By Morgan Burleigh & Sydney Stallcup
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and luckily Downtown Lexington is the perfect place to enjoy this festive holiday! The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is a long-standing tradition in Lexington and truly brings the whole community together. Read on to learn about the events taking place downtown as well as some history on the connections between Ireland and Lexington!
The Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival will take place Saturday, March 11th. Believe it or not, the parade is the longest-running city-wide event! The festival will kick off at 10:45am with the annual “Blessing of the Keg ” at Henry A. Tandy Centennial Park. The festival will feature arts and crafts, food and drinks, regional bands, and local Irish dancers! The parade will begin at 1:00pm on Main Street. This is the first full event since 2019, so you truly do not want to miss it! For a full list of festival activities, visit the parade’s website here.
Luckily, the St. Paddy’s Day fun will continue throughout the next week as well! First, the Tilted Kilt is having their biggest celebration of the year, the Irish Pub Fare, from March 13th through March 19th. Alongside fun Irish-themed games, they will be serving $4 and $5 drink specials all week long. On March 17th, the Blackbeard Gypsies will be playing at 7:00pm.
One of our favorite local pubs which offers an authentic Irish atmosphere, Horse and Jockey, will be hosting its all-day St. Paddy’s Day Event on Friday, March 17th from 11:00am until 2:30am! Another authentic Irish pub in downtown, McCarthy’s Irish Bar, located on South Upper Street, will be having a celebration on Tuesday, March 14th. Join them for a festive night of Irish songs and stories by “Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones.” Tickets can be purchased in person at McCarthy’s! Another great option right on Main Street, you can enjoy drinks and good company at Harvey’s Bar at The Grove starting at 11:00am on Saturday the 11th.
If you need to pick up something green or festive for St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve got the answer! Located beside McCarthy’s is an Irish-owned business, Fáilte Irish Import Shop. For over 20 years, the shop has been providing a diverse selection of fine goods from Ireland and Scotland to the Lexington area! The shop’s owner, Liza Betz, immigrated to the United States from Dublin in 1996 and opened Fáilte in 2001. If you’re interested in learning more about Liza and her impact on the Irish community in Lexington, we have an interview with her coming soon!
Now that you’re in the know about what is going on in Downtown Lexington for the holiday, we wanted to share a bit about the deep Irish roots in this city.
Since its beginning, there has been a strong Irish connection to Kentucky! Not only do both places share a love of horses, music, and bourbon, but “My Old Kentucky Home” was actually composed by Irishman Stephen Foster! In 1980, Irish Americans came together to share their heritage and promote Irish culture in this state, creating the Bluegrass Irish Society. The first activity the Bluegrass Irish Society planned was the St. Patrick’s parade. The parade is still running today and continues to be a huge celebration in Lexington.
With the help of restaurants, bars, stores, and the community, Downtown Lexington is truly the place to be this St. Patrick’s Day! We hope you’ll come down and join us this weekend for the parade and festival and continue to celebrate with our local Irish businesses all week long!