What does it mean to have the luck of the Irish – and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? You’ll find the answers to all of your questions about Irish culture and history during Seattle’s family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day events. This year, events include a green-themed enrichment day at the zoo, an Irish Week Festival, the 30th renewal of Seattle’s St. Patrick’s Day Dash, fun activities at the Children’s Museum, and a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Bring the entire family to these events and learn about Irish culture, including its art, history, language, music, and dance…and find out if there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Seattle Irish Week Festival
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200

Date: March 15-16, 2014

Have you ever wanted to know what it means to have the “luck of the Irish” – or why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? To find out, come to the Seattle Irish Week Festival, which celebrates the roots and contemporary aspects of Irish culture, including art, language, dance, cuisine and games. During the festival, you can purchase Irish and Celtic wares, sing and dance to Irish music while learning the Irish jig, watch contemporary Irish films, and trace your Irish roots during genealogy workshops. Events that children will particularly love include the Champion Irish Stepdancers and the “Most Irish Looking Face” and “Smilingest Irish Eyes” contests.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Seattle Children’s Museum
Seattle Children’s Museum
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 441-1768

Date: March 16-17, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Have you ever wanted to look like a leprechaun? Here’s your chance! Put on your dancing shoes and your listening ears and join other Seattle families at the Seattle Children’s Museum on March 16 and 17 for art, crafts, music and dancing. The Seattle Children’s Museum presents two fun-filled days of Irish-themed activities, including an Irish-themed dance party, Leprechaun play dough, a pot o’ gold scavenger hunt and leprechaun beard and hat-making. You can also make a bag to hold your riches – and then try to guess how much gold it can hold! And if you’ve ever wondered where leprechauns live, you’ll have an opportunity to make a leprechaun’s home, as well.

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Seattle’s 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Downtown Seattle
4th Ave. from Jefferson St. to Pine St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Date: March 15, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

Irish eyes will be a-smiling and feet will be a-dancing at Seattle’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade, which begins on 4th Avenue at Jefferson, winds through downtown Seattle and terminates at the Seattle Center. You don’t need to pre-register just to march, but parade marching groups that carry signage must pre-register and submit a parade application form. And for those who’d like to attend but can’t walk the length of the parade, the Seniors Shamrock Shuttle can provide transportation.

30th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash and Leprechaun Lap
Mercer St. and 3rd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98109

Date: March 16, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.

Lace up your running shoes for the 30th renewal of Seattle’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash and Leprechaun Lap! This race, which began in 1985 as a training event for an Irish Olympian, is now the greater Seattle area’s largest single-distance event, filling four miles of Seattle streets with green ribbons. The route goes from near the Seattle Center, looping around South Lake Union and then to the Aurora Bridge. The Dash and Lap are full of surprises – you may be passed by a four-pack of Guinness, a leprechaun, or a human pot of gold! The event also features the Post Dash Bash, which includes a costume contest and live music.

St. Patrick’s Day at the Zoo
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 591-5337

Date: March 16, 2014 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 16 with green enrichment for all of their animal residents! Enrichment is an important component of captive animal care: it introduces variety and novelty into the animals’ lives and can include, but is not limited to: toys; items with unusual scents or textures; textiles, including blankets and clothing; and food items. The enrichment fun begins at 11 a.m. when the caregivers will provide the sea otters with green ice treats and toys. At 12:30 p.m., the tigers will feast on green shamrock-shaped “meatsicles” and at 1 p.m. the gibbons will hope to have the luck of the Irish as they enjoy Lucky Charms popsicles. The elephants will be served green watermelon snacks at 1 p.m. and the red wolves will get their own green treats at 2 p.m. Bring the entire family to enjoy this special day for the animals!

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Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.