


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.)


Plant peas! St. Patrick's Day is the traditional day to plant peas, said to be lucky. Some years it's not possible (too much snow, or soil is frozen), but climate change is making it more possible in this zone.

@chrisck: It's funny you mention that. I was poking around the backyard on one of the recent warm days and thought, "I wonder if I could plant the snap peas right now..."

Then I remembered it was still February.

@Greg -- as climate change progresses, you'll be saying, "Man, it's already February and I haven't planted the snap peas yet!"

I have friends coming in from out of town for the concert at the TU on Sat March 11th. They are staying at the Albany Hilton which looks to be on the Albany parade route. If the parade is 2-4, how long should they expect that local roads will be closed before and after?

Thanks! I'm hoping I can help them avoid the parade headache and show them a fun time in Albany that day!

Regarding the photo caption, the Albany parade is always the Saturday before. This year is no different from any other.

@Herbert: Thank you for mentioning that. Wasn't trying to imply that there was anything necessarily different, just emphasizing the space between parade day and the actual holiday day this year so people don't get mixed up.

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