St. Louis St. Patricks Day Celebrations

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St. Louis is a great place to become Irish for just a day this March. What other cities can claim to have two popular St. Patrick’s Day Parades?

Here are all the details on the parades and runs, plus recommendations on the area’s best Irish pubs and restaurants

Michelob Ultra St. Patrick’s Day Parade Run
If you’re up early on St. Patrick’s Day, you can lace up your running shoes to take part in the five-mile Michelob ULTRA run. The annual event starts on Broadway outside of the Busch Stadium home of the St. Louis Cardinals and ends with a 500-meter downhill sprit to the finish line in front of the historic Old Courthouse. For more info: www.irishparade.org

The Downtown Parade
On March 16, the streets of downtown St. Louis will become a sea of green as thousands of visitors attend the annual St. Patricks Day Parade. The parade kicks off with tons of elaborate floats, marching bands and larger-than-life helium balloons. The festivities begin at noon at 18th and Market streets near St. Louis Union Station and end at Broadway and Market Streets. Grab a piece of sidewalk anywhere along the route to see the sights and take par in one of the happiest days of the year with some of your closest friends. Before or after the parade, stop by the Hilton Irish Village in Kiener Plaza for food, shopping and live music from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info: www.irishparade.org

The Hibernian Parade in Dogtown
Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, crowds flow into the Dogtown neighborhood for the Ancient Order of Hibernians Parade beginning at 12:30 p.m on Sunday, March 17. Featuring family clans, marching bands, floats and Irish music and dance, the parade beings at Tamm and Oakland avenues and ends at Tamm and Manchester. After the parade, the crowds stick around for a big street party. Fore more info: www.stlhibernians.com

Irish Restaurants and Pubs
St. Louis has some of the best Irish restaurants and pubs at least in my opinion. You can certainly bet they will all be packed, but after the parades, they’re great place to celebrate. Here are my favorites:

The Dubliner Irish Pub & Bistro
Located on the trendy Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis, the Dubliner is also the “hip” Irish place in town. With the loft feel it makes it a great alternative to a crampbed and smokey irish bar. There’s live music on weekends and great Irish Food

John D. McGurks
McGurks is the place to go if you want to hear authentic Irish music. On weekends, especially if the weather’s good, McGurks’ large patio area will be packed with a good percentage of the city’s Irish population. The Irish and non-Irish also pack McGurks for its full Irish menu featuring favorites like Guinness Stew and Bangers and Mash. If you’re a Guinness fan, few places offer a better “pour.”

Helen Fitzgeralds
An all American sports bar with a bit of Irish Flavor. It has one of the best happy hours in St. Louis with a ½ priced appetizer, weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. It’s also a great sports bar with walls of flat screen HD TV’s to watch the game. If you want something that reminds you of the Emerald Isle, try the Irish Beef Stew.

O’Maley’s Irish Pub
O’Malley’s is the place to go for a night of fun with friends. The pub, located along Antique Row on Cherokee Street, is casual and very welcoming. It’s easy to see why regulars keep coming back. There’s live Irish music on Wednesday nights, and you’ll find all your favorite Irish beers and whiskeys. O’Malley’s menu consists mostly of traditional pub food, but there are a couple of Irish dishes, like Sheperd’s Pie and Corned Beef and Cabbage.

O’Connells Pub
Open since 1962, O’Connell’s is known for making a mean burger. It’s housed in an Anheuser-Busch building built in 1905, and like the building and the whiskey, the furniture and decorations are well-aged. The beer selection is minimal, and the evening crowd is rowdy as a bunch of sailors. But the burgers are heavenly, and the Jameson shots are ginormous. What more could you ask for?