10 Great Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan

Time to break out your green shamrock attire, cook up some corned beef and cabbage and embrace your inner Irish spirit! St. Patrick’s Day is Monday, March 17th and we’ve gathered up some great ways a Michigander can celebrate this year. While we can’t promise you will find a pot o’gold, these events are sure to be a good time. These are just a few of the many St. Patrick’s Day events happening around the state. For a full listing of events, visit michigan.org.

clareirishfestivalClare Irish Festival
Wednesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 16, Downtown Clare
The Clare Irish Festival offers a variety of family-oriented activities. Children will be delighted by the Children’s Kickoff Carnival on Friday at the Clare Primary School from 5 to 7 p.m. Be sure to catch the Irish Festival Parade featuring the Scottville Clown Band at noon on Saturday. Other activities include an Irish recipe contest, a fish fry, a karaoke contest, craft show, musical performances and much more.

Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk
Friday, March 14 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Downtown Lexington, various pubs
If you’re looking to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with a few drinks and 21 or up aged friends, then the Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk may be perfect for you. There will be plenty of Irish food, drinks and entertainment along the way. For more information on where the pub walk begins, call Marty O’Brien at 810-359-7201.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Friday, March 14 through Saturday, March 15, Historic downtown Grand Ledge
Bring out the whole family for two days of Irish-themed fun in downtown Grand Ledge. Starting Friday, there will be great Irish entertainment including traditional Irish dancing, The Glen Erin Bagpipe Band, and live Irish music by The Pub Runners. You can’t miss the Irish Stew Cook off on Saturday and then the parade begins at 2 p.m. After the parade, fill yourself up with an Irish food dinner. For those over 21, a pub crawl will begin after 9 p.m. to celebrate with some adult beverages.

Irish-on-Ionia-in-Grand-Rapids

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff Photography

Irish on Ionia
Saturday, March 15 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Grand Rapids
Touted as Michigan’s largest St. Patrick’s Day street party, McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon is once again hosting Irish on Ionia. While this event isn’t intended for children, the 21 and up crowd has plenty of entertainment and drinks beyond green beer to choose from. The event kicks off at 7 a.m. with a breakfast buffet and other tasty food options to fill your stomach. Admission ranges from $15 to $55 depending on which ticket you choose and several live entertainment performances will take place throughout the day.

Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 15 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Main St. in Downtown Lexington
As part of Lexington’s Irish Festival, the 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place at 1 p.m. downtown on Main St. Parade goers can expect Irish music and dancers, Irish foods and drinks and plenty of family fun. All festival activities besides the parade will take place rain or shine at Cheapside Park and the Fifth/Third Pavilion until 7 p.m.

Shivering Shamrocks 3K Run/Walk/Obstacle Challenge
Saturday, March 15 at 9 a.m., Meid Rd. & Houghton Ave., West Branch
If you want to take a more healthful approach to this St. Patrick’s Day, then Shivering Shamrocks is how you should be spending your day. This 3K race has two kick-off times of 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. for those who want the extra hour to sleep in. This a family-friendly event that is meant for people to get moving and interact in their community. It is also a great chance to bring your friends out for the social event of the month.

Holland St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 15 at 12 p.m., Downtown Holland
St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without community parades. Holland is inviting you and your family to join them in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish dancers and plenty of kilt-wearers. If you are feeling especially festive, deck yourself out in some green attire and join the parade for no charge! This is the kind of event everyone from babies to grandparents can participate in.

Port Huron Pub Crawl
Saturday, March 15 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Port Huron area pubs
For a grown-up night out on the town, head to Port Huron for the annual pub crawl. Festive party busses will transport you and your party from pub to pub on a continuous loop all afternoon and evening. You can either buy wristbands ahead of time for $10 or on the day of the event for $15 at participating pubs.

imagesDetroit’s 56th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade
Sunday, March 16, Michigan Ave. from 6th St. to 14th St., Detroit
Perhaps one of Michigan’s most renowned St. Patrick’s Day events is Detroit’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This family-friendly event is sure to entertain all who attend with the various floats. The parade route is on Michigan Avenue through historic Corktown. If you’re planning to go, it may be a good idea to arrive a bit early for the best vantage point.

Bay City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sunday, March 16, Center Ave. from Park Ave. to Water St., Bay City
If you’re in the tri-cities area and are looking for some fun on Sunday, head to Bay City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. There will be plenty of Irish music, captivating floats and plenty of shamrocks to be seen. This event is friendly to those of all ages and is a great way to join in community events. The parade follows Center Avenue from Park Avenue and disbands at Water Street. It is suggested that you arrive early to find the best place to view the parade.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Pure Michigan? What events are happening near you?

Pure Michigan March 2014 Events Roundup

In just a few weeks, the month of March will bring a change in season, some signs of springs and plenty of fun events to go along them! From St. Patrick’s Day festivities to the Detroit Tigers home opener, there are so many ways to get out and enjoy March in Pure Michigan!

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in March. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

Week of February 24, 2014 – March 2, 2014

Traverse City Restaurant Week
February 23, 2014 – March 1, 2014, Traverse City
The Downtown Traverse City Association will host the Traverse City Restaurant Week (TCRW) in response to the many accolades regarding great restaurants and food offerings in the Grand Traverse Region. This week promises to be the most delicious week of the winter where diners may perfect the art of dining by discovering new restaurants or enjoying their favorite at an affordable price. Participating restaurants will offer three course meals for $25 per person. Reservations for Restaurant Week are strongly encouraged.

Outdoorama
February 27, 2014 – March 2, 2014, Novi
Whether it’s hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking, mushroom hunting or bird watching, this show has plenty to offer. The Outfitter’s Expo area along with major feature attractions like “Big Buck Night,” “Wildlife Encounters” and the Trout Pond provide the best place to book the trip of a lifetime or entertain the family. In addition, with a huge display of boats, docks and lifts, and marine accessories, this show is the best place to shop for new boats and accessories. Outdoorama is a must-see for everyone who loves the outdoors. Phone (800) 328-6550.

The MARVAC Battle Creek Camper & RV Show
February 27, 2014 – March 2, 2014, Battle Creek
All types of new recreation vehicles with over 50 units and over 15 brands displayed from folding campers, motor homes, toy haulers, travel trailers and fifth wheel travel trailers. Booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, RV financing and RV rentals. Weekdays 11am – 8pm, Saturday 10am – 8pm, and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Adult admission is $5, senior admission is $4 and children under 12 are free. For more information contact (517) 349-8881.

Women’s Lifestyle Expo
February 28, 2014 – March 1, 2014, Kalamazoo
An annual two day extravaganza created for women by women! Every minute is designed to be fun, educational and entertaining! Admission for adults $5, children 12 and up $2, children under 12 are free. Fri 12-6pm, Sat 9am-5pm. Held in Main Expo & Expo South.

Week of March 3, 2014 – March 9, 2014

LaughFest
March 6, 2014 – March 16, 2014, Grand Rapids
Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s marquee events for both participants and artists. This major 10-day Midwest festival is based in Grand Rapids and includes events throughout West Michigan. The line-up for 2014 will include Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker, Jim Gaffigan, Sinbad, Jay Leno and many more. Free and ticketed shows. For a list of talent and participating venues in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, visit the website link.

West Michigan Home and Garden Show
March 6, 2014 – March 9, 2014, Grand Rapids
West Michigan’s largest Home & Garden show is back for its 34th season! With 12 feature gardens gardens, 4 free seminar stages and over 350 exhibitors featuring every product and service you’ll ever need, all under one roof, this is the show to attend!

Franc D’Ambrosio’s Broadway
March 7, 2014, Frankenmuth
D’Ambrosio returns to Frankenmuth with his Broadway show. He looks and acts like Marlon Brando and sings like Maro Lanza. Franc D’Ambrosio was awarded the distinction as the the Worlds Longest Running Phantom. If you enjoy Broadway tunes this is a can’t miss event! Tickets $20.

Autorama
March 7, 2104 – March 9, 2014, Detroit
America’s love affair with the automobile is legendary. Come and join us for the 62nd Annual Meguiar’s AutoRama. Hot rods are always at the heart of each show, but in recent years the composition has expanded to include manufacturers displays. As a result, today’s shows appeal equally to those who own competition cars, specialty and concept vehicles and those who dream about owning them! For information call (248) 373-1700.

Michigan Golf Show
March 7, 2014 – March 9, 2014, Novi
The Michigan Golf Show kicks off the golf season highlighting over 400 exhibitors with great deals on every aspect of the golf game! Retailers! Resorts! Travel destinations! Great deals on Michigan golf courses! And a variety of “hands-on” activities will get you ready for this season. For show hours, admission pricing, and discount coupons, visit the web link.

Maple Syrup Day
March 8, 2014, Monroe
The first event at the Trading Post (now called the River Raisin Territorial Park) for 2014! Learn some “Old French Town Ways’ with us as staff and volunteers demonstrate the process of producing maple syrup and related activities. Learn how easy it is to do, and perhaps try your own hand at tapping your maple trees! Though scheduled for Saturday, March 8th (not knowing if the sap will be flowing or not) we are scheduling a “poor weather” date of Saturday, March 15th. Time is from 12pm to 4pm. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the continuing harsh winter weather, we are examining other dates to make sure the sap is flowing. Please feel free to call ahead for up-to-date information!

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival
March 8, 2014, Jackson
The Jackson County Fairgrounds hosts a winter semi-outdoor craft and specialty beer tasting event that includes over 150 different beers to taste as well as food trailers, live music, door prizes, campfires and an entertainment tent featuring a corn hole tournament. This is a 21 and over only event.

Week of March 10, 2014 – March 16, 2014

Flint Camper & RV Show
March 13, 2014 – March 16, 2014, Flint
All types of new recreation vehicles—over 90 units will be on display; folding campers, motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheel travel trailers, ranging in price from $4,000 to more than $120,000. Booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on site RV financing and RV rentals make this the complete RV show experience. Parking is free. For admission and hours, click on the website link or call (517) 349-8881.

Krazy Daze
March 15, 2014, Boyne Highlands Resort
Krazy Daze is a little bit of something for everyone from live bands and wild costumes to events for the kids and adults. On-snow race events include The Krazy Cup, Silly Slalom, Jump Competition and NASTAR Race. In addition, Krazy Daze features a Ski Over The Pond event for all ages, and face painting and inflatables for the kids. Ski & Stay lodging packages also available. For complete event details, visit the website link or call (800) 462-6963.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 15, 2014, Holland
St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday Mar 15, 2014, 12 noon, in downtown Holland, with Irish dancers, bagpipers, and kilt-wearers are just a few of the parade highlights! Families and individuals wearing green are invited to carry Irish flags in the parade (a limited number of flags will be available at no charge). The parade begins at the Eight Street Marketplace and travels east down Eighth Street until it reaches the Curragh Irish Pub and New Holland Brewing Company Restaurant and Pub (on the corner on Eighth Street and College Avenue). Free

Michigan Maple Weekend
March 15, 2014 – March 16, 2014, Shepherd
March is Michigan Maple Syrup Month. Experience first hand the maple syrup making process from start to finish. Shepherd Sugar Bush will be open and in full operation for visitors to see how sap is collected, syrup made, trees tapped, and sample maple treats! Maple syrup as well as other delicious maple products are available for purchase. 415 N 3rd Street Shepherd, Ml Hours: Sat & Sun 10:00-4:00 This family event is free of charge!

Bridal Show of West Michigan – Spring 2014
March 15, 2014 – March 16, 2104, Grand Rapids
Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan, March 15-16, 2014, will take place at DeVos Place, downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bridal Show exhibits will showcase premier bridal vendors, wedding planning ideas, coupons, and local wedding resources for every bride and groom’s personality. Elegance, Romantic, Contemporary and Funky styles alike will be featured throughout this show!

Bay City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 16, 2104, Bay City
The parade starts at Center and Park Avenues and disbands at Center and Water Streets/Wenona Park. Marching bands, pipe bands, and floats will march down the street. 2pm.

Week of March 17, 2014 – March 23, 2014

Disney on Ice
March 19, 2014 – March 23, 2014, Auburn Hills
Make an ordinary day extraordinary when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! and brings more than 50 Disney characters to The Palace of Auburn Hills for one colossal party on ice! This action-packed, all-new show features a magical montage of celebrations and is set to a blend of contemporary music and favorite Disney songs. Tickets are on sale now at (248) 377-0100.

Cirque Mechanics
March 21, 2014, Flint
Witness a contortionist perform on a turntable powered by unicyclists, a high-flying trapeze artist sail through the air and a trampoline wall artist seemingly defy the laws of physics. Inspired by old-fashioned American ingenuity, this production will have the audience rolling with laughter at the antics of the comedic characters, impressed by the acro-dancing and enchanted by the timeless stories of mechanical wonders. Performance begins at 7:30pm. Arrive one hour prior to start of performance and enjoy local magician Jason Abbott. For details and ticket information, visit the website link.

Livingston County Home and Garden Show
March 21, 2014 – March 23, 2014, Howell
Come see more than 200 exhibits at the Livingston County Home Show, March 21- 23, 2014, where you will find the latest in home improvements, décor and gardening at this three-day event. Other special attractions include: Taste of Livingston (Saturday), Neighborhood Marketplace, Fine Arts Show and Community Resource Fair. Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (60+ over) and children are free.

Cross Country Ski Paintball Biathlon
March 22, 2014, Grayling
The second annual Hanson Hills/XC Ski HQ Paintball Biathlon Series welcomes men, women, and kids to compete in this two-day event, combining cross country skiing with paintball target shooting. Saturday’s, March 22, racing will take place at Hanson Hills, and Sunday’s race and awards will be at Cross Country Ski Headquarters. Paintball guns provided.

Maple Sugaring Day
March 22, 2014, Paradise
Learn how maple sap is transformed into maple syrup during this interactive, hands-on event. Backyard syrup producers will be on hand to answer questions and help get your operation started. Nature’s Kennel will offer $25 dog sled rides during the event (weather permitting; must have enough snow to run dog sleds). Noon to 4pm. An $11 Recreation Passport is required for entering State Parks, Recreation Areas, State Forest Campgrounds, Non-motorized Trail Head Parking and Boat Launches. Recreation Passports can be purchased when renewing your State of Michigan license plate tabs or at state parks and recreation areas.

Week of March 24, 2014 – March 31, 2014

Ann Arbor Film Festival
March 25, 2014 – March 30, 2014, Ann Arbor
Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year’s festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. The six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.

Jillian Michaels
March 27, 2014, Kalamazoo
The world’s leading health and wellness expert, Jillian Michaels, is live on stage across the country in her “Maximize Your Life” Tour. Jillian shows how to harness your potential, kick-start your goals and live an exceptional life. 7:30pm. $25-$150.

Detroit Tigers 2014 Home Opener
March 31, 2014, Comerica Park
It’s baseball time! The Detroit Tigers, a charter member of the American League since 1901, will begin their 114th season at home when the club welcomes the Kansas City Royals for a three-game series March 31 – April 3. For information call (313) 471-2255

Seven Awesome St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Michigan

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and Michiganders sure know how to celebrate this Irish holiday! For those looking for things to do, here’s a roundup from Jake Cagle and Brian Murray of The Awesome Mitten of just some of the many celebrations happening around the state.

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff

When the Irish came to America, they brought their customs, traditions, and pride.  Today, over 34.7 million Americans claim Irish ancestry according to the 2010 U.S. census — seven times the current population of modern day Ireland.  With so many people to celebrate their heritage, it is no surprise that Saint Patrick’s Day has been co-opted from a religious feast day into a celebration of all things Irish.  Here in Michigan, we have a wide variety of great ways to celebrate the Emerald Isle.  Read about some of the best below.

Irish on Ionia
Ionia Street, from Oakes to Weston, Grand Rapids
Saturday, March 16, 7a.m. – 10p.m.
Tickets $10,  VIP $55

Brought to you by McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, Irish on Ionia is an open-air festival in downtown Grand Rapids. You’ll have to leave the kids at home for this one, but the 21+ crowd is guaranteed a great time. The day kicks off at 7 in the morning with McFadden’s “Kegs and Eggs” breakfast buffet. If you show up late, never fear: the pinnacle of Grand Rapids street cuisine, Stoner Tacos, will be there to satisfy any hunger. You won’t be able to swing a cat without hitting something good to drink, either. Green beer will be going for $3 a cup, while Guinness and craft beers will run you $5. For just ten bucks you can buy a commemorative Irish on Ionia cup that you can fill for the same price as the other, smaller drinks.

But there’s more to Irish on Ionia than food and drink. A local Irish folk group with punk rock flair, The Waxies, will be there to play some traditional tunes. If they’re not your thing, stick around for The Crane Wives. You can also catch the Shamrock, Paper, Scissors tournament or the live circus performers. With all that going on, it’s no wonder the party goes all day.

Grand Ledge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration
Downtown Grand Ledge
Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, various times
Event dependent

There’s plenty to do in Grand Ledge this year; so much, in fact, that they’ve split events between two days. On Friday evening at 6:00pm, the Glen Erin Bagpipe Band will be putting on their Saint Patrick’s Day concert at the Grand Ledge Opera House. The show wraps up around 11a.m., and it’s important to run home and get some sleep because it picks right back up in the morning. There’s an Irish stew contest at the Cole-Briggs American Legion Post, where the public is welcome to come in and vote for their favorite. While you’re digesting, you can take in the parade at 2p.m., then head back to the Opera House for the Goderich Drum and Bagpipe Band and some traditional Irish dance.

The 59th Annual Bay City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
The corner of Center and Park Avenues, Bay City
Sunday, March 17, 2p.m.
Free

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff

Bay City kicked off this tradition with a bang in 1955. Over ten thousand people came together to watch marching bands, floats, and the St. Patrick’s Day Queen make their way to city hall. Each year the Queen is chosen from a list of young Irish ladies, selected based on personal interviews and a Miss America-style pageant. The winner  gets to ride on the biggest and baddest float in town, and also receives a tidy scholarship. Join Parade Marshall Kelly Reed and carry on this awesome tradition.

Saint Patrick’s at The Curragh
73 E. 8th Street, Holland
Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, 9a.m.
No price listed

The Curragh is an Irish pub in Holland, and they’re bringing you all the music you could want and more. This is another one of those 21+ events, but it’s a great chance to sit in a classic pub setting, drink your fill, and listen to some great Irish folk tunes. Bands include Peat in the Creel, AnDro, Millish, and a few more great choices. For the full list, just click the link at the head of this section. Breakfast starts at 9 each day, with music starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

18th Annual Official Unofficial Traverse City St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk
Downtown Traverse City
Friday, March 15, Noon
Free

A Traverse City tradition, this downtown pub crawl hits up 10 pubs in 10 hours. While walking from pub to pub, you can enjoy traditional Irish music played by members of Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums (this event is not organized, sponsored, or sanctioned by the Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, hence the “unofficial” tag).  Walkers can join or stay behind at any stop along the way, ensuring a nice variety of attendees.

St. Patty’s Small Plates Wine Tasting
716 S. Kalamazoo St. Paw Paw, MI 49079
Saturday, March 16, 3-5 p.m.
$12 for wine club members, $15 for non-members

For those who are looking to celebrate the holiday in a low-key manner, St. Julian Winery hosts a three plate dinner and wine tasting event at their Paw Paw winery Saturday March 16.  Spend the afternoon at one of the oldest wineries in the state, enjoying Irish-themed dishes and terrific wine pairings.  There is limited seating, and reservations must be made by calling 1-800-732-6002.

Port Huron Pub Crawl 2013
Downtown Port Huron
Saturday, March 16, 1-7 p.m.
$10 in advance at Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau or participating pubs
$15 day of at transfer point on Quay Street or participating pubs

Those in the Port Huron area looking to celebrate the Irish at as many bars as possible should look no further than the Port Huron Pub Crawl.  Pub Crawl attendees wear wristbands which entitle them to free party bus rides that shuttle between 20 downtown bars.  Enjoy the best of Port Huron safely; discounted hotel packages are also available.

Of course there are many more great things to do in Michigan for St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re looking for other ideas, visit michigan.org. No matter what you do, be sure to celebrate safely and responsibly!

Jake Cagle is a feature writer for The Awesome Mitten. Born in Adrian, Michigan, Jake currently resides in Grand Rapids.  He graduated from Grand Valley State University.  Jake’s work has also been featured on MittenBrew.com and Visit Detroit Blog.

Brian Murray lives in Grand Rapids and is a feature writer at The Awesome Mitten. He also writes reviews of music and comic books for destroythecyb.org.