If there is one thing that can be said about Annapolis it is that we like to have fun. Any time of year, for any reason, Annapolitans will find a way to party. Major holidays, minor holidays, made up holidays … we celebrate them all. St. Patrick’s Day, however, might be the biggest celebration of the year. From early in the morning until late at night, March 17 in Annapolis is a day where few work and most wear green.
As time has gone on, some in Annapolis realized that just one day wasn’t enough to celebrate all our “Irish” – and now the St. Patrick’s Day fun lasts almost the entire month.
It all starts this weekend.
The fun begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with the 3rd Annual Annapolis Shamrock Stroll. Stroll around downtown wearing your brightest green attire and the fanciest shamrocks you can find. Whether you’re crawling alone or with a large group, this stroll is for you and the drinks are ready for everyone to enjoy. All venues will be offering $3 Bud Light Bottles Drafts throughout the entire Stroll. The fun starts in two places, Armadillo’s at 132 Dock St. and Fadó at 1 Park Place. Other participating establishments include Dock Street, McGarvey’s, Harvest Wood, Acme, and Stan and Joes.
It continues 6 p.m. Saturday night at the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, 80 Compromise St., when the 3rd Annual Irish Hooley kicks off. The premier kickoff to the month of celebrations, the Hooley features pipe bands, Irish dancers, and the fantastic Irish music of Dublin 5. Of course, there will be great food, great drink, and great craic (conversation). Tickets are $60, available at www.naptown-events.ticketleap.com.
Sunday morning, the party begins – or continues – 9 a.m. at Stan and Joe’s, 37 West St., as everyone pre-parties for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The official home for Prince Georges County and DC Fire Pipes bands, and all the other first responders and police officers coming into town for the parade, the saloon will be hopping all day. They will have outdoor food and drink service throughout the morning and afternoon, with a post-party from 3 to 7 p.m. featuring DJ Michael K in the parking lot and, inside, James Gallagher and Off The Boat.
The official St. Patrick’s Parade begins at 1 p.m., with a route from upper West St., near Amos Garrett Blvd., down to City Dock, featuring floats, bands, pipers, dancers, and so much more. If you want to be in the parade, or at least get some exercise in to earn those post-parade party calories, join the First Float.
What is the First Float?
It is a group of runners leading the parade as the first float. Runners leave Fadó at 1p.m. and run the 1-mile parade route to City Dock. Runners will start lining up at 12:30 p.m. To register, visit www.naptown-events.ticketleap.com . Participation in First Float is $20 per person, ages 13 and up; $15 for kids ages 8 to 13. The run is intended to get the crowds cheering and ready for the floats that follow, so costumes are encouraged – dress in green at the very least.
Then, of course, there is the parade itself. It is the best parade in Annapolis, from the beginning at Westgate Circle to the grandstand at City Dock, with fantastic music, floats, and so much fun. The parade route is packed, everyone is wearing green – and it gets everyone in the St. Paddy’s Day mood. Afterwards, the bars and restaurants along the route, from Fadó to Armadillos, will be ready and waiting for a pre-Paddy’s party day. Don’t miss your chance to kick off your month of green.
Always remember, it is St. Patrick’s or St. Paddy’s, and even St. Pat’s, but never, ever, Patty’s. Not ever.
This weekend isn’t all about St. Patrick’s Day, there are plenty of other great events taking place. For example, there is an English Country Dance Saturday night at the Annapolis Friends Meeting Hall, 351 Dubois Road. Tom Hinds will call dances to the lovely melodies of Jeff Steinberg, Colleen Reed and Judy Meyers. The evening includes a free introductory session at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission for the dance is $10 with discounts for seniors, students, families and members of Annapolis Traditional Dance Society. All ages are welcome and all dances are taught and walked through. No experience or partner is required. Snacks to share at the break are welcome. To learn more, call 443-540-0867 or visit www.contradancers.com/atds.
Barolo and Osso Buco? Yes please. Mills Wine and Spirits is hosting a Piedmont Wine Dinner at the Historic James Brice House, 42 East St., Saturday night at 6 p.m. Taste wines from favorite Piedmont producers, Matteo Correggia and New York Times perennial top 10 producer Elio Altare. Tickets are $144/person. Call 410-263-2888 to reserve your space.
Also on Saturday night, at the Francis Scott Key Auditorium on the campus of St. John’s College at 60 College Ave., the Caritas Society of St. John’s College hosts a private performance of the worldwide, rock-solid tour-de-force Defending the Caveman, the longest running solo play in Broadway history, with Vince Valentine as the Caveman. With hilarious insight on contemporary feminism, masculine sensitivity and the erogenous zone, Defending the Caveman mines the common themes in relationships that go straight through the funny bone and into the heart. This evening is a fundraiser for St. John’s students in need. It features a complimentary Wine Reception from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by the private performance. Admission is $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Purchase tickets and learn more at defending.brownpapertickets.com.
Sunday, from 2 to 6 p.m., St. John’s College will host Celebrate the Arts, a showcase of arts featuring music by Peacherine Ragtime, Jazz Mosaic, and classical guitarist, Beau Simmons; a gallery of local artists and their artwork; a live auction; and light refreshments. In addition, there will be a conversation produced by Anne Arundel Cultural Arts on the value of community art. Admission is free.
The Annapolis Bookstore, 953 Maryland Ave., hosts anthropologist Linda Rabben on Tuesday at 7 p.m., discussing Sanctuary and Asylum, her riveting social and political history of providing refuge to the threatened and vulnerable. Reservations are not required.