Believe it or not, there is more to St. Patrick’s Day than drinking green beer. Seattle does St. Patrick’s Day right with fun runs, a grand parade, an Irish heritage festival and lots of children’s activities. And the best part is, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy them. Here are five of the best events happening this year. Just be sure to wear green, you wouldn’t want to be pinched.
St. Patrick Arrives
S. Lake Union Park
860 Terry Ave. N.
Seattle, Washington 98109
(206) 684-4075

St. Patrick himself will make a grand arrival by boat on South Lake Union on Friday, March 11th at 6:00 p.m. Then later at 7:00 p.m., the cleric robed in green will be at the Green Stripe Laying. Considered some to be a “mini-parade,” the Green Stripe is laid out for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade route marking up from 4th Avenue up to Westlake Park. The destination is painted with a large Shamrock and celebrated with an impromptu Irish folk dance.

March in the Parade
4th Ave. and James St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 412-2960

The 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade begins with an Irish flag raising in front of the King County Administration Building at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday, March 12th. After the playing of both the Irish and the United States national anthems, the group will the lead the procession up 4th Avenue toward Westlake Park. Then, the crowd is invited to take the Monorail (free of charge) to the Seattle Center where a special closing ceremony will be presented in the Armory at 2:30 p.m. Individuals are encouraged to march with the mayor without any pre-registration (however, you will need to register by calling the number above if you plan on carrying a banner).

Irish Week Festival
Seattle Center Armory
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 237-2811

Home to many cultural festivals, the Irish Week Festival will be held March 12 and 13 at the Seattle Center Armory from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Learn about Irish culture through Irish music, dance, live performances, visual arts, and activities for children. It’s possible that you might find your Irish roots at a genealogy workshop, meet an Irish celebrity or two, watch Irish film, enjoy great food and be fascinated with incredible demonstrations fit for the occasion.

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St. Partick’s Day Dash
T.S. McHugh’s
21 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 282-1910

Starting from T.S. McHugh’s, which is near the Space Needle, nearly 15,000 people all wearing green will begin their four mile journey in the 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash on Sunday, March 13th. Seattle’s largest single-distance run benefits the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in support of various children’s charities here in the Northwest. Adults can look forward to the beer garden at the end of the run, while kids age 10 and under will enjoy the Leprechaun Lap around the Seattle Center. Some say the event is like Halloween in the spring!

Imagine Children’s Museum
1502 Wall St.
Everett, WA 98201
(425) 258-1006

The Imagine Children’s Museum is definitely worth the trip up north as it is a beautiful facility full of lots of fun. Sure, it’s supposed to be for kids – but parents will really enjoy it too! At Imagine, they do holidays right particularly in the art studio. This month, guests at the museum can create their own Leprechaun Trap all day on March 16th, but you might want to wait until March 18th as the museum will be offering free admission from 5:30-9:00 p.m. The art studio will be in full swing offering projects related to Ireland. All art projects are free regardless when you go.

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Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at