If you’re planning on heading to Savannah for the St. Patrick’s day festivities this weekend, take a moment to consider your options. Gas is expensive. I-16 is the most mind numbing roadway in the state. And do you really want to drive all the way back with a hangover? Atlanta’s got a bevy of events happening this weekend that could convince you to stay closer to home for your St. Patty’s bacchanalia. Sorry Savannah!
It’s hard to believe but this parade has been happening in downtown Atlanta since 1858! Who says we’re a city that throws away its past? This is probably the best option for those with little ones, who are sure to be mesmerized by the giant floats including a 50 foot Kermit and a four story St. Patrick, not to mention the world’s largest Irish flag. The parade route winds its way down Peachtree Street from Ralph McGill Boulevard to Five Points. Since there are so many MARTA rail stations along the way, avoiding the parking hassle should be easy. After the parade, head over to the 200 Peachtree events space (the old Macy’s building) for free goodies that include Irish music and dance, kid’s activities, and a a slew of arts and crafts vendors. Oh, and there will be (non-free) beer.
March 17th - Parade starts at noon on Peachtree Street - Free
This one’s for the grownups. After registering at Rí Rá Irish Pub on Crescent Avenue, you’re free to participate in a 4 block “crawl” that hits 6 different pubs and bars. Each spot will feature a special concocted drink or shooter with an Irish theme. Part of the fun with this event is the costume contest, which ensures you’ll have plenty to gawk at as you celebrate. And since Midtown is so darn walkable, you’ll be able to traipse on over to your hotel room when the night’s over, right?
March 16th - 7-11:30pm - $20 in advance, door price TBA
Fado celebrates St. Patrick’s year round, but the actual holiday is when something really cool happens. St. Baldrick’s is a nationwide event that helps raise money for finding a cure for childhood cancer, and Fado has been participating for over a decade. Last year, over $100,000 was raised at Fado! This year they’re currently hovering around $80,000 so get out there and make it happen. There will be plenty of Guinness on hand, and you’re invited to shave your head as an act of support. It’s the perfect way to have fun and make a difference.
March 16th - 2:30pm
This event hosted by Atkins Park Tavern will be taking place in Smyrna’s charming Market Village. Carnival-style rides and live music are part of the festivities, as well as a redhead contest. The mayor will be on hand for the annual dyeing of the town fountain. And you can even bring Fido, as the event is marketed as dog friendly. Just make sure he doesn’t drink out of the green fountain.
March 17th - 2-11pm - $15 at the door, $10 in advance