Washington DC is a cosmopolitan city. It is well known for being home to many different cultures. Many people see Washington as an international city. In fact, on any day a person might meet someone from any country in the world in a chance encounter. Before the start of the 20th century, the United States acted as a refuge for immigrants fleeing famine in Ireland. This wave of Irish immigration gave birth to the tradition of St. Patrick’s Day. Thus, on Thursday, March 17, Washington DC will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. So, what is St. Patrick’s Day like in the DC area?
Most people think of Guinness and Irish whiskey when they think of St. Patrick’s Day. Or, perhaps they think of cheaply dyed green beer. Yet, in DC, St Patrick’s Day consists of many other activities.
For the last 45 years DC has been host to a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Unfortunately, since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a workday this year, the parade is scheduled for the Sunday before the holiday itself. This year, the parade took place on Sunday, March 13th.
If you enjoy music, the 930 Club will be hosting its 14th annual DC 101 Kegs and Eggs festival on Friday March 16. For the last 14 years, on or near to St. Patrick’s Day, the 930 Club has hosted a morning music festival complete with beer and breakfast foods. Get to the 930 Club early as the festival starts around 7 a.m. Bands normally play until around noon. So call in sick to work, and go check out the local music festival. The festival is easily accessible by either the U Street or Shaw metro stations. Check out www.930.com for more information.
If you fancy a pint or something stronger for St. Patrick’s Day, then DC has much to offer as well. Various pubs, restaurants and bars around the city are offering drink specials and designer cocktails in celebration of the St. Patrick’s holiday. Some bars such as Duffy’s Irish Pub in the U street area is offering 5 dollar beers all day on Thursday, March 17 (U street Metro), while other bars such as the black Rooster pub downtown on L street are offering discounts on Irish whiskey and Guinness (Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom Metro). If you are looking for a bit of an upscale atmosphere, BLT Steakhouse on 16th and I Streets NW is offering custom made cocktails in honor of St Patrick’s Day (Farragut North, West Metro). The city is full of drink specials and food specials all day. These are only a few.
DCeater.comhas a nice article about different traditional musical events that are occurring in the city. Almost every Irish pub in the DC area has some form of drink specials and Irish music taking place on St Patrick’s Day. For example the Bethesda Pub Village & Saint will be hosting a wide array of bands on the 17th (Bethesda Metro). If you want to know more about music events going on this Thursday check out this DCeater article.
Last but not least, there is the traditional Irish fare one can eat on St. Patrick’s Day. Typically, in the United States, people dine on Corn Beef and Cabbage for the holiday, as we will be doing Thursday night in my household. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs serving up the traditional Irish American fare. If you would rather simply stay in and relax on St Patrick’s day, here is a recipe for the traditional corned beef and cabbage dish.
As you can see, DC is alive with different ways to celebrate the Irish-American holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. Everything from traditional Irish fare to live music is taking place in this great cosmopolitan city.